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Demystifying HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)

          PrEP means Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, and it’s the use of anti-HIV medication that keeps HIV negative people from becoming infected. PrEP is approved by the FDA and has been shown to be safe and effective. A single pill taken once daily, it is highly effective against HIV when taken every day. The medication interferes with HIV’s ability to copy itself in your body after you’ve been exposed. This prevents it from establishing an infection and making you sick.

          Even though PrEP has been around in the U.S. for over a year, not a lot of people know about it. And, even fewer people feel like they know enough about it to be able to make an informed decision about whether or not to use it. For those who do use it, the information they have might be more focused on practical issues, like where to get it, rather than on what PrEP does in the body to prevent HIV infection.

          By using animation to show PrEP in the body and why “once a day” is recommended, people can see what PrEP does and people who currently use PrEP can create an image of what happens when they take a PrEP pill every day. See CDC 2014 Clinical Practice Guidelines HERE

Addressing PrEP Disparities among Young Gay & Bisexual Men in CA

Executive Summery by The California HIV/AIDS Research Program

Young gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (YMSM), particularly black and Latino YMSM, are at highest risk for HIV in California and across the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that if current rates persist, half of all black—and a quarter of all Latino—gay and bisexual men could be infected with HIV in their lifetimes. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a highly effective HIV prevention intervention that could drastically reduce the number of new HIV infections among YMSM. PrEP uses a well-established antiretroviral medication, Truvada, to block HIV infection in at-risk HIV-negative individuals. When taken as prescribed, Truvada is proven to be over 90 percent effective at preventing HIV. Recent studies have shown PrEP awareness and uptake to be low among at-risk populations in California and across the United States for a number of reasons, including concerns about side effects, perceived high cost, limited access, and PrEP-related stigma. If barriers to PrEP use among YMSM are not addressed, the benefits of this HIV prevention strategy will not be fully realized.


An online survey was conducted from July 9, 2015 through August 20, 2015 to examine current levels of PrEP awareness and use, likelihood of use, as well as various attitudes and perceived barriers to PrEP uptake among YMSM in California. YMSM were recruited through banner ads on several popular “hook-up” apps and websites. Individuals were eligible if they were HIV-negative, a California resident, 18–29 years of age, identified as a biological male, and indicated that the gender of their sex partners included males. Given the disproportionate impact of HIV among black and Latino YMSM, this study focused specifically on outcomes for these groups in comparison to their white counterparts. Differences among 18–21 year olds, 22–25 year olds, and 26–29 year olds were also assessed.


The final analytic sample included 602 YMSM. Most identified as Latino (40.4%), followed by black (32.2%), and white (27.4%). In terms of age, a plurality were 22–25 years old (41.5%), followed by 18–21 years old (29.9%) and 26–29 years old (28.6%). The overwhelming majority of respondents indicated their sexual orientation as gay (83.2%) followed by bisexual (14.8%). The majority of respondents (97.8%) identified as male with the remainder indicating another gender identity. The majority reported a modest income of $60,000 or less (73.1%) in the last year with few reporting an income of $60,000 or more (12.1%).


About 1 in 10 respondents reported having used PrEP (9.6%). The majority (90.3%) of respondents were PrEP naïve, never having used PrEP. PrEP use was significantly higher among white respondents (13.9%) compared to Latino respondents (6.6%). PrEP use among black respondents was 9.8%, though not significantly different from white and Latino respondents. PrEP use was significantly higher among 22–25 year olds (14.0%) and 26–29 year olds (9.3%) compared to PrEP use among 18–21 year olds (3.9%). PrEP use was significantly higher among respondents with annual incomes of $30,000 or higher (13.0%) compared to PrEP use among respondents with annual incomes of $29,000 or less (9.9%).

PrEP: A New Tool To Fight HIV

Making The Decision With Your Doctor To Use PrEP

Demystifying HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)

Using PrEP In Relationships With HIV-Positive Men

Figuring Out How PrEP Fits Into Your Life

¿Qué es PrEP? (Spanish Language)