PrEP & PEP for HIV Prevention
Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV Prevention
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (or PrEP) is a medication for people without HIV who are at very high risk for contracting HIV from sex or injection drug use. If the PrEP medication is used as prescribed, it is highly effective for preventing HIV.
Is PrEP right for you? You should consider taking PrEP if you are HIV-negative and you:
- have an HIV-positive partner
- share needles or equipment to inject drugs
- recently went to a drug treatment program
- are at risk for getting HIV from sex
- have multiple partners, a partner with multiple partners, or a partner whose HIV status is unknown - and you also
- have anal sex without a condom
- recently had a sexually transmitted infection (STI)
- don't always use a condom for sex with people who inject drugs
- don't always use a condom for sex with bisexual men
Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) for HIV Prevention
Post-exposure prophylaxis (or PEP) is a medication for people who've been or may have been exposed to HIV. In emergency situations, PEP is taken within 72 hours (3 days) after possible exposure. PEP can prevent HIV infection when taken correctly, but it is not always effective. Start PEP as soon as possible after exposure to give it the best change of working.
PEP is for people who don't have HIV, but may have been exposed:
- during sex
- at work through a needlestick or other injury*
- by sharing injection drug equipment
- during a sexual assault
*If you are exposed at work through a needlestick or other injury, please report to your employer or visit the nearest Emergency Department.
How do I get PrEP & PEP?
PrEP and PEP are available with a prescription in our pharmacies at both our Holyoke and Chicopee locations. Visit our Center for Recovery & Support or talk to your provider about how to get a prescription for these medications.
Please bring your insurance information with you to your appointment - if you do not have insurance, we have Certified Application Counselors who are available to assist you with Insurance Enrollment. Holyoke Health Center provides medical, dental and pharmacy services to all of our patients, regardless of your ability to pay for them.
For more information about PrEP or PEP, or help on deciding which medication is right for you, please call the Center for Recovery & Support.