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How well does PrEP work to stop HIV infections?

Pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, is a drug administered to those who are at high risk of contracting HIV. PrEP might be appropriate for you if you regularly have intercourse with an HIV-positive person, don’t always use condoms, have ever had an STI, or exchange needles with someone who uses drugs intravenously. However, how efficient is PrEP?

Presently, Truvada and Descovy are the only two drugs that are FDA-approved to be used as PrEP. While Descovy contains tenofovir alafenamide (TAF) and emtricitabine, Truvada contains tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) and emtricitabine (FTC). Clinical studies have demonstrated that PrEP drugs are quite effective at reducing the risk of contracting HIV. However, it’s crucial to keep in mind that the effectiveness of PrEP also depends on taking the medication as prescribed without skipping any doses.

Continue reading to learn more about PrEP’s effectiveness and how it might be appropriate for you.

How efficient is PrEP?

PrEP is more than 90% effective for people who run the risk of contracting HIV through intercourse. According to studies, PrEP is 99% effective at preventing HIV transmission from anal and vaginal sex, whether it is receptive (bottom) or insertive (top). Additionally, PrEP has a 74% success rate in preventing HIV infection among drug injectors (PWID).

If PrEP is not taken as prescribed, its effectiveness may be reduced. For example, those who forget to take it or skip doses may have a higher risk of contracting HIV than those who take PrEP as prescribed.

According to one clinical experiment, PrEP lowers the risk of contracting HIV by 99% when taken seven days a week, 96% when taken four days a week, and 76% when taken two days a week.


Various research has suggested that PrEP’s efficacy can change. For instance, one study found that daily PrEP use in males who have sex with men results in a modest 92% PrEP effectiveness. Another trial, the PROUD study, done in the UK, found that daily PrEP users had an 86% success rate in avoiding HIV infection. Other elements, such as forgetting a dose, drug interactions, and the kinds of at-risk behaviors being engaged in, may impact PrEP’s effectiveness.

Various PrEP dosing methods

PrEP can be taken daily or as needed, thus there are various methods to take it. How well does taking PrEP when needed work? It has been proven that taking PrEP only occasionally is just as beneficial as doing so regularly. On-demand or event-based PrEP users would only use it when necessary if they had less frequent sex or could anticipate when they would do so. This approach entails taking a single dosage of PrEP for two days after sex, accompanied by an initial dose between two and twenty-four hours before sex.

It’s crucial to take PrEP at the same time every day in order to achieve maximal effectiveness.

As long as it’s about the same time as when you took it the day before, you can choose to take it in the morning or the evening. It’s best to incorporate PrEP into your regular routine. Take it, for instance, after breakfast or just before brushing your teeth at night. Remember that you can take PrEP with or without food.

How does PrEP function?

PrEP prevents HIV from replicating and spreading throughout the body, which is how it functions. Typically, the virus targets T-cells, which are immunological cells. Reverse transcriptase is a protein enzyme that the virus utilizes to synthesize DNA after injecting it into a healthy cell. The components of the virus are subsequently generated inside a T-cell that has been infected using this viral DNA. Once the virus has multiplied, it can infect additional immune cells.

When does PrEP start to work?

You might be curious about how long PrEP will take to work. For PrEP to be successful in preventing HIV transmission during receptive anal intercourse, also known as bottoming, it normally needs 7 days of daily use. For PrEP to be most effective at preventing HIV via receptive vaginal sex and medication injections, it may need about 21 days of regular use. When PrEP becomes effective for insertive anal intercourse and insertive vaginal sex is not well understood (topping).

When taken 2 to 24 hours before to intercourse, event-based PrEP should be effective. However, to ensure that PrEP is as effective as possible, additional doses must be taken for the next two days after sex.

You should be immune to HIV during anal intercourse as long as you don’t skip more than three doses each week. If you are engaging in vaginal intercourse, you shouldn’t miss more than one dose per week. Otherwise, it’s critical to take PrEP properly and adhere to your dose schedule.

With PrEP, is it possible to contract HIV?

How well does PrEP work to prevent HIV while receiving treatment? With PrEP, there is a very minimal chance of contracting HIV. People who use PrEP and contract HIV are frequently those who forget or skip a dosage. It’s crucial to take PrEP as prescribed each and every day for this reason. By taking PrEP as directed, you’ll get the most out of medication and lower your chance of contracting HIV.

How well does PrEP work after two days?

After 7 days of daily use, PrEP is most effective when used by men who have sex with other men. For both vaginal sex and medication injection use, PrEP’s effectiveness can take up to 21 days to take effect. PrEP might not be completely effective after just a few days of use. This makes it crucial to use PrEP in conjunction with other forms of protection, such as condoms, at least for the first week. If you participate in risky activities after taking PrEP for just 1, 2, or 3 days, you could be at risk of contracting HIV. This is because, for the medicine to offer the most protection, drug levels in the blood must gradually increase to stable levels.

How well does PrEP work after exposure?

Antiviral drugs administered before exposure are referred to as PrEP since they help prevent HIV infections. PEP, or post-exposure prophylaxis, is the term for using antiviral drugs after being exposed during hazardous activity. PEP may include drugs that are identical to those used for PrEP.

When administered within 72 hours of exposure, PEP is most potent. After exposure, for 28 days or 4 weeks, you might need to take a combination of three antiviral drugs two to three times daily. PEP is more than 80% effective at lowering the risk of contracting HIV when used as directed. PEP is not very successful at preventing HIV from injection drug use, according to the available research. If you regularly use injectable medicines or anticipate being exposed to HIV, PrEP is advised for you. You can safely switch from PEP to PrEP.

How efficient is PrEP if no condoms are used?

The answer to the question of how effective is PrEP without condoms depends on various factors. If you are engaging in anal sex, you should use condoms for 7 days after starting PrEP. If you are engaging in vaginal sex during the first 21 days after starting PrEP, you should also wear condoms. The effectiveness of PrEP will be at its highest after this time.

PrEP is efficient at preventing HIV without the use of condoms, but it is ineffective at preventing other STIs or illnesses. Wear condoms during sexual activity if you are worried about contracting additional STIs like chlamydia, HPV, or gonorrhea. When having intercourse with someone whose sexual history and health you don’t know, it’s generally advised to wear condoms. HIV and other STI risks are decreased with exclusive partners.

How long after discontinuing does PrEP remain effective?

For a few days after quitting PrEP, the blood levels of PrEP may still be high enough to offer protection against HIV. By day 7 after stopping treatment, the body may have eliminated half of the drug concentration.

PrEP works best when taken consistently. It is crucial that you take each dose of PrEP exactly as prescribed. How well does PrEP work if you skip a dose? The effectiveness of PrEP may be reduced if a dose is skipped or missed. Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it if you miss one. To help you remember to take your PrEP medicine, you may want to utilize an alarm or pillbox.

If you notice that you’re taking PrEP inconsistently or missing many doses, you must visit your doctor for seeking advice.

Does PrEP prevent HIV transmission?

Yes, PrEP prevents HIV transmission in people who are at risk. However, in order for PrEP to be the most effective at preventing HIV, it must be taken daily. Rarely, PrEP-resistant HIV develops in people who use PrEP while living with an undetected HIV infection. This is why it’s crucial to acquire an HIV test before beginning PrEP.

DeliverDose can help if you have questions about PrEP or would need further information. DeliverDose offers inexpensive PrEP purchases along with free shipping. To make sure you receive the best possible care, all drugs are obtained from reputable producers.

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