​Post submitted by Noël Gordon, former HRC Senior Program Specialist for HIV Prevention and Health Equity.

Did you know Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) and Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis or (PrEP) are two potential ways to prevent yourself from becoming HIV-positive?

According to AIDS.gov and the Department of Health & Human Services:

PEP involves taking anti-HIV medications as soon as possible after you may have been exposed to HIV to try to reduce the chance of becoming HIV positive. To be effective, PEP must begin within 72 hours of exposure, before the virus has time to make too many copies of itself in your body.

And according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):

PrEP is a new HIV prevention method in which people who do not have HIV take a daily pill to reduce their risk of becoming infected. When used consistently, PrEP has been shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection among adult men and women at very high risk for HIV infection.

Of course, even with these medical advances, all experts recommend regular HIV testing,  consistent condom use and risk reduction counseling.

Talk to an HIV-knowledgeable health care provider to find out if PEP or PrEP may be right for you.


This Friday, September 27, is National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. All week, HRC is highlighting important facts about HIV/AIDS with daily social graphics to help promote awareness as part of its #BeintheKnow campaign. Stay tuned to the HRC blog for more graphics and guest blog posts from organizations that have long been leaders in the fight against HIV/AIDS and the stigma that can accompany it.

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