How to Use PEP Properly?


You’ve had another wild night, but you weren’t as careful as you could’ve been, and now you’re concerned about the risk of HIV exposure. If that’s the case, PEP could be the solution.

PEP stands for Post-Exposure Prophylaxis, a four-week course of anti-HIV drugs taken daily (in pill form) to prevent HIV infection following exposure. HIV PEP must be initiated within 72 hours of contact, although the earlier you begin, the better.

  1. Recognise when it’s appropriate to use it.

If you have any of the following, you should consider obtaining HIV PEP to help you stop HIV as quickly as possible:

  • During anal intercourse, the condom broke.
  • If you were bottoming and your partner orgasmed in your anus, you had anal sex with no protection in particular, or you exchanged syringes for administering any chemical.
  • Contact the PEP hotline 24 hours a day, seven days a week, if you suspect you’ve been contaminated with HIV.
  1. Recognise when it’s not appropriate to use it.

After oral intercourse or other low-risk activities, PEP is not advised. If you’re not sure how dangerous it was, make sure you understand the risk and seek medical advice or contact the PEP helpline. Even if you aren’t at risk for HIV, you could still contract other STIs. Hence, all sexually active homosexual men should be frequently tested, at least two times a year and more if they have a lot of partners.

  1. Give yourself the best possible chance of success.

PEP should be begun within a few hours after being exposed to HIV to be most effective. It is unlikely to work if it is not begun within 72 hours (3 days). As a result, the sooner it begins after exposure, the better the chances of success.

To maximise the chances of avoiding infection, make sure you finish the entire treatment plan.

  1. Be aware of any possible negative effects.

Like most antiretroviral medications, PEP can cause diarrhoea, headaches, nausea/vomiting and exhaustion. However, these are usually minor, last only a few days and have no long-term consequences. If you have any worries, talk to your doctor or a sexual health centre.

  1. Make long-term plans.

PEP does not guarantee that you will not become infected. In any event, it is advised to be cautious.

ACON now recognises at least five tactics as ‘safe sex,’ provided that specific criteria are met. They are as follows:

  • Condoms are used for casual interactions.
  • PrEP refers to HIV-negative men who take daily pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). The Therapeutic Goods Administration(TGA) has not yet authorised PrEP.
  • HIV-positive men who have had an undetectable viral load (UVL) for at least six months and no sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
  • For HIV-positive men, serosorting is used.
  • Safety agreements have been negotiated in which both partners have confirmed their serostatus, and there have been no risk incidences.

If you think you’ve been suffering from premature ejaculation and are infected with HIV, you should start taking PEP. Ask your local sexual health clinic, a hospital’s emergency care department or the PEP hotline number, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.