What is the difference between PrEP, PEP, and ART?

Great question!

All three contain antiretroviral medicines in different combinations for different uses:

  • PrEP is another way to help HIV negative people to prevent themselves from getting HIV. PrEP uses antiretroviral medication (ARVs)—drugs created to treat people living with HIV—for HIV prevention.” You take PrEP before you think you might be exposed to HIV. Want to find a clinic that offers PrEP near you?
  • PEP is a pill you can take within 72 hours after you think you may have been exposed to HIV (e.g. after rape; sharing needles or after sex without a condom with someone you think may be HIV positive). You’ll need to take PEP for at least 28 days to prevent HIV infection. Want to find your nearest clinic to get PEP?
  • ART is treatment with ARVs for HIV-positive people that reduces the levels of HIV in a person’s body, to keep you healthy. Some ARVs have more than one drug and some pills have a combination (of 2, 3 or 4 drugs). ART helps the body stay strong and helps it fight off infections and other illnesses. 

Want to find out more about PrEP?  Go here to find out whether PrEP is for you or find your nearest clinic offering PrEP here

Find out more about what PrEP is and how it works in this article

Want to know about what side effects to expect when using PrEP? Read this

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