PEP (Post-Exposure Prophylaxis)

PEP is a way to help prevent the transmission of HIV in an HIV-negative person who may have been recently exposed to the virus. It involves taking HIV medications as soon as possible after a potential exposure to HIV. Anyone who thinks they may have been exposed to HIV should contact their family doctor or nurse practitioner, a hospital emergency room or sexual health clinic immediately to see if they offer PEP.

PEP is very effective but will not prevent 100% of HIV transmissions from occurring. It must be started within 72 hours of exposure to HIV. For PEP to be effective, a person must have high adherence to the full course of PEP drugs and should have no further exposures to HIV. PEP consists of a combination of three HIV medications which you have to take consistently for 28 days. You may be provided with a few days’ supply of PEP to start taking it right away, and be given a prescription to for the remainder of the 28 days.

*There may be a cost to PEP for some people. This cost varies from person-to-person, situation-by-situation. PEP may be covered by some private insurance plans but is currently not covered by the Newfoundland and Labrador Prescription Drug Plan (NLPDP). A full 28-day course of PEP can cost a person upwards of $900 or more.

Learn more about PEP: