Antiviral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) through daily drug administration can protect healthy individuals from HIV-1 infection. While PrEP was recently approved by the FDA, the potential long-term consequences of PrEP implementation remain entirely unclear. The aim of this study is to predict the efficacy of different prophylactic strategies with the pro-drug tenofovir- disoproxil-fumarate (TDF) and to assess the sensitivity towards timing- and mode of TDF administration (daily- vs. single dose), adherence and the number of transmitted viruses. We developed a pharmacokinetic model for TDF and its active anabolite tenofovir-diphosphate (TFV-DP) and validated it with data from 4 different trials, including 4 distinct dosing regimes. Pharmacokinetics were coupled to an HIV model and viral decay following TDF mono-therapy was predicted, consistent with available data. Subsequently, a stochastic approach was used to estimate the % infections prevented by (i) daily TDF-based PrEP, (ii) one week TDF started either shortly before, or -after viral exposure and (iii) a single dose oral TDF before viral challenge (sd-PrEP). Analytical solutions were derived to assess the relation between intracellular TFV-DP concentrations and prophylactic efficacy. The predicted efficacy of TDF was limited by a slow accumulation of active compound (TFV-DP) and variable TFV-DP half-life and decreased with increasing numbers of transmitted viruses. Once daily TDF-based PrEP yielded 80% protection, if at least 40% of pills were taken. Sd-PrEP with 300 mg or 600 mg TDF could prevent 50% infections, when given at least before virus exposure. The efficacy dropped to 10%, when given 1 h before 24 h exposure. Efficacy could not be increased with increasing dosage or prolonged administration. Post-exposure prophylaxis poorly prevented infection. The use of drugs that accumulate more rapidly, or local application of tenofovir gel may overcome the need for drug administration long before virus exposure.