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Block HIV

Do you think you have been exposed to HIV? PEP can help you stop HIV! 

What is PEP?

Post = After

Exposure = Coming into contact with

Prophylaxis = Something that prevents infection

Post-exposure prophylaxis, or PEP, is a way to prevent HIV infection in an emergency. PEP involves taking a combination of two medications for 28 days. It is important to start PEP as soon as possible, but no more than 72 hours after the exposure (for example, an unprotected sexual encounter or a needle stick). PEP is a safe and effective prevention tool, but does not guarantee that a person will not become infected after an exposure.

How can I get PEP?

You can get PEP from your regular primary care provider.

If you do not have a primary care provider but need to talk to a doctor about PEP, you can come to Health Center 1 located at 500 S. Broad Street, and mention that you may have been exposed to HIV. A doctor will talk to you and determine if PEP is the right choice for you.

If so, you will receive a five-day supply of medication and a referral for a follow-up appointment. Remember, PEP is time-sensitive, so be sure to come in as soon as possible after you think you may have been exposed.

You can also walk into an emergency room or urgent care center. 

I don’t have health insurance. Can I still get PEP?

Yes. Health Center 1 serves all comers, regardless of insurance status, residence, or ability to pay. Can't come to Health Center 1? That's OK. Call this number 215-985-2437 and someone can assist you.

How much will I have to pay for PEP medication?

At Health Center 1, you will not be charged for your PEP medication, regardless of your insurance status. If you go somewhere else, the cost can vary. 

Can I take PEP every time I have unprotected sex?

PEP is meant to be used in emergency situations. If you are worried about getting HIV, you may wish to consider PrEP, a one-pill, once-a-day regimen that can be used for protection over a longer period of time.

Does PEP have any side effects?

Just as with any medication, PEP can cause some side effects. For example, some people experience nausea while taking PEP. The side effects of PEP can be treated and are not life-threatening. You can always discuss any concerns you may have about side effects with your doctor.

What is the difference between PrEP and PEP?

#AskTheHIVDoc 14: PrEP vs PEP? (1:36)


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