"PEP" stand for post-exposure prophylaxis. The word "prophylaxis" mean to prevent or control the spread of an injection of disease. The goal of PEP is to prevent someone from acquiring HIV after a potential exposure. PEP has been used for a long time to treat possible exposures within the healthcare workforce from needle sticks and other bloodborne pathogen exposures. 

"nPEP" refers to using this same intervention strategy for potential exposures outside of workplace. In other words, non-occupational situations. 

PEP/nPEP is a 28-day course of antiretroviral medications that can be taken to help stop HIV AFTER a potential exposure. The medication has be started within 72 hours of the event and is more effective the earlier it is taken. Since potential exposures are not planned events, it is easiest to get nPEP by calling your primary care provider or visiting your closest emergency room. 

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This website was created by the HIV Special Projects Division of NuCara Pharmacy in partnership with STOP HIV IOWA.  If you have questions or comments, please use the CONTACT US box on the HOME page of this website.

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