PEP is only given to people who are HIV negative but think they have come into contact with HIV. If you have been raped or sexually assaulted, are a person who injects drugs and shares needles, or you had sex without a condom or exposed due to a burst condom, PEP is for you.
Note: PEP should be used only in emergency situations – it doesn’t replace other proven HIV prevention methods. Consider taking PrEP if you’ve been on PEP more than once in a 6-month period.
It is very important that you take PEP within 72 hours (3 days) of being exposed to HIV.
Remember! PEP can prevent HIV when taken correctly but it is not 100% effective. While you’re on PEP treatment, make sure you continue to use condoms with sex partners and use safe injection practices if you’re a person who injects drugs. This way, you’re protected from being exposed to HIV again and you can reduce the chances of transmitting HIV to others if you become infected while on PEP.
How do I get PEP?
If you need to get PEP, you must go to your nearest clinic. If they don’t have PEP, they will tell you which healthcare facilities do. You can also click here to find your nearest clinic.
Before getting PEP:
When you arrive at the clinic, you will be tested for HIV. You should get counselling before the test and after you get your results.
- If you test HIV positive, you don’t need to take PEP. Your healthcare provider will let you know what the next steps are for you to get treatment.
- If you test HIV negative, you will be given your course of PEP, which you must take for 28 days (4 weeks). You must finish the medication course. You will be tested again for HIV after 6 weeks, 3 months and then 6 months. Your healthcare provider will tell you when you can stop taking PEP.
If you have been raped or sexually assaulted, there is support for you.
Click here to learn more about PEP
Wondering what to do if you think you’ve been exposed to HIV? Take this quiz.