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PEP (Post-Exposure Prophylaxis)

PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) is an emergency pill taken after exposure to HIV, that prevents HIV infection. PEP is for people who may have been exposed to HIV in the last 3 days.

Planned Parenthood's expert providers can help you decide if PEP is right for you.

Planned Parenthood Accepts Insurance.

Planned Parenthood is in-network for most plans. If you don't have insurance or are concerned about cost, you can talk with our staff to discuss payment options. 

What is PEP?

PEP is taken in emergency situations after exposure to HIV. It should be started within 72 hours (3 days) of exposure. The sooner you start, the better it works. 

PEP is an antiretroviral medication (ART), which means it works to stop HIV from spreading through your body. You take PEP 1-2 times a day for at least 28 days. Once you finish the series, you will have follow-up testing. 

Read About PEP
Is PEP the right option for me?

PEP may be right for you if:

  • You think you were exposed to HIV during sexual activities

  • You were sexually assaulted

  • You shared needles with someone who might have HIV

If you think you were exposed to HIV, in the last 3 days, go to a medical provider or the emergency room immediately. It is important to start PEP as soon as you can for it to be effective.

How do I get PEP?

You can get PEP at any of Planned Parenthood's health centers. It's also available at some doctor's offices and from the emergency room. It's extremely important to start PEP as soon as possible. If you can't access a doctor or nurse right away, go to the emergency room. 

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What is the difference between PEP and PrEP?

PEP and PrEP are not the same! 

PEP is an emergency pill for preventing HIV infection, after exposure to HIV.  PEP can help prevent HIV if started within 3-days after exposure to HIV. 

PrEP is a daily pill for preventing HIV infection. PrEP is for people who are HIV-negative and at risk of getting HIV from sexual activities or injecting drugs.

Learn about PrEP
How else can I prevent HIV?

HIV is spread through semen, vaginal fluids, blood, and breast milk. 

If you’re going to have sex, using protection like condoms is the best way to protect yourself from HIV.

Also, don’t share needles for shooting drugs, piercings, or tattoos.

Learn about Prevention

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Preventing HIV After Exposure

Preventing HIV After Exposure

Planned Parenthood provides high quality care that supports and respects everyone's right to make decisions about their health.

National Leaders in Sexual Health.

Planned Parenthood is a leading-edge provider of sexual health care, including  emergency contraception, PrEP, STI testing and treatment, and more. Millions across the country trust us to provide honest, unbiased information in a safe, supportive environment.


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