PEP stands for post exposure prophylaxis. Its is a series of pills you can start taking very soon after you have been exposed to HIV that lowers your chances of getting it. But you have to start PEP within seventy two hours, or three days, after you were exposed to HIV, or it won’t work. The sooner you start, the better it works every hour matters.You should take it one to two times a day for at least twenty eight days. The medicines used in PEP are called antiretroviral medications .These medicines work by stopping HIV from spreading through your body.
PEP is used by people who may have been exposed to HIV in the last three days.If you were exposed to HIV in the last three days you should see a nurse or doctor or go to the emergency room immediately. Timing is really important. You must start PEP as soon as you can after being exposed to HIV for it to work.It's used for emergencies. It can’t take the place of proven, ongoing ways to prevent HIV and not sharing needles or works.
If you’re a health care worker and think you may have been exposed to HIV at work, go to your doctor or the emergency room right away. Then report the incident to your supervisor. HIV transmission in health care settings is extremely rare, and there are procedures and safety devices that can lower your chances of coming into contact with HIV while caring for patients.
There can be side effects of PEP, like stomach aches and being tired. But they're side effects aren’t dangerous, and they can be treated. Talk with your nurse or doctor if you have side effects that are really bothering you.If PEP doesn’t work, you may have symptoms of the first stage of an HIV infection, like a fever or rash.You need to visit your nurse or doctor for follow up testing after you finish PEP. You’ll get another HIV test four to six weeks after you were first exposed to HIV, and then you’ll be tested again three months later. Depending on your situation, your doctor may recommend another HIV test six months later.
It’s really important to get these follow up tests to make sure PEP worked. In the meantime, keep protecting yourself and others from HIV by using condoms when you have sexual intercourse, and not sharing needles or works.
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