Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) is re-launching its PEP campaign today, this time urging gay men to ‘Act Fast’ with PEP (post exposure prophylaxsis). PEP is a month long course of HIV treatment that may prevent HIV infection after the virus has entered the body. The faster it’s taken after someone has put themselves at risk, the more likely it will work.
Shaun had to take PEP after the condom split: “Because Lee’s positive we both knew about PEP and that it could stop me getting infected. We also knew we had to act fast and get PEP as quickly as possible. PEP meant taking 12 pills a day for 28 days, which isn’t easy. But I never thought of stopping. It’s worth it.”
In previous years, THT and its partners in the CHAPS programme have run campaigns to increase men’s awareness of PEP, with the campaigns doubling men’s awareness of the emergency treatment.
The new campaign is running from October 22nd and aims to reach more gay men with the facts. There will be adverts in the gay press, banners on gay web sites and outreach work taking place across England and Wales. The LADS outreach team will be giving out PEP booklets, a cruise guide, fridge magnets and wallet cards.
Marc Thompson, Deputy Head of Health Promotion at Terrence Higgins Trust said “It’s essential we continue to raise awareness of PEP and the circumstances when it’s likely to be prescribed. It’s also important men act fast if they’ve put themselves at risk. 72 hours is the outer limit but the sooner you can take it, the better.”
Gay men bisexual men can obtain copies of THT’s PEP information booklet by calling THT Direct on 0845 12 21 200 and find more information about PEP by visiting www.tht.org.uk/pepor www.chapsonline.org.uk/pep