Post Exposure Prophylaxis (Treatment)

I think I might have put myself at risk of HIV, is there anything I can do?


PEP is a treatment to stop a person becoming infected with HIV after it’s got into their body.

It is a course of tablets lasting 1 month. It makes it a lot less likely for HIV infection to occur, but doesn’t work every time.

It might be used if you have had unprotected sex, or a condom has broken, and you are at high risk of contracting HIV. You would be considered higher risk if your partner has HIV, or is in a higher risk group such as a sex worker or IV drug user.


How soon should I take it?

The quicker you start PEP, the more likely it is to work. Ideally it should be started within 24 hours, but can be used up to 72 hours after unsafe sex.


Where can I get PEP?

PEP is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at the A&E department at the Balfour Hospital in Kirkwall - 01856 888 000

The doctor will assess your risk of contracting HIV. If the risk is significant you will be offered a starter pack. They will arrange for you to be seen by a HIV specialist to complete the course. PEP can cause unpleasant side-effects so it is not given to people at low risk of HIV.

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