Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) involves taking anti-HIV medications as soon as possible after you may have been exposed to HIV to try to reduce the chance of becoming HIV positive. PEP is effective in preventing HIV, but not 100%.
PEP must be started within 72 hours of exposure. PEP normally consists of a combination of anti-HIV drugs. The Emergency Department can provide your first dose of PEP if it’s determined the treatment is right for you based on how you were exposed to HIV.
Who needs PEP?
PEP can be given to people who may have been exposed to HIV during a single event (e.g., healthcare worker who sustains accidental needle stick, unprotected sex, needle-sharing, or sexual assault).
When should I take PEP if I've been exposed?
To be effective, PEP must begin as soon as possible, but always within 72 hours of exposure. The sooner it is taken, the greater possibility of reducing your chance of becoming HIV-positive. PEP treatment is available in the Emergency Department at both Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center and Twin Cities Community Hospital.