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PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is medicine that reduces your chances of getting HIV from sex or injection drug use. When taken as prescribed, PrEP is highly effective for preventing HIV.


PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) means taking medicine to prevent HIV after a possible exposure.

PEP Must Be Started Within 72 Hours of Possible Exposure to HIV Talk right away (within 72 hours) to your health care provider, an emergency room doctor, or an urgent care provider about PEP if you think you’ve recently been exposed to HIV:

  • during sex (for example, if the condom broke),

  • through sharing needles, syringes, or other equipment to inject drugs (for example, cookers), or

  • if you’ve been sexually assaulted.

The sooner you start PEP, the better. Every hour counts. If you’re prescribed PEP, you’ll need to take it daily for 28 days.

PEP is for Emergency Situations

  • PEP is given after a possible exposure to HIV.

  • PEP is not a substitute for regular use of other HIV prevention.

  • PEP is not the right choice for people who may be exposed to HIV frequently.

  • If you are at ongoing risk for HIV, such as through repeated exposures to HIV, talk to your health care provider about PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis).

PEP is available from BAO and the Magic City Wellness Center during normal business hours. BAO can provide assistance on Monday-Thursday 11:00AM-5:30PM. Magic City Wellness Center is available Monday and Wednesday 8:00AM-5:00PM, Tuesday and Thursday 9:00AM-6:00PM. 

Both centers are closed on Friday. If you need assistance with PEP after hours or during a time when BAO and MCWC are closed, please contact the Jefferson County Department of Public Health or your nearest Hospital Emergency Department. 

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