PEP is only to be used if it is an emergency and you think you may have been exposed to HIV during sex. It is not to be used instead of other HIV prevention methods.

PEP needs to be taken within 72 hours of exposure to HIV, but the sooner you can take it there is a better chance for it to work.

There are cases where PEP has not worked, even when it has been taken within the recommended time frame. It is best to think about PEP as an option when things do not go as planned, rather than a way of keeping safe for sure.

If you do not have HIV and think you may have been exposed to HIV during sex, go to the emergency department of your nearest hospital or local after-hours clinic, or contact your GP, and ask for PEP.

PEP is free in Aotearoa New Zealand if you meet one or more of these criteria

  • You know for sure the person you had sex with has HIV.
  • If you or the person you had sex with is unsure of their HIV status, and is from a high-risk HIV country or population group.
  • You have shared intravenous drug injecting equipment with someone who has HIV.
  • If sex has occurred without your consent and your doctor thinks PEP would be suitable.

For other situations, you may need to pay to get PEP. Ask your doctor about costs. The Doctor can still write a prescription and you can pay for your own PEP pills at the pharmacy.