November 11, 2020


Worried you’ve been exposed to HIV?

Let’s talk about PEP — a medicine you can take after a recent potential exposure. (Different from PrEP, the daily medicine you can take before potentially coming into contact with HIV.)

Post-exposure prophylaxis, or PEP, can prevent HIV after possible exposure, like if you were having sex and the condom broke, or:

  • through sharing needles, syringes, or other equipment to inject drugs (for example, cookers);
  • if you’ve been sexually assaulted; or
  • at work (for example, in a health care setting).

PEP is for emergency situations and must be started within 72 hours (3 days) after a recent possible exposure to HIV. The sooner, the better.

Call 207-922-3222 to talk to a Maine Family Planning expert about taking PEP. Our clinicians can prescribe PEP after any type of high-risk event (occupational or non-occupational). MFP offers compassionate, non-judgmental care at 18 clinics statewide and online via telehealth.

If you’re prescribed PEP, you’ll need to take it daily for 28 days.

Cost should not be a barrier to taking PEP. MFP offers a sliding-fee scale for appointments and serves patients regardless of ability to pay. Your insurance may cover PEP. You may also qualify for free PEP through medication assistance programs run by the manufacturers. Our staff can help you figure it out.

Remember, PEP is only for emergencies. For regular protection against HIV, get tested, practice safer sex, and talk to your provider about whether PrEP, a daily medication, is right for you.

If any of this information is new to you, please share it with a friend or loved one! Increased knowledge empowers us to live safe and healthy lives, on our own terms.