Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) is a four week course of anti-HIV drugs that you can take if you think you have JUST exposed yourself to HIV through unprotected sex or sharing needles.
If you act quickly after exposure to HIV you can, in most cases, stop the spread of HIV in your body. For the treatment to be effective you MUST begin the medication within 72 hours of exposure to HIV.
The medication is a combination of two or more anti-HIV drugs, medications that HIV-positive people take daily to minimize the virus’s ability to multiple.
It is not a good plan to depend on PEP for protection on a regular basis, it is intended to be emergency protection after accidental exposure or a temporary lack of good judgment.
In order for PEP to work you must take the drug for 28 days without stopping. Be aware though, taking anti-HIV drugs is often not without side effects, side effects such as nausea, migraine-like headaches, diarrhea, lethargy, tiredness, and vomiting are often associated with taking the medications.
Post-exposure prophylaxis is not going to significantly reduce the worldwide spread of HIV by itself. It is a short-term preventative measure intended to be used as an ‘emergency’ precaution. PEP is considered as a last resort in HIV prevention and should only be used when other methods of HIV prevention have failed.
If you need PEP or want more information please see your local HIV/AIDS heath care provider.
Pre-Exposire Prophylaxis (PrEP) refers to a form of treatment that can be taken before exposure to HIV, it is also sometimes referred to as a type of vaccine, although this is not 100% accurate. Pre-exposure prophylaxis has been studied in animal and human trials and is not yet available.
Results from a human trial published in late 2010 were the first to provide proof that PrEP may be a viable option for the prevention of HIV infection in humans.
There have been claims that people are taking tenofovir (an anti-HIV drug) before a high-risk night out. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention carried out a survey at four gay-pride events and found out that 7 percent of the interview sample had tried taking tenofovir.
It has been argued that pre-exposure prophylaxis could have an enormous impact on HIV. Mathematical models estimate that if tenofovir PrEP was used by 90 percent of high-risk people and was effective 90 percent of the time, potentially the spread of HIV infection could be reduced by more than 80 percent in just a few years.