Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)
Pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP refers to the use of HIV medication by people who are HIV-negative in order to reduce their risk of HIV infection.
When taken on a daily basis, PrEP ensures there is enough HIV medication in the body to significantly reduce the risk of becoming infected with HIV if exposed during unprotected sex.
The HIV medication used is called Truvada and it contains two antiviral medicines, Tenofovir and Emtricitabine, which are also used to treat people who already have HIV infection. These are the same drugs used to suppress the virus in people living with HIV.
For more information about using PrEP to prevent HIV, including how to access PrEP in New Zealand, please visit our Ending HIV website.
PrEP information for clinicians
If you're currently or considering prescribing PrEP, check out these helpful guidelines, learning modules and resources.
NZAF believes PrEP has a key role to play in achieving our goal of ending new HIV transmissions in New Zealand. Our work on PrEP has included:
- Advocating for a Ministry of Health position on PrEP and inclusion of PrEP in the New Zealand Sexual and Reproductive Health Action Plan;
- In collaboration with Auckland Regional Sexual Health Service, University of Auckland School of Population Health and Body Positive, developing the NZPrEP study in Auckland;
- Collaborating with the New Zealand Sexual Health Society, Medical Protection Society, clinicians, lawyers and community stakeholders to develop a document that provides medicolegal safety for all concerned parties relating to the prescribing and importation of generic medicines for use as PrEP;
- Collaborating with ASHM and DHB sexual health clinicians to develop training and resources to improve PrEP knowledge among GPs;
- Developing PrEP community forums and educations resources to improve PrEP knowledge among those at highest risk of HIV;
- Submitting an application to PHARMAC for public funding of PrEP to those at highest risk of HIV infection;
- Advocating for research to measure current PrEP knowledge, use, intention to use, and other behavioural data. This information will enable us to estimate how many gay and bisexual men in New Zealand would benefit from using PrEP and model what impact PrEP could have on reducing rates of HIV infection.
Got questions about PrEP? We're here to help so send us your question and we'll get back to you.