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Post-Exposure Prophylaxis

What is PEP?

PEP means taking antiretroviral medicines (ART) after being potentially exposed to HIV to prevent becoming infected. PEP must be started within 72 hours after a recent possible exposure to HIV, but the sooner you start PEP, the better. Every hour counts. If you’re prescribed PEP, you’ll need to take it once or twice daily for 28 days. PEP is effective at preventing HIV when administered correctly, but not 100%.

PEP is a good idea for you if in the last 72 hours you have:

  • Had unprotected anal or vaginal sex with a partner whose HIV status you may not know
  • Had sex during which the condom ripped
  • Shared injection equipment
  • Been sexually assaulted

A possible HIV exposure can be a scary experience. But remember, whatever happened during your possible exposure is not your fault. At APLA Health our compassionate and non-judgmental staff are here to help you through this time. Please book an appointment with us to get more information.

How can I get PEP?

Call us ASAP after exposure.
If you think you have been exposed to HIV within the past 72 hours, please call us immediately at 213.201.5000 so that we can guide you through the next steps.

Calling on a weekend or between 5 p.m. and 8 a.m. during the week? Go to the emergency department nearest to you:
Cedars Sinai Emergency Department
8700 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles 90048

St. Mary Medical Center Emergency Department
1050 Linden Ave., Long Beach, CA 90813

If you have Kaiser Permanente insurance, please go directly to a Kaiser urgent care or emergency department. They will be able to assist you further.

Request a PEP starter pack.
The emergency department will prescribe a PEP starter pack, which is a 3-5 day supply of PEP. PEP is made up of two medicines, most commonly Truvada and Tivicay.

After a PEP starter pack is given you will then need to come to APLA Health as soon as possible to get the remaining one month supply of PEP. Call us at 213.201.5000 to make an appointment.

We will return your call at the beginning of the next business day for your continuation of care.

I just finished PEP, now what?

Transitioning to PrEP after your PEP course may be a great idea for you. PrEP is one pill you take once a day for as long as you need it. Being on PrEP not only prevents you from getting HIV but prevents you from having to get on PEP again, which can be a scary and stressful experience. Speak to an Out Here PrEP counselor today about getting on PrEP. Here’s some more information about PrEP to get you started.