PEP, what is it?
Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) is a medication regimen that you can take if you believe you have just been exposed to HIV. Taking PEP as directed can prevent you from acquiring HIV. PEP must be taken within 72 hours of exposure, but should be taken as soon as possible to maximize the chance it will work. If you believe you have been exposed to HIV and are interested in PEP, don’t wait.
If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you should seek PEP immediately:
- Have you just experienced sexual assault?
- Did you just have unprotected vaginal or anal sex with someone who you know is living with HIV or whose status you do not know? (Unprotected means that a condom was not used, or that the condom broke or slipped off during sex.)
- Did you share needles (for drugs, hormones, or tattoos) or other drug injection equipment (works) with someone you either know is living with HIV or whose HIV status you don’t know?
What about the Cost of PEP?
THRIVE is providing free and full access to PEP services. The PEP medications and the necessary follow-up appointments are covered by most insurances. If you do not have insurance or have trouble paying for PEP, there are financial assistance options available to help pay for the medication and lab costs. THRIVE at the Aliveness Project covers lab tests, STI screening, and PEP prescription.
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