PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, is a new tool in HIV prevention. Someone who is HIV negative can take anti-HIV medications on a daily basis to reduce their risk of getting infected. PrEP must be taken before engaging in activities where there is a risk of HIV infection, making it harder for the HIV virus to establish itself in the body.
The drug prescribed for PrEP is called Truvada, which was initially used to treat people living with HIV, and was approved for use among HIV-negative people in 2012 by the US Food and Drug Administration. While Truvada is approved by Health Canada as an HIV treatment, it has not been approved for use as PrEP. The World Health Organization as well as the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention have endorsed and recommended the use of PrEP in individuals who are at high-risk of acquiring HIV, including gay men and other men who have sex with men.