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    Ocean Health Initiatives
    What is PEP?
    PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) means taking medicine to prevent HIV after a possible exposure.

    PEP Must Be Started Within 72 Hours Of Possible Exposure To HIV​

    Talk right away (within 72 hours) to your health care provider, an emergency room doctor, or an urgent care provider about PEP if you think you’ve recently been exposed to HIV:

    • during sex (for example, if the condom broke),
    • through sharing needles, syringes, or other equipment to inject drugs (for example, cookers), or
    • if you’ve been sexually assaulted.

    The sooner you start PEP, the better. Every hour counts. If you’re prescribed PEP, you’ll need to take it daily for 28 days.

    PEP is for Emergency Situations

    • PEP is given after a possible exposure to HIV.
    • PEP is not a substitute for regular use of other HIV prevention.
    • PEP is not the right choice for people who may be exposed to HIV frequently.
    • If you are at ongoing risk for HIV, such as through repeated exposures to HIV, talk to your health care provider about PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis).

    How well does PEP work?

    If taken within 72 hours after possible exposure, PEP is highly effective in preventing HIV. But to be safe, you should take other actions to protect your partners while you are taking PEP.  This includes always using condoms with sexual partners and not sharing needles, syringes, or other equipment to inject drugs.

    Are there any side effects?

    • PEP is safe but may cause side effects like nausea in some people.
    • In almost all cases, these side effects can be treated and aren’t life-threatening.
    Ocean Health Initiatives
    Schedule an Appointment

    If you believe you have been exposed to HIV, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. At Ocean Health Initiative, we offer post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) to help reduce the risk of HIV infection after a potential exposure. Our experienced healthcare professionals are here to provide compassionate care and support throughout the PEP treatment process. To schedule a PEP consultation or to learn more about our HIV services, contact us today.