PEP HIV Treatment

This article aims to provide more in depth information to the reader about post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) treatment for preventing HIV. It does this by explaining what prophylaxis and PEP are and also by giving details of how and where to get PEP drugs from.

What is prophylaxis?

Prophylaxis is any treatment designed to prevent the patient from catching a disease or becoming ill. In the case of PEP this is a secondary prophylaxis treatment in that the treatment is given after the patient has become exposed to HIV. Primary prophylaxis prevents or reduces exposure to a harmful compound or disease.

What is PEP?

The prophylactic drugs used for PEP treatment are a course of expensive antiretroviral drugs. These antiretrovirals are taken to slow the virus when replicating within your immune cells. This is done in the hope that the HIV won't be able to gain a foothold within your body, preventing you from becoming HIV positive.

Why do I need PEP treatment?

You need to take PEP as soon as possible within 72 hours of being exposed to HIV in order to reduce your chances of catching the disease. There is no guarantee of you not becoming HIV positive after HIV PEP treatment but you are less likely to become HIV positive after an exposure. The inconvenience of remembering to regularly take the tablets which may cause side effects also needs to be balanced by the chances of catching a lifelong potentially deadly virus.

PEP dosing regimen

As there are a wide variety of different antiretroviral drugs available, exact dosing regimens are best given by a medical professional who knows which drugs you are to be taking. Most involve taking tablets multiple times a day, at set times over the period of one month.

Where to get PEP treatment

If you believe that you have been exposed to HIV and are at risk of developing an HIV infection you need to seek out PEP treatment as soon as possible. The best places to go are sexual health clinics or hospital A&E departments. Here they will test you for HIV, ask you questions about how you were exposed and issue you with a PEP treatment if they feel you need it.

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