If you think you may have been put at risk of HIV infection you should consider getting Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP).
WHAT IS PEP AND HOW DOES IT WORK?
PEP stands for Post Exposure Prophylaxis. PEP is a four week course of HIV treatments which is taken after an incident where you think you may have been exposed to HIV, in order to prevent acquiring HIV. PEP works by stopping the virus from replicating following exposure to HIV. The cells originally infected with HIV die naturally within a short period of time, reducing the likelihood for HIV to establish itself in the body.
WHO IS PEP FOR?
PEP is for anyone who thinks they may have been exposed to HIV. Some of the most common reasons for needing PEP include:
- Having condomless anal sex or if the condom breaks/slips off during sex
- Sharing needles or syringes with a person who has or may have HIV
WHEN SHOULD I TAKE PEP?
PEP should be started as soon as possible or within a few hours after the risk event. If it is not started within 72 hours (3 days) of exposure to HIV it is likely that the drug will be ineffective.
WHAT IF I TEST POSITIVE AFTER PEP?
If you test positive for HIV it is important to start treatment right away. But don’t freak out, living with HIV is not as hard as you may think. The myriad of treatment methods now available has made HIV a very manageable condition.
WHERE CAN I GET PEP?
For more info about PEP and to find locations to access PEP in your area, visit the www.getpep.info website.