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Retrovirology. 2018 Apr 2; 15(1):29.Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV prevention has evolved significantly over the years where clinical trials have now demonstrated the efficacy of oral PrEP, and the field is scaling-up implementation. The WHO and UNAIDS have made PrEP implementation a priority for populations at highest risk, and several countries have developed guidelines and national plans accordingly, largely based on evidence generated by demonstration projects. PrEP presents the opportunity to change the face of HIV prevention by offering a new option for protection against HIV and disrupting current HIV prevention systems. Nevertheless, as with all new technologies, both practical and social requirements for implementation must be taken into account if there is to be sustained and widespread adoption, which will also apply to forthcoming prevention technologies. Defining and building success for PrEP within the scope of scale-up requires careful consideration. This review summarises where the PrEP field is today, lessons learned from the past, the philosophy and practicalities of how successful programming may be defined, and provides perspectives of costs and affordability. We argue that a successful PrEP programme is about effective intervention integration and ultimately keeping people HIV negative.