PrEP: The Medication that Prevents HIV

PrEP has been approved for preventing the transmission of HIV for the last decade. PrEP, also known as Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, is an excellent tool to use in combination with condoms and regular testing.


PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is a type of medication that people who are not currently living with HIV can take in order to reduce transmission of HIV. The Center for Disease Control states that PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by about 99% when taken correctly, and reduces the risk of getting HIV through injection drug use by at least 74%. PrEP isn’t solely for one type of person; many people of various genders and sexual orientations have found PrEP to be an empowering and useful tool for their sexual health.


PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) is a short course of pills that can be used by people who are not currently living with HIV after a possible exposure to HIV. PEP consists of taking antiretroviral medications (ART) after being potentially exposed to HIV in order to prevent HIV from establishing an infection. PEP must be started within 72 hours of a possible exposure to HIV and should only be used in emergency situations. If you believe you have been exposed to HIV during sex, through sharing injection equipment, or if you have been sexually assaulted, talk to your local CHN representative or an emergency room doctor about PEP right away.


Get PEP Now

If you have experienced a non-occupational exposure to HIV, seek care as soon as possible. Local AIDS Service Organizations (ASOs), such as Colorado Health Network, can help you navigate the process and advocate for your needs. If time permits, you can visit or call an ASO prior to seeking medical help. ASOs can assist with screening for risk, helping with financial navigation, referring to appropriate health care providers and pharmacies, and providing follow-up assistance and after care. 

If you choose to consult a doctor or visit the ER without the assistance of an ASO or advocate, medical providers may be hesitant to prescribe n-PEP. Hospital social workers can help you advocate for your care.

If you have experienced an occupational exposure, see a doctor or visit the ER immediately. Clinicians caring for health care workers who’ve had a possible exposure can call the PEPline (1-888-448-4911), which offers around-the-clock advice on managing occupational exposures to HIV, as well as hepatitis B and C.

PEP 101

For questions or concerns around PEP, including advice on how to access or pay for PEP, feel free to contact some of our expert staff members: 

Auston Carlson, Linkage to Care/PrEP Coordinator Lead
[email protected]

Manuel Melendez, Bilingual Prevention Services Coordinator/PrEP Navigator
[email protected]

I want to learn more!

Here are some helpful websites to find out more information about PrEP and hear from different community voices:

You can also always call one of our offices to get in touch with a staff member who can help you access PEP

Colorado Health Network – Denver Office

6260 E. Colfax Ave. Denver

Northern Colorado Health Network

400 Remington St. Suite 100 Fort Collins

Northern Colorado Health Network

807 17th St. Greeley

Southern Colorado Health Network

1301 S. 8th St. Suite 200 Colorado Springs

Southern Colorado Health Network

807 N. Greenwood St. Suite 200 Pueblo

Western Colorado Health Network

2352 N. 7th St Suite A-1 Grand Junction

You can also contact these other providers on how to access PEP:

Boulder County AIDS Project

2118 14th Street, Boulder

Denver Public Health

605 Bannock Street, Denver