Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is an investigational approach to HIV prevention in which antiretroviral drugs are given to uninfected people at high risk for HIV/AIDS to reduce their chances of being infected. Taking antiretroviral medicines before exposure to HIV could potentially inhibit HIV replication immediately after exposure to the virus, thus thwarting the establishment of permanent infection.
Recent clinical trials funded by NIAID and others have shown that PrEP can reduce the risk of HIV infection; however, the effectiveness of approaches studied so far may be offset by real-world circumstances, including development of drug resistance, unexpected adverse effects, and inconsistent and incorrect product use.
Through the Next Generation PrEP initiative, NIAID is supporting research to discover, develop, and test new, much-needed PrEP approaches with optimized properties. The purpose of this initiative is to build a foundation of knowledge required for development of second and subsequent generations of HIV PrEP candidates that could eventually be tested in humans.
Last Updated December 28, 2012
Last Reviewed December 28, 2012