Sexual health and contraceptive services

HIV Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP)

Post Exposure Prophylaxis is a course of medication that can reduce the chances of you becoming HIV positive after you've been exposed to the virus.

PEP stands for Post Exposure Prophylaxis. It's a treatment that may prevent HIV infection after the virus has entered the body.

Here are some things to consider when you're thinking about PEP:

  • it can reduce the risk of someone getting HIV
  • it involves taking anti-HIV drugs for 4 weeks
  • it must be started as soon as possible after unsafe sex or a condom not working – and definitely within 72 hours (3 days)
  • there can be side effects
  • PEP is not guaranteed to work.

Where can I get HIV treatment locally?

HIV PEP (Post Exposure Prophylaxis) treatment is available from GUM (Genito-Urinary Medicine) clinics, also known as sexual health clinics.

GUM clinics are open access which means you can attend any GUM clinic in the country – it does not have to be the one closest to where you live.

Bedford Hospital GUM (link opens in new window) – details of clinic times and how to make an appointment.

Telephone: 01234 792146

Luton Sexual Health (link opens in new window) – details of clinic times and how to make an appointment.

Telephone: 01582 497 070

If you need HIV PEP but cannot access a GUM department in time, hospital Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments can administer HIV PEP. Please phone and check before you travel to A&E.

Please visit Safe Sex in Beds (link opens in new window) for more information.

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