HIV remains an important public health issue worldwide. However, new prevention approaches have
recently been developed and are very promising. Antiretroviral treatment as prevention, or as a prophylaxis after
exposure to HIV, has been shown to reduce the likelihood of HIV acquisition. Over the last years, animal studies
and randomized clinical trials in humans showed that antiretrovirals can also be efficacious and safe if used once
daily, or intermittently, as prophylaxis before an individual is exposed to HIV (Pre-exposure Prophylaxis - PrEP).
Fears about development of resistant strains have not been justified insofar given the accumulated evidence from
research studies. Demonstration projects are ongoing and first results indicate that interests in the uptake of PrEP
are high and adherence is satisfactory. Models suggest that PrEP could be a cost-effective or cost-saving approach
under certain provisions including delivery to people at high risk of HIV infection, using less expensive medications,
delivery in high HIV prevalence settings, short-term use for periods of higher risk, and evaluation in a
longer-term period. The current review summarizes evidence on efficacy, safety and effectiveness of PrEP, and
discusses future challenges and perspectives.