What is PEP?

What is PEP?

  • PEP (Post-Exposure Prophylaxis) is an emergency medication that is taken for 28 days to prevent HIV after a recent and possible exposure.

How does PEP work?

  • PEP must be started within 72 hours of a possible exposure to HIV. The sooner, the better–Every hour counts!
  • PEP works best when:
    • It is taken right away
    • You take the full 28-day course every day, as instructed.
  • Do not stop taking PEP without talking to your doctor.

Who is PEP for?

  • PEP can protect you in an emergency—for example:
    • If you had anal or vaginal sex without a condom with someone who has or might have HIV
    • PEP can also stop HIV if you were exposed while injecting drugs

How do I know if I need to take PEP?

    • You shared a needle, syringe, or other injection drug equipment with someone who is living HIV or unknown HIV status.
    • You experienced a sexual assault

What else do I need to know about taking PEP?

  • PEP protects people who are not living with HIV. You’ll have to take an HIV test before starting PEP.
  • PEP can cause mild side effects, especially at the beginning of the treatment.
  • When you finish PEP, you will take another HIV test to make sure that PEP worked
  • Consider PrEP if you have had to take PEP more than once.

Where can I get PEP?

  • If you think you were exposed to HIV within the last 72hours:
    • During business hours: immediately contact one of the PrEP Centers ofExcellence.
    • After business hours: Immediately go to a clinic, urgent care, or emergency room
  • Please visit our “Get PEP Now” page for more information!