Are You Aware of PrEP and PEP Medication in HIV Prevention?
Basically, these are HIV preventive measures or rather therapy whereby, PrEP stands for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis while PEP is Post Exposure Prophylaxis.
Therefore, PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) is a preventive antiretroviral therapy we offer or prescribe to those at risk of contracting the HIV virus.
Specifically, if you are in a discordant relationship i.e. one partner is HIV positive, first you will need PEP. A clinician or nurse will have you test for HIV then prescribe PEP (if you turn negative) for 4 weeks accordingly.
Later, you will need a retest before PrEP is offered to you.
As the saying goes, “Prevention is better than cure!”
In addition, you might be working in a high risk environment like the jua kali people.
As Kenyans, we all know these hardworking people deal with sharp objects like mabati (iron sheets), nails e.t.c. If you are in this kind of risk, you might need this PrEP prophylaxis or PEP.
However, make sure you seek medical advice from a certified clinician in this case.
Also, don’t forget to ask questions relevant to this topic e.g. defaulting, side effects e.t.c
RELATED POST: How Varicella zoster virus Infects Humans
What about PEP?
However, PEP (Post Exposure Prophylaxis) is a prescription of an antiretroviral drug responsible for preventing you from a recent exposure to the HIV virus.
A good example is of condom burst. Therefore, in this case, you will need to visit a clinician so as to receive your preventive therapy.
Before you receive your PEP, the clinician will refer you for HIV test. This is for identification purposes since it cannot prevent one who is already with the virus.
Protocol for PEP
- Once exposed to the HIV/AIDS virus, visit a clinician in a health facility offering HIV Testing and Care Services near you before 72 hours elapse!
- Get tested for HIV.
- If you turn negative, your tester will refer you to the CCC (Comprehensive Care Clinic) for the PEP prescription.
- You will take it for 4 weeks as per requirement i.e. 1 month. This is because the tablets are 30 in number.
- On your last tablet, you will have to visit the health facility for your HIV retest. Hopefully, you will turn NEGATIVE.
- If so then, the HTS Provider or Laboratory technician will advise you to test for HIV on the regular basis i.e. every 12 months after previous test unless there is a risk.
Any side effects of PEP and PrEP?
Well, every drug has its side effects as most of us know. The ones for this prophylaxis could be yellow eyes (like jaundice), rashes just to mention a few.
However, they don’t last because the moment you complete your prophylaxis, they disappear. If not, please see the doctor or a certified health professionals.