WHAT IS PEP?
Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (usually called PEP) is a course of ARVs (antiretroviral tablets used to treat HIV) given to someone who is HIV-negative, after he has had a high-risk event of getting HIV. This could be a condom breaking during anal sex, especially if he was the bottom (receptive partner). PEP reduces his risk of becoming infected.
WHAT IS PrEP?
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is an HIV prevention strategy where HIV-negative people take medications daily to prevent them from becoming positive if they are exposed to the virus. PrEP has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of HIV infection in sexually active adults and in people who use drugs.
Men who have been raped are likely to need PEP unless they are already HIV-positive. The pills must be taken correctly, at the same time every day for 28 days.
If you take PrEP daily, you lower the risk of being infected with HIV. Regular testing and STI screening (every 3 months) will ensure that if you should become infected, it will be detected early.
You can stop taking PrEP altogether if you no longer think that you need it, but you need to speak to your doctor first.
If you think you are HIV-negative and may have been infected, contact
your healthcare provider as soon as possible, always within 72 hours after the risk took place. The sooner you start PEP the better it works. The healthcare provider will check to see whether you are already HIV-positive – PEP can only be used by HIV-negative people to prevent infection.