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Two parts[change | edit source]
Examples[change | edit source]
Preventative medicine[change | edit source]
Prophylaxis is the central idea in preventative medicine. People usually think medical treatment helps sick people to get healthy. Prophylactic treatment is helpful in a different way. Primary prophylaxis tries to stop healthy people from getting sick. Secondary prophylaxis tries to stop people who are sick from getting worse.
Birth control[change | edit source]
Prophylaxis may also be used as a synonym for birth control. Condoms are prophylactic, because when you use them, a female will not get pregnant, and it reduces the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.
Chess[change | edit source]
Prophylaxis is also a term in chess. It was introduced by the grandmaster Aaron Nimzovich in his book My system. The term refers to actions taken by a player to thwart the opponent's plans, and moves of these type are often called prophylactic moves.
One simple example of a prophylactic move is when a player moves a rook's pawn forward one square to prevent a back rank mate.