Protect yourself during sex:

  • Use internal (female) or external (male) condoms the right way, every time.

  • Choose sexual behaviors that are less risky than anal or vaginal sex, such as oral sex.

  • Not having sex is 100% effective in preventing HIV transmission through sex, and also prevents other STD’s and pregnancy. You can choose not to have sex at different times for different reasons, and those reasons may change over time.

  • Consider using PrEP – a daily medication to reduce your risk of HIV infection & transmission.

Protect yourself if you inject drugs:

  • Seek addiction treatment to reduce IV drug use.

  • Use new, clean syringe and equipment every time you inject. Local SSP’s can provide this anonymously.
  • Use an internal or external condom if you have sex.

  • Consider using PrEP – a daily medication to reduce your risk of HIV infection & transmission.


PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) can reduce your chance of getting HIV from sex or injection drug use. When taken as prescribed, PrEP is highly effective for preventing HIV.

PrEP can help protect you if you don’t have HIV and any of the following apply to you:

  • have a sexual partner with HIV (especially if the partner has an unknown or detectable viral load),

  • have not consistently used a condom, or

  • have been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease in the past 6 months.

You inject drugs and you:

  • have an injection partner with HIV, or

  • share needles, syringes, or other drug injection equipment (for example, cookers).

You have been prescribed PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) and you:

  • report continued risk behavior, or

  • have used multiple courses of PEP.

You may choose to take PrEP, even if the behaviors listed above don’t apply to you.


PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) means taking medicine to prevent HIV after a possible exposure.

  • PEP should be used only in emergency situations and must be started within 72 hours after a recent possible exposure to HIV.
  • If you have concerns that you may have been exposed to HIV (i.e. unprotected sex with someone of unknown HIV status, sharing injection equipment with someone of unknown HIV status), you should seek medical care within 72 hours of the possible exposure to discuss PEP.