Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) post exposure prophylaxis (PEP)
PEP for HIV is a four week treatment that may prevent you from becoming infected if you have been exposed to HIV.
PEP must be started within 72 hours of the risk exposure. Contact the South Australian HIV PEP hotline on 1800 022 226.
Everyone has a responsibility to help prevent the transmission of HIV and to take care of themselves and others.
PEP may prevent HIV infection
You may be eligible for PEP if you have had any of the following risk exposures to HIV, in the last 72 hours:
- sex without a condom with a person who has, or might have, HIV
- condom breaking or slipping off during sex
- sharing needles, syringes or injecting equipment with a person who has, or might have, HIV
- needle stick injury.
By taking PEP, within 72 hours following a risk exposure, PEP may:
- prevent the development of HIV infection
- make HIV infection less severe if it does occur
- reduce the risk of HIV infection being passed on to other people.
If you think you may need PEP
PEP must be started within 72 hours but it works best when started as early as possible.
Contact the South Australian HIV PEP hotline on 1800 022 226.
If you think you have been exposed
In a SA Health workplace
If a potential HIV exposure occurs in a SA Health workplace then the site’s blood and body fluid exposure management procedure should be followed. SA Health staff can access their local procedure via the Workforce Health page on the SA Health intranet.
In other settings
If a potential HIV exposure occurs in a non-SA Health workplace or in a community or personal setting, call the South Australian HIV PEP hotline on 1800 022 226. The hotline is available 24 hours a day to triage any member of the public who believes they may have been exposed to HIV. Calls are answered by a Registered Nurse who will conduct a risk assessment based on the information provided by the caller. Individuals who have had a high-risk exposure to HIV will be directed to the nearest HIV PEP access point. PEP can be accessed at a sexual health clinic such as Clinic 275 or a hospital emergency department.
For further information on HIV, see the Human immunodeficiency virus infection (HIV and AIDS) - including symptoms, treatment and prevention page.