Doxycycline Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (Doxy-PEP) is one proposed measure that may reduce the risk of bacterial sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in people who are considered at risk. These STIs are gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis. Doxycycline is a commonly-used antibiotic with a low risk of side effects. Doxy-PEP involves taking the medication within 72 hours after having condomless sex.
Assigned male at birth (AMAB):
In AMAB people (cis men, trans women and non-binary people), studies have shown that doxy-PEP reduces some but not all bacterial STIs. Research has found that doxy-PEP has protective benefits in the urethra/penis, rectum and throat.
One study showed that in people taking HIV PrEP, doxy-PEP reduced syphilis rates by approximately
87%, chlamydia by 88% and gonorrhea by 55%.
Assigned female at birth (AFAB):
Whether Doxy-PEP provides protection for AFAB people (cis women, trans men and non-binary people) is yet to be established. Joint decision-making with your medical provider may be necessary to determine if this option is good for you.
Doxy-PEP MAY be right for you if:
- You have had a bacterial STI and condomless anal or oral sex with AMAB partners in the past year.
- You have had syphilis before.
- You have had multiple AMAB partners in the past year, even if you have not previously been diagnosed with an STI.
Doxy-PEP may NOT be right for you if any of the below are applicable:
- Known allergy to doxycycline or tetracycline medication.
- Known diagnosis of Myasthenia Gravis.
- Use of certain medications such as barbiturates, phenytoin, carbamazepine, isotretinoin, or others.
- Individuals who are pregnant or able to get pregnant.
- Individuals breast or chest feeding.