(NBC News) – Men who took a once-a-day pill to prevent HIV infection were completely protected for months and sometimes for years, a leading health insurer says.

Health officials have recommended that people at high risk of catching HIV — especially gay and bisexual men — use the pills to protect themselves. And scientific studies have shown they work.

The insurance and medical provider Kaiser Permanente says its records show the pill protected hundreds of its clients. They did not report a single infection among 657 mostly gay and bisexual men in San Francisco who took the pill over an average of seven months.

It’s called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP.


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