Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is an emergency
treatment that can reduce your chances of becoming
infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, after
you had a high risk exposure, for example
unprotected sex or sharing needles. The treatment is an emergency
because the medical services must begin within 72
hours (3 days) of the exposure. The sooner you
begin PEP treatment, the more effective it will be.
PEP consists of 28 days of antiretroviral drug
therapy - medicines in pill form that slow down or
stop HIV from reproducing in the body.
Antiretroviral drugs are the type of medicine that
HIV-positive people take to stay healthy.