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How soon do you have to start post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)?

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You must start PEP within 72 hours of exposure. After that, the treatment won't work. If you think you may have been exposed to HIV, get medical attention as soon as possible.

AIDS.gov: "Overview of HIV Treatments," "Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP)."

National Institutes of Health: AIDSinfo Drug Database.

University of California San Francisco -- Center for AIDS Prevention Studies: "What Is Post-Exposure Prevention (PEP)?"

CDC: "HIV Basics: PEP."

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: "Antiretroviral Postexposure Prophylaxis After Sexual, Injection-Drug Use, or Other Nonoccupational Exposure to HIV in the United States." January 2005.

World Health Organization: "Post-exposure prophylaxis to prevent HIV infection," December 2014.

Reviewed by Jonathan E. Kaplan on September 14, 2018

AIDS.gov: "Overview of HIV Treatments," "Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP)."

National Institutes of Health: AIDSinfo Drug Database.

University of California San Francisco -- Center for AIDS Prevention Studies: "What Is Post-Exposure Prevention (PEP)?"

CDC: "HIV Basics: PEP."

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: "Antiretroviral Postexposure Prophylaxis After Sexual, Injection-Drug Use, or Other Nonoccupational Exposure to HIV in the United States." January 2005.

World Health Organization: "Post-exposure prophylaxis to prevent HIV infection," December 2014.

Reviewed by Jonathan E. Kaplan on September 14, 2018

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How does post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) work?

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