HIV Post-exposure prophylaxis or PEP as it is also referred to as a short-term antiretroviral treatment which helps to lessen the probability of an HIV infection after possibly being exposed. The exposure can be too sexual intercourse or occupationally.
HIV Post-exposure prophylaxis is provided within the health sector, as part of a universal precautionary package for potential staff exposure. Should there be a possible HIV exposure, PEP should be used within 72 hours and only in emergency situations. The reason for starting the HIV PEP so soon is to help the immune system to provide the necessary protection against the virus and help in the prevention of HIV.
Sharing of needles is an avenue where HIV can be transmitted. For any exposure to used needles, it is recommended to start on the PEP medication right away. Those who have been sexually assaulted are predominantly susceptible to the HIV virus, due to the nature of violent sexual intercourse. Should your partner have HIV, then your general practitioner could prescribe HIV Post-exposure prophylaxis in the aim of reducing exposure or infection.
Once you receive your HIV Post-exposure prophylaxis, it needs to be taken twice a day for at least 28 days. Although PEP is highly effective when used correctly, it is not guaranteed in the preventing of HIV. Prior to starting on PEP, it is advisable to know your HIV status. At times, it has been found that persons who were taking PEP and then became infected with HIV, developed a resistance to the post-exposure prophylaxis.
Antiretroviral can have their own side effects. HIV Post-exposure prophylaxis can result in headaches, nausea, and vomiting, as well as diarrhea and fatigue. At times the side effects can be fairly severe. Fortunately, the side effects aren’t life-threatening and can easily be treated as soon as they appear.Top