Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP)

Fire extinguisher image to illustrate HIV post-exposure prophylaxis

PEP stands for Post-exposure prophylaxis. It is a 28 day course of HIV medicines that reduces the likelihood of HIV infection after you have been exposed.

PEP can be taken when there has been a risk that you have come into contact with HIV. This can be after unprotected sex or a condom break with someone who is at high risk of having HIV. It can also be taken if you have been sharing drug injecting equipment. PEP is not necessary for everyone who has had an episode of unprotected sex - you can discuss this in more detail with our staff.

PEP needs to be taken within 72 hours of exposure to be of any benefit, though the sooner you start the treatment the more likely it is to be effective.

You can obtain PEP at any GUM clinic or Accident and Emergency Department. Outside opening Hours (weekends and evenings) PEP can be obtained from the Accident and Emergency Department.