Post- exposure prophylaxis is a method used for preventing the infection of HIV. It may involve taking the medications for anti- HIV right after the exposure from HIV. It also consists of the combination of two up to three drugs for anti- HIV where someone who is an HIV negative is been exposed from HIV for reducing risks of the HIV infections. In that case, PEP must be taken immediately within seventy- two hours once you there’s a possible HIV exposure. This drug is needed to be taken per day for four weeks.
When it is used?
Post- exposure prophylaxis is used the moment a person is exposed from the workplace up to body fluid which may have HIV. Example of this is when a healthcare worker accidently got needle- stick injury. The time that you are already exposed from HIV on the other setting, PEP may also use after your high- risk exposure from a non- wok related issues like unprotected sex, breaking of condom during sex, sexual assault and needle sharing.
Who should take PEP?
A person who is an HIV negative which can possibly have a high- risk exposure in HIV over 72 hours must consider taking the PEP method. Exposures can have different type but not all them have the same way for causing an infection of HIV. Before you take PEP, you should first discuss your situation with a doctor, nurse or counselor. When your chance of being infected from HIV is lower, PEP may not already be recommended.
It is intended for the prevention of HIV infection and must not be used with someone who is already an HIV positive. When you start taking PEP, HIV test should also be done for determining your HIV status. When rapid testing may not be available, your test result will not also be ready within one up to two weeks, but then PEP may start immediately. Once the result is positive, you will also stop taking the PEP and your doctor will now decide if you will need an HIV treatment.
Is PEP also an alternative for other prevention methods like condoms and clean needles?
If you are wondering whether PEP is also an alternative for other methods, well the answer is definitely NO. It is just only for emergency purposes. Apart from that, it should not also be replaced other preventions methods like condoms and clean needles. If someone will consider taking this, he/she should not use it regularly for preventing HIV infection.
- PEP is not the same with your pill that prevents pregnancy. It will only require taking them for several times per day within the entire month.
- Medications are also expensive that cause other side effects like diarrhea, fatigue and nausea.
- You are not guaranteed that PEP may prevent infections of HIV.
- It provides no significant protection from other sexually transmitted diseases.
Taking these method is also a great way for monitoring your HIV status. With this, you will know what other precautions that you will use for treating your HIV infection by other alternatives. So, it is best if you are also regularly having an appointment with your doctor.