Sometimes stuff just happens. If you think you may have been exposed to HIV, and you're not on PrEP, PEP can prevent HIV infection when taken within 72 hours of exposure.

If you've been on PEP at least once in the last year, think about starting PrEP to prevent HIV infection more proactively.

Below you'll find information on PEP, a step-by-step on what to do in case you need PEP, and a short video explaining the difference between PrEP & PEP. 


PEP is Post-Exposure Prophylaxis

PEP stands for Post-exposure Prophylaxis.

PEP is medication to help prevent HIV infection after you've been exposed to HIV.  It's different than PrEP, or Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis which is a medication that you take every day, to prevent HIV infection.

If you think you've been exposed to HIV and you're not on PrEP, taking PEP within 72 hours of exposure can help prevent HIV infection. 

Step-by-Step for PEP treatment:

  1. As soon as you realize you may have been exposed to HIV, go to the emergency department at a hospital nearest you, within 72 hours. 
  2. Be prepared to share details of how you think you were exposed with the medical staff. Bring along a trusted friend or family member for moral support if you can. 
  3. Your doctor will require you to take some tests. You'll also get prescriptions for PEP medications. 
  4. Get your prescriptions filled as soon as you can. The Village Pharmacy has PEP meds in stock always and we can answer any questions you might have about taking PEP.  We're open Monday to Friday 10am to 7pm and Saturday 10am to 6pm. 
  5. Take all your medication as prescribed, usually about 28 days.
  6. Once things have settled down, you may consider talking to your family physician about starting PrEP.

If you have any questions about PEP or insurance coverage, talk to us at The Village Pharmacy. We're here to help.


Get more information on PEP from these trusted resources (external links)

PEP Fact Sheet


The difference between PrEP & PEP

Dr. Demetre explains the difference between PrEP -- PRE-exposure prophylaxis -- and PEP -- POST exposure prophylaxis. The second installment of #AskTheHIVDoc, the popular Greater Than AIDS Youtube series in which top HIV doctors answer your questions.