Post-exposure prophylaxis involves taking a 28-day course of anti-HIV drugs, after possible exposure to HIV. It may be used by healthcare workers (occupational PEP) or after sex (post-exposure prophylaxis after sexual exposure, PEPSE, also known as non-occupational PEP or nPEP).

PEP: latest news

PEP resources

  • Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP)

    PEP involves taking a 28-day course of anti-HIV drugs, after possible exposure to HIV.Doctors will assess your risk of HIV infection before prescribing PEP.PEP is available from...

    From: Factsheets

    Information level Level 2
  • Using anti-HIV drugs to prevent HIV

    The goal of HIV treatment is an undetectable viral load. An undetectable viral load means that your blood has a level of HIV below the level which...

    From: Booklets

    Information level Level 2
  • Sex

    Having HIV can affect people’s feelings about sex in many different ways. Some people become anxious about passing HIV on, or feel less desirable. While some people go...

    From: Booklets

    Information level Level 2
  • Post-exposure prophylaxis

    Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) has been in use, in healthcare settings, since 1988. Providing PEP after sexual exposure is more controversial....

    From: Preventing HIV

    Information level Level 4
  • Post-exposure prophylaxis

    Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is a course of HIV medication that may block HIV infection. Although no antiretroviral has been licensed for use as prophylaxis against...

    From: HIV transmission & testing

    Information level Level 4
  • Protective measures

    This section examines research on the effectiveness of a range of methods which aim to prevent HIV transmission. As well as male condoms, the section...

    From: HIV transmission & testing

    Information level Level 4

PEP in your own words

  • Needlestick injury

    I am an HIV-positive doctor. I was infected courtesy of a lapse in concentration and a needlestick injury at work. The prescribed dual post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) was taken for one...

    From: In your own words

PEP news from aidsmap

More news

PEP news selected from other sources

  • HIV Post-Exposure Prophylaxis Often Prescribed for Anxiety, not Need

    A retrospective review of HIV-1 post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) finds it is often prescribed in response to patients' emotional stress rather than according to treatment guidelines.

    09 November 2018 | MD Magazine
  • New York City's Hotline for HIV Exposure a Success, Study Finds

    Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is a proven way to prevent HIV transmission after a possible exposure. Though access to PEP has been spotty, a dial-in hotline program in New York City has helped qualified patients access PEP at their local pharmacies, raising the possibility that remote screening methods could be an important way to bolster PEP use.

    23 October 2018 | The Body Pro
  • Over 2,000 people in British Columbia are now prescribed on new life-saving HIV prevention drug

    Strong numbers on the uptake of a new provincial government-funded drug program that significantly reduces the likelihood of HIV infection could have a major impact on BC’s growth rate of new cases of HIV.

    30 June 2018 | Daily Hive
  • New Zealand sees drop in people diagnosed with HIV

    The number of people diagnosed with HIV in New Zealand has significantly dropped, according to the AIDS Epidemiology Group of Otago University. It has been the first time the number has decreased since 2011. Last year, 197 people were diagnosed, a drop of 46 compared to 2016 when 243 people were diagnosed with HIV. Dr Sue McAllister said despite the drop being encouraging, it was too early to determine whether the decline would be maintained.

    20 June 2018 | 1 News Now
  • Study finds high burden of psychosocial issues among PEP users

    74% had at least one psychosocial issue, including depression and/or problematic drug or alcohol use. Furthermore, nearly half of participants had more than one issue.

    15 June 2018 | CATIE
  • Activists Demand Gilead Rescind nPEP Patient Access Program's Once-Per-Lifetime Use Limit

    Gilead Sciences is coming under fire from HIV/AIDS activist groups for a recent change to its patient assistance program (PAP), which has imposed a once-per-lifetime limit on access to Truvada (tenofovir/FTC) as part of non-occupational post-exposure prophylaxis (nPEP). While the company will undertake "hardship reviews" for subsequent prescriptions, the activists say the process is unclear and will create a significant barrier to access, especially since nPEP should be started within 72 hours of possible exposure to HIV.

    02 February 2018 | The Body
  • A gay man’s first experience of using PEP

    In recent months I experienced something I never thought I’d have to deal with when I faced the possibility that I might have contracted HIV.

    30 January 2018 | Metro
  • London doctors on verge of defeating HIV thanks to new programme

    London doctors believe they could be on course to defeat HIV after a dramatic fall in the number of new infections, the Standard can reveal. An early intervention programme imported from San Francisco has seen a 42 per cent reduction in new cases of HIV at 56 Dean Street in Soho, the biggest sexual health clinic in Europe.

    11 January 2017 | London Evening Standard
  • Statement on the provision of PrEP and PEP

    The Association of Directors of Public Health is calling for NHS England to commission a national programme for PrEP and for their commissioning of PEP to include the open access sexual health services commissioned by local authorities... Correspondence from NHS England to local authority commissioners makes it clear that they will not reimburse PEP provided by local authorities' sexual health services.

    30 March 2016 | Association of Directors of Public Health
  • People Are So Desperate For The Drug That Blocks HIV They're “Cheating” The NHS

    It’s called “clinic hopping” and involves lying to doctors to get the drug Truvada. Those involved spoke to BuzzFeed News about the lengths they’ll go to for PrEP – and why.

    04 February 2016 | BuzzFeed News
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Our information levels explained

  • Short and simple introductions to key HIV topics, sometimes illustrated with pictures.
  • Expands on the previous level, but also written in easy-to-understand plain language.
  • More detailed information, likely to include medical and scientific language.
  • Detailed, comprehensive information, using medical and specialised language.
Community Consensus Statement on Access to HIV Treatment and its Use for Prevention

Together, we can make it happen

We can end HIV soon if people have equal access to HIV drugs as treatment and as PrEP, and have free choice over whether to take them.

Launched today, the Community Consensus Statement is a basic set of principles aimed at making sure that happens.

The Community Consensus Statement is a joint initiative of AVAC, EATG, MSMGF, GNP+, HIV i-Base, the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, ITPC and NAM/aidsmap
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This content was checked for accuracy at the time it was written. It may have been superseded by more recent developments. NAM recommends checking whether this is the most current information when making decisions that may affect your health.

NAM’s information is intended to support, rather than replace, consultation with a healthcare professional. Talk to your doctor or another member of your healthcare team for advice tailored to your situation.