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Exposure to HIV

When HIV first gets into the bloodstream, it can take time before the virus permanently infects someone. PEPSE (Post-Exposure Prophylaxis following Sexual Exposure) can prevent this happening, if it is given quickly enough.

Talk to us or a doctor if you have had unprotected sex or a condom failure with someone who is known to be HIV positive, or who has a high chance of being HIV positive, or if you have been sexually assaulted.

PEPSE must be started within 72 hours after possible HIV exposure. The sooner the treatment is started the more effective it is, so if you have been exposed to HIV, it is important to contact us, or a doctor, as soon as possible.

PEPSE is a four-week course of medication and you will need to attend the clinic for check-ups and blood tests during this time, and for three months following exposure.

Outside of Luton Sexual Health’s clinical hours, you can go to Accident and Emergency at Luton & Dunstable Hospital.

For more information about this kind of treatment or side effects, call us on 01582 718959.

PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis)

PrEP is HIV medication taken before sex to reduce the risk of getting HIV. Research suggests that PrEP is as effective as condoms at preventing HIV when medication is taken correctly.

PrEP does not protect against any STIs other than HIV and it only protects the person taking PrEP.

It is not currently available through the NHS and so is not available at Luton Sexual Health. However, NHS England are currently conducting a large scale trial of PrEP which started on in October 2017, and information can be found at prepster.info

Find out more information on HIV treatment and care, pregnancy, PEPSE and PrEP from: