HIV Post-Exposure Prevention

While the best way to avoid HIV infection is to avoid exposure in the first place, we recognize there are circumstances that put people at high risk of becoming infected with HIV or other sexually transmitted infections.

These high risk circumstances may include:

  • Condom failure/unprotected sex with a person known to be HIV-infected
  • Sexual assault
  • Unprotected sex with a person at increased risk for HIV (e.g., men who have sex with men, injection drug user, sex worker)

Following such an exposure, a narrow window of opportunity exists to prevent HIV infection by starting antiviral medication. Immediate medical care must be sought to assess the risk, counsel, and start the preventive medication, when indicated. This should occur as soon as possible following the incident and generally no later than 72 hours post-exposure.

If such an exposure has happened to you, call University Health Services (UHS) at 608-265-5600 and request a same-day appointment. After UHS clinic hours you should seek care from an urgent care clinic or hospital emergency department. The cost of any treatment prescribed can be substantial and is not covered by your UHS student health fees. It is usually covered by medical insurance.