It consists of taking a series of anti-HIV drugs always within 72 hours after a possible exposure to the HIV virus

What is PEP?

The acronym PEP comes from “post-exposure prophylaxis”. That is, it consists of taking a series of anti-HIV drugs always within 72 hours after a possible exposure to the HIV virus, always under medical indications and always considering that it is a real and considered case of risk.


As we mentioned before, it will always be under medical criteria who can and can not prescribe said medication, but there are a number of criteria that must be taken into account:

  • Have had unprotected sex with a person whose seroconversion status is unknown.
  • Has shared needles or drug preparation equipment.
  • He has suffered a sexual assault.
  • He is a health worker and has received an accidental puncture.

We remind you that, despite fulfilling any of these requirements, it can never be prescribed after 72 hours of possible infection, and the sooner you can receive it, the better it will be.


If you have already received the medical approval, you should know that most of the medications used in the PEP are the same ones that are used as treatment for HIV. These can sometimes cause side effects, but they are not deadly at all, and they all eventually disappear over time.

This treatment lasts for 28 days, and you must take 1 or 2 pills without exception. Once those 28 days have elapsed, it will always be advisable to carry out a verification test after the window period after the last take of the PEP.

It must be said that the use of PEP is not 100% effective, therefore while you are taking this medication and until you have proven that you do not have HIV, you should use protection.

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