Positive Vibes

PEP FOR REDUCING THE RISK

PEP

Short for Post-Exposure Prophylaxis [prohFUHlaksis] is an HIV prevention strategy in which HIV-negative people take anti-HIV short-term medication after coming into contact with HIV to reduce their risk of an HIV infection.

Talk to your healthcare provider or an emergency room doctor about PEP right away if you think you have recently been exposed to HIV during sex. For example, if the condom broke, or no condom was used, or if you have been sexually assaulted.

  • PEP must be started within 72 hours (3 days) after HIV exposure.
  • PEP should be used only in emergency situations.
If you are at ongoing risk for HIV, speak to your healthcare provider about PrEP.

Is it safe?

PEP may cause side effects like nausea in some people. These side effects can be treated and are not life-threatening.

If you are taking PEP, talk to your healthcare provider about side effects that you may experience.

Is PEP for me?

If you are HIV-negative or do not know your HIV status and in the last 72 hours (3 days) you:
  • Have been exposed to HIV during sex. For example, if the condom broke or no condom was used
  • Have been stuck with a needle or other sharp object that has been exposed to HIV
  • Sexually assaulted