PrEP vs PEP?

PrEP and PEP – what’s the difference? In this video, Dr. Demetre explains the distinction between PrEP and PEP and how their uses are quite different. 

PrEP, which stands for PRE-exposure prophylaxis, is the daily pill that must be taken BEFORE a possible exposure to HIV. Remember it must also be taken for a certain number of days before it reaches maximum effectiveness. (Click here to learn more about timing and effectiveness).

PEP, short for POST-exposure prophylaxis, is an emergency option to reduce the risk of contracting HIV AFTER a possible exposure. PEP involves starting a triple-drug combination of HIV drugs within 48 to 72 hours of the possible exposure and staying on the daily regimen for a month.

Any healthcare provider can prescribe PrEP and PEP, but not all may be familiar with them. If yours is not, click here to find a PrEP-friendly provider near you.

#AskTheHIVDoc is a video series from Greater Than AIDS featuring top HIV doctors providing answers to commonly-asked questions about HIV prevention, testing and treatment.

This information is shared for educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. The views expressed are those of the featured medical professional and reflect information available to that professional at time of filming. Always consult a health care provider for any personal health decision.

While we make every effort to keep the medical information on our website updated, we cannot guarantee that the information reflects the most up-to-date research. Also, please note the views expressed by individuals who appear in Greater Than AIDS videos and other content are their own and are not made on behalf of any groups/organizations/associations.