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Novus Blog

How Does PrEP Work to Prevent HIV?

PrEP is HIV prevention pill for medical concept 3d rendering.

Jul 30 2021


What Should I Know About PrEP?

PrEP, which stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis, is a once-daily medication that is safe and effective at preventing HIV. While PrEP is an excellent choice for those at risk of contracting human immunodeficiency viruses, some are skeptical of taking it; they may question how PrEP works and how effective it is. 

The team at Novus explains what everyone should know about PrEP.

What is PrEP?

Classified under nucleoside/nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) antiviral medications, PrEP helps reduce the risk of contracting HIV through sex (anal and vaginal) by about 99% when taken daily. That said, PrEP reaches maximum protection for receptive anal sex in about seven days, while it takes about 21 days of daily use for maximum protection during receptive vaginal sex.

How Does PrEP Work?

Before diving into how PrEP works within the body, you must first know what happens when HIV enters the bloodstream. When an individual is diagnosed with HIV, the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome destroys the body’s CD4 cells — the white blood cells (also known as T cells and leukocytes) that help fight infection and support the immune system.

When an individual takes PrEP (as prescribed) and reaches maximum protection, this antiviral medication will create a barrier around the body’s CD4 cells. That way, if HIV were to come in contact with the body’s white blood cells, the “fence” that PrEP creates will help prevent HIV from replicating and destroying the T cells.

PrEP HIV Prevention in Pennsylvania

If you would like to find out if PrEP is right for you, contact the Novus team today. We handle all of the paperwork to provide you with a hassle-free experience. Plus, 99% of our patients pay $0 for the medication with no out-of-pocket expenses. 


To request an appointment, fill out a quick form.