What Everyone Should Know About Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP)

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What Everyone Should Know About Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP)

When it comes to preventing HIV infection after a potential exposure, post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is a medical intervention that can be a lifesaver. This article aims to shed light on post-exposure prophylaxis, its effectiveness in preventing HIV, and other essential aspects you should know.

What Is Post-Exposure Prophylaxis?

PEP is an emergency treatment that involves taking antiretroviral medications to prevent HIV infection after potential exposure. The treatment should be initiated as soon as possible, ideally within 72 hours of exposure. For more information on HIV and its treatments, check out our article on this topic.

Types of Exposure

There are several different ways you can be exposed to HIV, including:

  • Sexual contact
  • Sharing of needles or other drug injection equipment
  • Blood transfusions (incredibly rare)

Who Should Consider PEP?

Anyone who believes they have been exposed to HIV should consider PEP. This includes:

  • Healthcare workers
  • Individuals who have had unprotected sex
  • Drug users who have shared needles

If you’ve recently had unprotected sex, read our guide on What Should You Do After Unprotected Sex? for more advice.

How Does PEP Work?

PEP works by inhibiting the replication of the HIV virus in the body. It is typically a 28-day course of antiretroviral medications. The sooner you start the treatment, the more effective it will be. Learn more about the importance of HIV testing to confirm your status.

Effectiveness of Post-Exposure Prophylaxis HIV

Post-exposure prophylaxis HIV treatment is highly effective when started within the 72-hour window. However, it is not 100% foolproof. Consistent and correct use of the medication is crucial for its effectiveness. 

Side Effects and Precautions

Common side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea

How to Access PEP

PEP is available through healthcare providers and some emergency rooms. It is crucial to consult a healthcare provider as soon as possible after potential exposure. 

Post-exposure prophylaxis is an essential medical intervention for preventing HIV infection after potential exposure. It is crucial to start the treatment as soon as possible and adhere to the medication regimen strictly. For more on safe sexual practices, read How to Practice Safe Sex and Why It’s So Important.

At Community Care Resources of Florida (CCRSFL), we are dedicated to delivering the highest quality of care to those in our community by providing excellent medical services, therapy, and outreach to individuals affected by sexually transmitted diseases, HIV, hepatitis C, and/or substance abuse. We strive to deliver healthcare with compassion and affordability to all.

Since our foundation, our goal has been to serve our Altamonte Springs, Hallandale Beach, and Haines City communities by providing access to care and resources that help our patients become healthier through safer practices with their partners. We have qualified technicians available to serve you. If you’re interested in our services, you can book an appointment on our website or call us at 1(877) 287-2520!

Contact any of our offices if you need testing and treatment.

106 Boston Avenue Suite 204
Altamonte Springs, FL 32701

Haines City:
280 Patterson Road, Suite 3
Haines City, FL 33844

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1008 West Hallandale Beach Boulevard
Hallandale Beach, FL 33009