PEP is available on the NHS for free, but is only given to people who meet guidelines about its use.
The best place to get PEP is a sexual health or HIV clinic. If you need PEP over the weekend or outside of office hours, when clinics will often be closed, the best place to go is an Accident and Emergency department.
PEP is not normally available from GPs.
As PEP is a powerful course of drugs, and is expensive to prescribe, you might be asked about:
- the person you had sex with (and the chances that they had HIV)
- what sort of sex you had (vaginal, oral or anal)
- if the other person had HIV, what their viral load is.
- If the person you had sex with is living with HIV and has an undetectable viral load, you will not need PEP as it won’t be possible for the virus to have been transmitted.
Once a doctor decides that it’s appropriate for you to have PEP, you will be asked to take an HIV test. This is to make sure you don’t already have HIV. If HIV is detected by a test, other forms of treatment will be recommended to you.