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A beginner’s guide to PrEP: Everything you need to know

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gay plague’.That’s why we decided to do a deep dive into PrEP for Pride – from exactly what it is, to where you can get it – and asked two experts, GP Dr Babak Ashrafi, Clinical Lead for Service Expansion at medical website Zava and Dr Deborah Lee, of Dr Fox Online Pharmacy, to lay it all out for us in simple terms.PrEP is a drug that HIV-negative people can take that reduces the risk of getting HIV.Dr Deborah explains: ‘PrEP stands for “pre-exposure prophylaxis.” Pre-exposure is another way of saying – before having unprotected sex.

Prophylaxis is a word used for – tablets taken regularly to stop you from developing an infection.‘HIV PrEP consists of two drugs – tenofovir and emtricitabine – both contained in one single tablet.

These drugs have been used for many years to treat people infected with HIV and are known to be safe and effective. But they’re taken in combination with other antiretroviral drugs to treat people with HIV infection, Ie you cannot take PrEP alone to treat HIV,’ adds Dr Ashrafi.‘This combination is often supplied in the brand name product, Truvada.

This is usually what is available in other countries like the USA, but most of the time, what you get in the UK is the alternative generic option which has exactly the same active ingredients and works in exactly the same way.

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