It can be very scary when we come in contact with another persons blood or when we had our condoms broken during sexual intercourse with a random partner. It leaves a lot of questions in our mind because we want to be sure that the persons is not infected and that we are totally safe.
If you feel that in some ways you've been exposed to HIV from a suspected person within the last 72 hours, you need to contact a health care provider as soon as possible For Post Exposure Prophylaxis; PEP. PEP is used in emergency situations after a recent possible exposure to HIV and must be started within 72 hours of the exposure.
When should I take PEP?
PEP must be started within 72 hours after a possible exposure to HIV. This is very important because the sooner you start PEP, the better; you have to remember that every minutes counts.
Research has shown that after 72 hours of exposure, PEP may no longer be effective.
For How Long Should I Take PEP
If you’re prescribed PEP, you’ll need to take it once or twice daily for complete 28 days.
Does PEP have any side effects?
Side effects varies from person to person and others may not even experience any side effects at all. Nausea is the major side effect most people experience towards PEP.... however, there may be other side effects attached to it but they are usually not life threatening.
Where can I get PEP?
Your health care provider or an emergency room doctor can prescribe PEP. It is better to talk to them immediately if you think you've been exposed to HIV within the last 72 hours.
Can I take PEP every time I have unprotected sex?
PEP is usually taking after one is exposed to HIV, this is because its usually administered in a high dosage so that it can completely block the effect of the virus. But what should be appropriate in this situation is the Pre-exposure prophylaxis; PrEP which is normally prescribed for people with a higher risk of HIV infection or people who have HIV infected partners.
PrEP is when people at high risk for HIV take HIV medicines daily to lower their chances of getting HIV. For example, those that usually have unprotected sex with HIV partners are entitled to PrEP. So If you know that you are usually exposed to HIV, you may speak with your doctor for prescription of PrEP.
If you think you have been exposed to HIV recently within the last 72 hours, then go immediately to your doctor for prescription of Post Exposure Prophylaxis PEP. But if you think that you are at a higher risk of getting HIV maybe because you have HIV partner you would like to have unprotected sexual intercourse with, then go to your doctor for prescription of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis PrEP.
Hope you find this article helpful!