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PrEP vs. PEP

Have you ever heard of the acronym, PrEP or PEP? If you are not familiar with these, please allow us to explain.

PrEP stands for, “Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis”. PrEP is a medication that is taken once a day to prevent HIV. PrEP is extremely effective when taken as prescribed. It reduces about 97% of HIV transmission through sex and is 74% effective when using injection drugs. Talk with your healthcare provider about starting PrEP to prevent HIV.

PEP stands for, “Post-Exposure Prophylaxis”. PEP is an antiretroviral drug that is used after a single high-risk event. An Example of when PEP is appropriate would be immediately following a sexual assault. The most important aspect of PEP is that it must begin within 72 hours of exposure. Therefore, anyone who had a possible exposure should go to the nearest emergency room immediately.  Remember, to be honest, and provide as much information as possible to the ER staff.  The more information they have, the better they will be able to treat you.   

Hopefully these explanations will help you remember: PrEP is taken every day to prevent HIV and PEP is taken after a high-risk exposure.

Are you curious about PrEP and PEP? Have more questions? Look no further, Northwest Health Services has its very own Prevention Specialist. You can call Janet Miller at 816-901-1034 for all your PrEP and PEP questions.