Is there any medicine I can take to prevent HIV after unprotected sex?
By Attia @ Planned Parenthood | Jan. 15, 2020, 6:36 p.m.
Is there any medicine to prevent HIV after unexpected within 72 hours?
Yes. If you think you may have been exposed to HIV and want to lower your chances of getting the virus, you can take something called PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) — a series of pills you can take within 72 hours (or 3 days) after you’ve been exposed to HIV. The sooner you start, the better it works — every hour matters. After the first dose, you take PEP 1-2 times a day for at least 28 days.
The medicines used in PEP are called antiretroviral medications (ART). These medicines work by stopping HIV from spreading through your body. However, PEP is for emergencies only. You can get PEP from emergency rooms, at Planned Parenthood health centers, and some nurses and doctors’ offices. Make sure you call ahead to make sure they have the medicine in stock.
There are many ways to prevent HIV — like using condoms, taking PrEP (a daily pill that lowers your chances of getting HIV), and not sharing needles. Getting tested regularly for STDs is also a great way of knowing your status.