Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is the preemptive use of drugs to prevent disease in people who have not yet been exposed to the disease-causing agent. In particular, the term is used to refer to the use of antiviral drugs that attack the life cycle of the HIV virus as a strategy for the prevention of HIV/AIDS. PrEP is an optional treatment which may be taken by people who are HIV negative, but who have substantial, higher-than-average risk of contracting an HIV infection.
Currently, the only drug which any health organization recommends for HIV/AIDS PrEP is Truvada, which is the brand name of the Gilead Sciences drug combination of tenofovir/emtricitabine. The Centers for Disease Control says that "PrEP is a powerful HIV prevention tool and can be combined with condoms and other prevention methods to provide even greater protection than when used alone". However, people who use PrEP must commit to taking the drug every day and seeing their health care provider for follow-up every three months.
A single pill treatment now available for some exposures.
HIV drug resistance is a serious emerging threat to the global scale-up of HIV treatment access – particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and other low- and middle-income countries where weak health systems and poor access to monitoring and diagnostics make managing HIV more challenging. As of July 2017, the World Health Organization now have alternative treatment recommendations for countries with drug resistance prevalence at above 10%.
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