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PrEP and PEP

Updated: Jan 30

PrEP and PEP are medications you can take to prevent exposure to HIV. These can be extremely effective in helping people who are at high risk of exposure.


What is PrEP?


Vector graphic of two pills, one round and one long

Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is a preventative medicine that when used as prescribed is effective in preventing the risk of contracting HIV from sex. It is an oral medication that is taken once per day.


It must be taken for at least seven days to best prevent HIV. If you are in a high-risk group for HIV/AIDS, talk to a medical provider about whether PrEP is right for you.



What is PEP?


Post-exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) is a medicine used after high-risk exposure to HIV. PEP stops HIV from spreading in the body, so it lowers your chances of getting it.

Vector graphic of a pill bottle

If you believe you may have been exposed to HIV through sex, you have up to 72 hours to start PEP. If you start PEP after 3 days, it won’t work. You can get PEP at most emergency rooms and some doctors’ offices.


Important: Keep in mind that PEP isn’t a one-time pill. It’s taken for 28 days and should only be taken in an emergency by those who have had a high-risk exposure to HIV.


Get Tested Today


HIV testing is fast and easy. The Affordable Care Act ensures HIV screening is covered by health insurance without a copay, and some sites offer free testing without insurance.


Check out the STI Clinic Search to find out where you can be tested in South Florida.


 

References


About HIV/AIDS | HIV Basics | HIV/AIDS | CDC. (n.d.). https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/basics/whatishiv.html


What is HIV? What is AIDS? | How Can You Get HIV? (n.d.). Planned Parenthood. https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/stds-hiv-safer-sex/hiv-aids

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