What to Do if You Might Have Been Exposed to HIV
What is it?
- Post Exposure Prophylaxis (or PEP) is an experimental regimen of HIV medication that is sometimes offered to people who have been exposed to HIV in a high-risk way
- PEP may lessen but does not eliminate the chance of infection
- PEP is generally a highly active antiretroviral therapy lasting 28 days
Who should use it?
- PEP was originally used for healthcare workers who were exposed to HIV+ blood, Since 2005, the U.S. Department of Health has recommended it for some people who have high-risk sex with an HIV positive person
- As far as sex goes, PEP is generally only prescribed for unprotected anal intercourse
- PEP must be used within 72 hours after exposure. The sooner you take it the more effective it will be.
How do I decide?
- PEP is not the “morning after pill” for HIV
- PEP could possibly lead to having drug-resistant strains of HIV later
- PEP involves powerful drugs that can have very unpleasant side effects, and you have to take the pills for close to a month
- PEP can be very expensive: $600-1000
- PEP is offered at San Francisco City Clinic. PEP is also available at SFGH when City Clinic is closed.
- You can call (415) 487-5538 to discuss your situation with a clinician before coming to the clinic for services. Clinic walk-in hours at 356 7th Street for
- PEP services are:
* Monday, Wednesday, Friday 8:00am - 4:00pm
* Tuesday 1:00pm - 5:00pm
* Thursday 1:00pm - 3:00pm
- inSPOT - The inSPOT San Francisco information page on PEP.
- NCCC PEP Hotline – The National Clinicians Consultation Center PEP hotline for providers with 24/7 advice on PEP questions.
- Department of Health Report on PEP – A 2005 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in depth analysis of PEP.