Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) involves taking of Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) drugs after potential exposure to HIV infection. This is an emergency HIV treatment usually received within 72 hours after the possible exposure. This should be confused as a cure for HIV but rather a form of preventing infection. It is, in fact, a short course of ARV drugs to stop the exposure to HIV from progressing into a life-threatening condition.
- Taking PEP can result in an array of side effects including fatigue and nausea, but it is advisable not to stop taking the medication, instead consult your healthcare provider.
- The emergency treatment should be started as soon as possible to guarantee its effectiveness. That means, it should be less 72 hours after exposure to the virus.
- PEP is prescribed by your doctor to be taken daily at the same time for up to 4 weeks. This is according to the World Health Organization’s guideline on PEP use.
Get more information about PEP from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).