What is PEP (Post-Exposure Prophylaxis)?
PEP is a tool that could prevent you from picking up HIV. It involves taking powerful anti-HIV drugs for four weeks and may involve side effects. PEP must be started as soon as possible after a risk incident. You must take PEP within 72 hours of exposure to HIV.
PEP is not a cure for HIV and is not guaranteed to work. The best way to avoid picking up HIV is to use condoms while having anal sex with a partner whose status you aren’t sure of.
When should I get PEP?
If you’ve had a high risk incident, such as:
- A broken condom or condomless anal sex with a guy who is HIV positive or whose status you aren’t sure of.
- Sharing injection needles.
- You may have been exposed to HIV. You should visit a pilot project site (see below), your doctor’s office, or the emergency room as quickly as possible.