Health + Wellness

Living with HIV: PrEP Vs. PEP

prep vs pep

Technology has changed the lives of everyone in today’s current age. From being able to communicate with relatives and loved ones at far distances faster, to being able to throw anything in the air fryer and have a meal cooked within 10 minutes or less. Technology has truly had a huge impact on the world and medication is no different. Especially for those living with diseases such as HIV, that had no cure or no actual working medication for people to take in the past. Back in the 80s and 90s, those who contracted HIV did not have the resources that they needed to actually survive. These resources such as proper research and education, conducive medication, and support systems, were all hard to find during these time periods and unfortunately, many people suffered. 

Thankfully now in 2022, the times are different. Not only are there medications that help people living with HIV become undetected, but there are also medications that people can take if they were exposed to HIV and had no prior diagnosis of it. These medications help prevent or lower the risk of your chances of contracting HIV, but what are they specifically? How do they help and who are good candidates for them in the event that you are exposed? What do you need to know? 

RELATED: HIV Facts Every Black Person Needs To Know

All About PrEP

What is PrEP?

PrEP, otherwise known as pre-exposure prophylaxis, is an FDA-approved medication that can prevent HIV.

It has a 90% chance of lowering your risk of developing HIV if you do not have it but are intimate with someone who has HIV with detectable levels. 

Who can use PrEP?

  • Those without HIV but have shared needles
  • Those who do not have HIV but had condomless sex with someone who does have HIV
  • Those who do not have HIV but had condomless sex with someone with an unknown HIV status

Does It Work?

To get the best results possible, you have to use PrEP correctly and on time, every single day until your dosage runs out.

With the proper use, PrEP can lower your risk of getting HIV by 90%, and using condoms on top of PrEP medications can lower your risk of contracting HIV through sex by 99%. PrEP also lowers your risk of contracting HIV through shared needles by 70%.  

RELATED: Stay Protected Even If It’s Undetected

All About PEP

What is PEP?

Similar to PrEP, PEP stands for post-exposure prophylaxis. This form of medication is an array of pills you take after being exposed to HIV through sex or shared needles and lowers your risk of contracting it. 

Who can use PEP?

  • Those who had condomless sex with someone with a known HIV status
  • Those who shared needles
  • Those who suffered a workplace injury
  • Those who suffered from sexual assault 

Does It Work?

PEP is an emergency medication for one to use if you think you have been exposed to HIV.

In order for it to work, you have to take PEP within 72 hours of exposure to lower your

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