If you have been exposed to HIV in the last 72 hours, an emergency treatment called Non-Occupational Post Exposure Prophylaxis (nPEP) may help reduce your chances of becoming permanently infected. nPEP is a combination of medications that work to kill off any HIV virus that has just entered the body, preventing the virus from multiplying. nPEP is usually limited to persons with a high risk exposure like unprotected sex or sharing needles with someone who is known to have HIV. The exposure must have taken place within less than 72 hours.
To have the best chance of working, nPEP medications must be started LESS THAN 24 to 48 hours after HIV exposure. Not all doctors or hospitals are familiar with nPEP. Make sure your hospital or doctor provides nPEP before going, if possible. Sometimes nPEP cost may be an out of pocket expense or doctors may only work with patients they know. Check with the hospital or doctor about any special requirements surrounding this treatment.