Living safely with HIV

PrEP and PEP are medicines to prevent HIV. Each type is used in a different situation:

• PrEP stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis. It is for people who don’t already have HIV but are at very high risk of getting it. PrEP is daily medicine that can reduce this risk. With PrEP, if you do get exposed to HIV, the medicine can stop HIV from taking hold and spreading throughout your body. For instance, where a couple wants to have a child and one of them is HIV-positive and the other is HIV-negative, the one without HIV can take PrEP for some time before engaging in unprotected sex. However, PrEP does not protect against other STDs.

• PEP stands for post-exposure prophylaxis. PEP is for people who have possibly been exposed to HIV. It is only for emergency situations. PEP must be started within 72 hours after a possible exposure to HIV. For instance, if one was sexually assaulted and fears that they may have contracted HIV, they have to quickly consult a doctor within 72 hours of the incident to start PEP, and it should be taken daily for 28 days thereafter





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