How Does PrEP work?

At Philadelphia FIGHT… Anyone can access PrEP

  • PrEP can be used by both men and women.
  • PrEP is a medication that blocks the HIV virus from attacking T-cells.
  • PrEP works best when taken or injected as prescribed.
  • PrEP should not  be taken by someone living with HIV

PrEP works by protecting your body’s T cells in your immune system. The medication puts up a protective barrier around these cells so when the HIV virus enters the body, the virus is not able to attack the body’s T cells.

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After taking PrEP consistently for 1 week, the medication in PrEP forms a type of protective shield around your body’s CD4 T cells.

PrEP icons
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If or when you are exposed to HIV through unprotected sex or sharing injection drug equipment, HIV can enter your body.

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When HIV enters the body, it looks for CD4 T cells to attack. HIV can only use this specific type of cell to replicate.

T Cells images
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Once HIV reaches the CD4 T cells, HIV is unable to attack them because PrEP has created a protective shield to block HIV.

Since the virus is not able to attack the CD4 T cells and replicate, the virus cells die off and do not cause HIV infection.

HIV infographic