So in this article, let’s talk about the HIV medication you can take to help protect yourself against HIV.
We will touch on HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) & HIV Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP)
Basically, this is a lifestyle choice that you’d have to make based on as much information as possible. Let’s go over some of the details right.
HIV Post Exposure Prophylaxis
PEP HIV (HIV Post Exposure Prophylaxis) can reduce your risk of being infected with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). HIV PEP is most effective if started within 72 hours upon suspected HIV exposure. The ideal time to start HIV PEP is within 48 hours from exposure. The earlier the treatment, the better.
HIV PEP treatment may be prescribed to anyone with high-risk HIV exposure. It involves undergoing Antiretroviral (ARV) medications / antiretroviral therapy (ART) for a full month. The medication is similar to that used for HIV PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis); the difference being that HIV PrEP is taken daily before any HIV exposure.
HIV Pre Exposure Prophylaxis
HIV PrEP is an extremely effective way of protecting yourself from HIV. It is currently one of the central pillars in our efforts to end the HIV epidemic in the world.
When someone is exposed to HIV through sex or injection drug use, PrEP can help stop the virus from establishing a permanent infection in the body.
HIV PrEP can be taken in several different ways depending on your unique lifestyle. The most common and effective way to take it is with a daily dose – a single tablet taken at around the same time every day. In medical studies, this has been shown to provide the best level of protection against HIV. Also, this schedule is easy to remember and adhere to, thereby reducing the chance of consuming the wrong amount of medication at the wrong time.
The medication currently recommended for HIV PrEP has also shown to be safe and effective for long-term use and rarely causes any significant side effects.
Because no prevention strategy for sexually active people is 100% effective, individuals taking PrEP are still encouraged to use other effective prevention strategies to maximally reduce their risk, including:
• Using condoms consistently and correctly
• Getting HIV and STD testing with partners
• Choosing less risky sexual behaviours, such as oral sex or mutual masturbation
• For people who inject drugs, getting into drug treatment programs and using sterile equipment
The more prevention options patients choose, the greater their protection. Some HIV prevention strategies, such as using condoms, can also provide protection against other STDs, which PrEP does not prevent.