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I had sex last night with someone who injects drugs. No condom. Should I go get PEP? (those are the meds to prevent HIV right?)

PEP is Post Exposure Prophylaxis. Here is some information about what it is and when it is recommended.

Post Exposure Prophylaxis medication is a tool we can use to prevent HIV transmission after an actual or suspected high risk exposure to HIV.  There is sometimes stigma around HIV and drug use that can cloud the issue we need to focus on during a risk assessment.  For this reason, at Sex Friendly Manitoba we focus on the sexual activities performed and not the individuals involved.  Our answer would be the same if you had condomless sex with someone who does or doesn’t use drugs.

Anyone who thinks they may have been exposed to HIV should contact a health care provider to evaluate the risks posed by the exposure. PEP should be taken as soon as possible after a suspected exposure to HIV as it is most effective within 72 hours.  PEP is a regimen of HIV drugs that needs to be taken every day for 4 weeks.

If 72 hours have passed since the potential exposure you should consider HIV testing.  You can go for testing right away, but keep in mind that HIV can have a window period of up to 3 months. This means it can take up to 3 months for the body to develop the antibodies that show up on the test.  If you test now, you will likely be encouraged to test again in 3 months to confirm your status.

I hope this helps you determine your next steps.  In the meantime using condoms can keep your and your partner(s) protected from STBBIs (sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections.)  They are an effective prevention tool, though there are other tools you can learn about on this site.

Keep browsing Sex Friendly Manitoba for effective ways for people who inject drugs to avoid STBBIs on this site.