If you are HIV negative and think you may have been exposed to HIV during sex, you should go to the emergency department of your nearest hospital and ask for PEP – a short course anti-HIV medication.
PEP is free if you definitely know that the person you had sex with is living with HIV. If you are not sure of their status you may need to pay to access it.
PEP is most effective if it is taken within 72 hours of exposure to HIV, but the sooner you can take it after having unprotected sex, the more likely it is to be effective.
There are cases where PEP hasn’t worked, even when it has been taken within the recommended time frame, so it’s best to think about it as a backstop that’s there when things don’t go to plan, rather than a way of keeping safe for sure.