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 PEP locally?
HIV PEP 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.
There are two GUM clinics in Bedfordshire:
Bedford Hospital GUM (link opens in new window) – details of clinic times and how to make an appointment.
Tel: 01234 792146
Luton and Dunstable Hospital GUM (link opens in new window) – details of clinic times and how to make an appointment.
Tel: 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.