Monday, March 4, 2024

How To Get Pep Hiv

Where Do I Get Pep

Exposed to HIV? Get PEP (Post-Exposure Prophylaxis) | Emen8

PEP is available from the Emergency Department of most public hospitals, sexual health clinics and some other clinics and doctors that specialise in gay mens health and HIV. If the exposure happens after hours, Emergency Departments are often the best place to go to make sure you start PEP as soon as possible.

You can find where you can get PEP on the Get PEP Now section of this website.

Guidelines For Prescribing Pep

In the UK, HIV and sexual health doctors have produced guidelines setting out when PEP may be an option to prevent sexual transmission of HIV. These take into account the type of sex you had and also what is known about the ‘source partner’, e.g. the person who has HIV or might have HIV. PEP may also be used when you have used injecting equipment previously used by someone who has, or may have, HIV.

sexually transmitted infections

Although HIV can be sexually transmitted, the term is most often used to refer to chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis, herpes, scabies, trichomonas vaginalis, etc.

These guidelines take into account the viral load of the person with HIV, if this is known. If someone with HIV is taking HIV treatment and it supresses their viral load to a very low level , there is no risk of passing HIV on during sex. PEP is not recommended in this situation.

When you go to get PEP, you will be asked about the sort of sex you have had, to assess how high your risk of HIV infection is. You will need to have an HIV test to check you dont already have HIV. You will also need to agree to be tested again when you have finished the course of PEP.

How Do You Know If You Need Pep

PEP may be right for you if you are HIV-negative or dont know your HIV status, and you think you may have been exposed to HIV in the last 72 hours:

  • During sex
  • Through shared needles, syringes, or other equipment used to inject drugs, or
  • Through sexual assault

Contact your health care provider immediately or go to an emergency room or urgent care clinic right away.

Your health care provider or emergency room doctor will evaluate you, help you decide whether PEP is right for you, and work with you to determine which medicines to take for PEP.

In addition, if you are a health care worker, you may be prescribed PEP after a possible exposure to HIV at work, such as from a needlestick injury.

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Tivicay & Descovy For Pep Treatment

PrEP2Me provides delivery within the 72-hour window of two common brands of PEP, Tivicay and Descovy, as well as the generic versions of each of those brands. Both Tivicay and Descovy are effective and safe to use for preventing HIV infection after immediate exposure.

  • Tivicay is a type of anti-HIV medication that has long been used as a post-encounter stopgap for staying HIV negative.
  • Descovy is a type of PrEP that can also be used for PEP at certain doses.

No matter which type of medication you take, patients should be aware of common PEP side effects, which include fatigue, stomach upset and a general sense of malaise. When you call our office and let us know youre in need of PEP, your physician will help you determine which type of medication is right for you.

Over 415000 Patients Cared For


Lisa S.

Crystal Lake, IL

DR. Allan Marks has helped my daughter two times and we cannot recommend them enough. My daughter has ADHD and can’t wait in a waiting room forever. This was the fastest and easiest way to get my daughter diagnosed and pick up a script. One time we used this service when no other doctor was open. Plush care was available! My daughter didn’t have to even leave the house in 6 degree weather . She had severe sinus infection and Dr. was not only clear and nice but looked up holiday pharmacy hours ahead of time to make sure I could pick up the script in time! AWESOME! 2nd time went just as smooth. Thank you!

Patrick S.

Alpharetta, GA

Wow. Wow. Wow.This is so easy and quick. I had a cold virus that turned into a sinus infection. I pulled over on my way to a meeting to video chat w a doctor.He was attentive, kind, and efficient. After a few questions, he diagnosed my ailment. The call took less than 10 mins.Prescription was at the pharmacy later that day.I will be a client for a long time. Thank you.


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What Happens When Im On Pep

PEP isnt just a one-time pill its a regimen where you take many pills over many weeks. If your nurse or doctor gives you PEP, youll need to take medicine 1-2 times a day for at least 28 days . Its important that you take every pill as directed and dont skip doses, otherwise PEP may not work as well.

PEP isnt 100% effective, and it won’t prevent future HIV infections like PrEP can. So its important to keep protecting yourself and others from HIV while youre on PEP. Use condoms every time you have sex. If you inject drugs, dont share needles or works. This helps protect you from being exposed to HIV again. And it lowers the chances of giving HIV to others if you do have it

If you develop symptoms like a fever or rash while using PEP, talk with your doctor. These may be signs of the beginning stages of HIV.

How Can People Access Pep

The Canadian PEP guidelines recommend that PEP should be readily available in places where it is likely to be needed urgently. These include emergency departments, sexual health clinics and other clinics serving populations at increased risk of HIV.

The decision to provide PEP lies with the healthcare provider and is made on a case-by-case basis. Many healthcare providers are unaware of non-occupational PEP or may be unwilling to prescribe it. The Canadian guidelines outline practical advice for physicians providing PEP, including how to assess risk in people who present for PEP, how to provide monitoring and follow-up, and recommended drug regimens.

People starting PEP may be offered a starter pack of pills, so that PEP can be started right away, along with a prescription that needs to be filled to receive the full 28-day course of medications. Most emergency departments will have PEP starter packs available.

Anti-HIV drugs are expensive: a month-long course of PEP can cost $900 or more, depending on the drugs used. Although occupational PEP is normally covered by workplace insurance, coverage for non-occupational PEP varies across Canada. Non-occupational PEP medications are covered by some private and public health insurance plans coverage varies depending on the province or territory and the type of exposure.


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Get Your Prescription Filled As Soon As Possible

You can download The Village Pharmacy app to make things easier. Send us your prescription via the app, or get in touch.

We always have PEP meds in stock and we will answer any questions you might have about taking PEP.

The Village Pharmacy is open Monday to Friday 9:30am to 7:30pm and Saturday 10am to 6pm.

What Is Post Exposure Prophylaxis

HIV – Let’s have a PEP talk

Post-exposure prophylaxis after sexual exposure is medication to prevent infection with HIV after a recent risk of exposure to the virus. In this situation the risk is unprotected sex with someone who is HIV positive or thought possibly to be HIV positive. Unprotected sex means sex without a condom, or sex with a condom which breaks or comes off during sex.

Do I need to take PEPSE?

If you are HIV negative or have never had an HIV test, you should seek advice if, in the last 72 hours-

  • You think you may have come into contact with HIV during unprotected sex, or-
  • You were sexually assaulted by a stranger

The risk of catching HIV from a single sex act is very small. However, research shows that becoming infected with HIV is less likely if you take PEPSE. PEPSE does not work every time and some people may be infected with HIV despite taking PEPSE. PEPSE is less likely to work if you miss tablets or if you dont complete the full 28 day course.

If you think you need PEPSE ask for help immediately. Do not delay, as every hour counts. The sooner PEP is started, the more likely it is to work within 24 hours is best, but no later than 72 hours . It is important for you to know that PEPSE is not always needed after unprotected sex. The drugs are the same ones taken by people with HIV, and for PEP to work they must be taken for four weeks

Where can I get PEP?

Find your nearest bSHaW Specialist Sexual Health Clinic here

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When Should I Start Pep

When it comes to PEP, time matters.

The sooner you start PEP, the more effective the treatment.

You must start taking PEP as soon as possible after HIV exposure, to help prevent HIV infection. Research has shown that the sooner you start PEP after exposure, ideally within 24 to 48 hours, the greater the chance that you’ll prevent HIV infection. PEP is not effective if you start taking it more than 72 hours after exposure.


Prevent HIV after exposure with PEP. You must start PEP within 72 hours of exposure. Find out how to get PEP here.

Are There Any Other Hiv Prevention Options

There are many easy and effective ways to prevent HIV. Other than PEP, HIV transmission can also be prevented by:

  • Using condoms with water or silicone-based lubricant during anal or vaginal sex.
  • Using clean, sterile injecting equipment.
  • Taking pre-exposure prophylaxis for people who are at risk of HIV transmission.
  • achieving and maintaining undetectable HIV viral loads if you are HIV-positive by taking HIV antiretroviral treatment as prescribed.

Depending on your risk factors and life circumstances, you may be more suited to other HIV prevention methods. It is important to find the right prevention method, or combination of methods, that works for you and your sexual partners.If you have used PEP more than once, you may wish to talk to your GP about starting pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP for HIV prevention. PrEP is a pill taken once a day and is 99% effective at preventing HIV transmission if taken consistently as prescribed.

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What Are Some Of The Safety Concerns Associated With Taking Pep

Drug resistance

A person with low adherence to PEP, who acquires HIV while taking PEP, could develop resistance to the drugs in PEP. If a persons HIV becomes resistant to the PEP drugs, those same HIV drugs may not work for treating their HIV.

Side effects

HIV drugs can cause side effects, such as nausea, fatigue and diarrhea. The nature and severity of the side effects depend on the type of drugs prescribed and the person who is taking them. The HIV drugs that are recommended for PEP in Canada are generally well tolerated and associated with minimal side effects.

How Can I Get Pep

Get Emergency HIV PEP Treatment NOW

In BC, PEP is available free of charge if someone has been exposed to HIV in their workplace or if someone has been sexually assaulted and may have been exposed to HIV. Non-occupational exposure PEP is available free of charge if someone has been exposed to HIV through consensual adult sex or sharing of drug use equipment.

If you think you have recently been exposed to HIV and you may benefit from PEP, you should be assessed by a clinician as soon as possible. Five-day starter kits for PEP are available in all emergency rooms in BC, as well as outpost nursing stations and provincial prisons. In Vancouver, nPEP is also available at select health clinics:

  • Bute Street Clinic, 1170 Bute Street, Vancouver
  • Downtown Community Health Centre, 569 Powell Street, Vancouver
  • Health Initiative for Men, #310 1033 Davie Street, Vancouver
  • St. Pauls Hospital Immunodeficiency Clinic, 1081 Burrard Street, Vancouver
  • Spectrum Health , #702 1080 Howe Street, Vancouver

It is best to start the 5-day treatment as soon as possible after potential exposure to HIV. If your clinician thinks the remaining 23 days of treatment are needed, the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS will provide you with the medication. When being assessed for PEP, the clinical staff will also talk to you about any follow-up testing and support that you may need.

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Can I Take Pep Every Time I Have Unprotected Sex

PEP is only for emergency situations. It is not the right choice for people who may be exposed to HIV frequently – for example, if you often have sex without a condom with a partner who is HIV-positive. In that case, you should talk to your health care provider about whether PrEP would be right for you.

What Is Involved In Taking Pep

First, a doctor or nurse will assess whether the risk of HIV transmission is high or low, using the risk assessment described above. If the risk is high enough, PEP will be prescribed.

PEP should only be used by people who are HIV negative. When a person starts PEP, an HIV test must be done to determine their HIV status. If the person is HIV positive they should be referred to HIV care and treatment.

If rapid HIV testing is not available, the test result may not be ready for one to two weeks however, PEP will be started immediately. PEP should be discontinued if the PEP user tests HIV positive, or if the contact person is confirmed to be HIV negative.

PEP medications need to be taken consistently and correctlyevery day for four weeksor the risk of HIV infection will increase. A counsellor, doctor, nurse, pharmacist or staff member at an AIDS Service Organization can suggest strategies to help a person adhere to the pill-taking schedule and/or manage any side effects of the drugs.

A person taking PEP needs monitoring for side effects and other complications such as drug toxicity, though this is rare. Blood tests may be needed to ensure that the medications are not causing harm to the body. If side effects and toxicity are a problem, a doctor may decide to change one or more of the drugs being used for PEP.

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Who Can Use Pep

PEP is for people who may have been exposed to HIV in the last 3 days. PEP might be right for you if:

  • You had sex with someone who may have HIV and didnt use a condom, or the condom broke

  • You were sexually assaulted

  • You shared needles or works with someone who may have HIV

If you were exposed to HIV in the last 3 days and want PEP, see a nurse or doctor or go to the emergency room immediately. Timing is really important. You must start PEP as soon as you can after being exposed to HIV for it to work.

PEP is for emergencies. It cant take the place of proven, ongoing ways to prevent HIV like using condoms, taking PrEP , and not sharing needles or works. If you know you may be exposed to HIV often , talk to your nurse or doctor about PrEP.

If youre a health care worker and think you may have been exposed to HIV at work, go to your doctor or the emergency room right away. Then report the incident to your supervisor. HIV transmission in health care settings is extremely rare, and there are procedures and safety devices that can lower your chances of coming into contact with HIV while caring for patients.

How Will I Take Pep

Preventing HIV with PEP and PrEP

If the health care provider decides to prescribe PEP to you, the medication will be explained in detail at the time of your visit. You will be asked to fill the prescription and take the medication as directed. If PEP is obtained through an emergency room, you may be given the first dose along with a few days supply in order to give you time to fill the prescription for the rest.

Once you begin taking PEP, it is important to continue taking the medication as directed. Stopping or skipping doses may be dangerous. PEP is prescribed for 28 days, meaning you must take the medication each day for 28 days. Do not skip doses. PEP may not work correctly if taken in combination with certain medications. Before starting PEP, be certain to discuss any medications youre taking with your health care provider and the pharmacist filling you prescription. Be sure to discuss any over-the-counter drugs, herbal medicines, and vitamins youre taking.

You should only stop taking PEP if your healthcare provider instructs you to do so. You must complete the full course of medication to have the best chance of stopping HIV infection.

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Does Howard Brown Offer Pep

Yes! Howard Brown offers PEP to patients on a walk-in basis. If you believe you have been exposed to HIV, you can come to Howard Brown during our regular hours of operation to receive treatment. Patients without insurance may qualify for low-cost services, and staff will be available to help you figure out how to pay for the medication. Howard Brown Health always has a healthcare provider on call to help navigate you outside of regular business hours.

For additional information, call 773.388.8889 or walk in during our hours of operation.

If you are unable to come during regular hours of operation, seek PEP through the nearest emergency room.

When Is Pep Recommended

  • Receptive anal sex: PEP is recommended if you have had receptive anal sex with someone who is known to be HIV positive or who is thought to be from a high-prevalence country or risk group, e.g. from sub-Saharan Africa or a man who has sex with men . The exception to this is if the person you had sex with is known to be on HIV treatment and to have an undetectable viral load.
  • Insertive anal sex: PEP is recommended if you have had insertive anal sex with someone who is known to be HIV positive, unless they have an undetectable viral load.
  • Vaginal sex: PEP is recommended for women who have had vaginal sex with a man who is known to be HIV positive, unless he has an undetectable viral load. It will be considered for men who have had vaginal sex with a woman who is known to be HIV positive, unless she has an undetectable viral load.
  • Non-sterile injection equipment: PEP is recommended if you have used injecting equipment previously used by someone who is known to be HIV positive, unless they have an undetectable viral load.

PEP may be considered if you have given oral sex to a man known to be HIV positive, who has ejaculated into your mouth, only if your mouth is injured or he has a very high viral load. PEP is not recommended in other circumstances, including cunnilingus , semen splashes on skin or in eyes, human bites, or a needlestick injury in the community.

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