What If I Test Positive After Pep
If you test positive for HIV, its recommended you start treatment right away. The numerous treatment methods now available has made HIV a very manageable condition by suppressing the virus to an undetectable viral load and enabling thousands of guys in NSW lead longer, healthier lives. You can view resources, workshops and other information for newly diagnosed HIV positive gay men here.
How Does Pep Work To Help Prevent Hiv
PEP interferes with the pathways that HIV uses to cause a permanent infection in the body. For HIV to cause infection the virus must enter the body, infect certain immune cells, make copies of itself within these immune cells, then spread throughout the body.
When PEP is taken, the HIV drugs get into the bloodstream and the genital and rectal tissues. If there is HIV in the body, the drugs can prevent HIV from replicating within the bodys immune cells, and help to prevent a permanent infection from developing.
PEP drugs need to start working against HIV as soon as possible after the virus enters the body, meaning that PEP should be started as soon as possible after a potential exposure and not more than 72 hours afterwards. Drug levels must also remain high during the month of treatment to help prevent infection. If the pills are not taken consistently, as prescribed, there may not be enough medication in the body to prevent HIV infection.
What Happens When Im On Pep
PEP isnt just a one-time pill its a regimen where you take many pills over many weeks. If your nurse or doctor gives you PEP, youll need to take medicine 1-2 times a day for at least 28 days . Its important that you take every pill as directed and dont skip doses, otherwise PEP may not work as well.
PEP isnt 100% effective, and it won’t prevent future HIV infections like PrEP can. So its important to keep protecting yourself and others from HIV while youre on PEP. Use condoms every time you have sex. If you inject drugs, dont share needles or works. This helps protect you from being exposed to HIV again. And it lowers the chances of giving HIV to others if you do have it
If you develop symptoms like a fever or rash while using PEP, talk with your doctor. These may be signs of the beginning stages of HIV.
Also Check: Why Are Gay People More Likely To Get Hiv
How Much Does An Online Doctor Cost
The cost of an online doctor will vary depending on the telehealth platform and your insurance status. At PlushCare, we accept patients with or without insurance. The average insured patient pays less than $25 to speak with one of our physicians. For patients without insurance, there is a $129 fee, much less than the average health clinic.
If The Source Is Available: Test For Hiv
When the source is available and consents to HIV testing, use of an HIV-1/2 antigen /Ab combination immunoassay is recommended, preferably with a fast turn-around time. Results from point-of-care assays are available in less than 1 hour, and results from laboratory-based screening tests are often available within 1 to 2 hours. Rapid oral testing is not recommended due to lack of sensitivity to identify recent infection and requirements regarding food, drink, and tobacco use.
|Box 4: Source HIV Testing|
|Abbreviations: ART, antiretroviral therapy PEP, post-exposure prophylaxis.|
Don’t Miss: The Main Goal Of Hiv Treatment Is To
Can I Take Pep If Im Pregnant
Yes. If you are pregnant, you can still take PEP. Your provider will want discuss the benefits and risks to you and your baby. If you are nursing, you should stop breast feeding for three months following the exposure. HIV can be transmitted through breast milk, so your HIV status should be verified before you resume breast feeding. Ask your provider about pumping and discarding breast milk if you wish to go back to breastfeeding after the three month period.
Other Things To Consider
It is best not to rely on PEP as a regular way of preventing HIV if you are having condomless sex or sharing drug injecting equipment. Condoms, when used properly, are an effective way of preventing HIV and most other sexually transmitted infections . PEP wont stop you getting other STIs while youre taking it, so its sensible to use condoms during that period as well. Staff at sexual health clinics can provide information and advice about sexual health and how best to protect yourself from HIV and other STIs.
If you have needed PEP more than once in the past, you might want to consider taking PrEP. This is a similar HIV medication that you take regularly to prevent HIV before youre exposed. A doctor or nurse at a sexual health clinic can help you think through whether you need PrEP and whether it is suitable for you. This will involve being asked about the type of sex you have been having and expect to have in the future.
Taking PEP at the same time as other drugs can cause drug interactions. When accessing PEP it is important to tell the doctor or pharmacist about anything else you take. This includes over-the-counter medication, vitamins, minerals, herbal remedies and recreational drugs. That way, you can avoid interactions that can result in serious side effects or drugs being ineffective.
If you are breastfeeding, you can still take PEP. Doctors will choose a regimen that is suitable for you and your baby and offer you advice.
Recommended Reading: Can You Pass On Hiv If You Are Undetectable
How Do I Use Pep
PEP is a course of daily pills you take over 28 days.
Once you finish your course of PEP, it is important to get an HIV test. You should get an HIV test at four to six weeks after you first started PEP and again three months after starting PEP. This is because it can take up to three months for HIV to show up on a test.
How Does Pep Work
PEP is a combination of anti-HIV medications. It works by preventing HIV from establishing an infection in the first few days after the virus enters the body.
To have a chance of being effective, PEP should be started within 72 hours of exposure, and ideally as soon as possible. The faster you start PEP, the more likely it is to succeed.
Read Also: Does Hiv Shorten Life Span
Selecting And Initiating A 28
Reviewed and updated: Elliot DeHaan, MD, with the Medical Care Criteria Committee August 11, 2022
How To Take Pep
PEP medications are taken daily for a total of 28 days . Theyre given in a pill format.
Its important to take PEP around the same time each day. This is so the level of antiretroviral drugs in the body remains constant during treatment.
Missing doses of PEP can make it less effective. It may be helpful to set a daily alert on a phone or tablet to remember when its time for another dose. When missing one dose in a 24-hour period, it can be taken as soon as someone notices.
Remember that PEP cant reduce the risk of other STIs or infections like hepatitis C. It also cant prevent additional HIV exposures. Because of this, someone taking PEP should continue to use condoms during sex and avoid sharing injection drug equipment.
Now that weve discussed PEP as well as how and when its taken, lets take a look at what to expect both before and after taking PEP.
Don’t Miss: What Happens If I Am Hiv Positive
Considerations For Sexual Assault In Children
Lead authors: Aracelis Fernandez, MD, with Lisa-Gaye Robinson, MD, and Ruby Fayorsey, MD, with the Medical Care Criteria Committee June 2020
Care providers with experience in managing childhood sexual assault should assist in evaluating children who have been sexually assaulted to best assess the comprehensive needs of the child. Clinicians should assess children who are sexually assaulted for possible exposure to other STIs, including gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and trichomoniasis. Indications for laboratory evaluation and antimicrobial prophylaxis depend on the nature of the assault.
Once the initial, emergency dose of PEP has been administered, care for children exposed to HIV through sexual assault should be managed by a multidisciplinary team that includes the following:
- Clinicians with expertise in providing care for children who have been sexually assaulted
- Child protective services, which are mandated by law to conduct an initial assessment and investigation of reported assault/abuse
- Law enforcement officials to gather and evaluate evidence
- Rape crisis counselors or advocates to provide support to the child and family
- Mental health workers to provide immediate services as needed and who can provide long-term follow-up of the child and family, if appropriate
For more information, see The New York State Child Abuse Medical Provider Program > Education for Child Abuse Medical Providers.
|KEY POINTS: SEXUAL ASSAULT IN CHILDREN|
Does Howard Brown Offer Pep
Yes! Howard Brown offers PEP to patients on a walk-in basis. If you believe you have been exposed to HIV, you can come to Howard Brown during our regular hours of operation to receive treatment. Patients without insurance may qualify for low-cost services, and staff will be available to help you figure out how to pay for the medication. Howard Brown Health always has a healthcare provider on call to help navigate you outside of regular business hours.
For additional information, call 773.388.8889 or walk in during our hours of operation.
If you are unable to come during regular hours of operation, seek PEP through the nearest emergency room.
Also Check: Can You Get Hiv Through Sperm
Who Might Need Pep
- People who think they might have been exposed to HIV during sex
- People who have been sexually assaulted
- Drug users who recently shared needles or other related items
- Health care workers who think they’ve been exposed to HIV on the job
If you think you were exposed to HIV, go to the hospital or see your doctor as soon as possible. They can help you figure out whether you need PEP.
How Well Does Pep Work To Prevent Hiv Transmission
PEP does not prevent 100% of HIV infections but it is very effective at preventing HIV if used every day for 28 days. PEP should ideally be started right away, but it can be started up to a maximum of 72 hours after a potential exposure to HIV. The sooner you start PEP, the more effective it is.
To maximize the effectiveness of PEP:
Also Check: How Long Can Hiv Go Undetected
Can Online Doctors Prescribe Antibiotics
Yes, an online doctor can prescribe antibiotics following a virtual consultation. Antibiotics are a prescription medication and therefore you must speak to a doctor before you can receive them. That said, you can meet with an online doctor and get prescribed antibiotics online. In that way you avoid the doctors office and can receive treatment from your home, or on the go!
Paying For Pep For Another Reason
- If you cannot get insurance coverage, your health care provider can apply for free PEP medicines through the medication assistance programs run by the manufacturers.
- These requests for assistance can be handled urgently in many cases to avoid a delay in getting medicine.
Links with this icon indicate that you are leaving the CDC website.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cannot attest to the accuracy of a non-federal website.
- Linking to a non-federal website does not constitute an endorsement by CDC or any of its employees of the sponsors or the information and products presented on the website.
- CDC is not responsible for Section 508 compliance on other federal or private website.
Don’t Miss: Can You Get Hiv From An Undetectable Person
Get Pep Treatment Online
Speak to a board-certified doctor securely from your phone or computer and get treatment for HIV with PEP in 15 minutes. PEP is an antiretroviral medication that prevents HIV from spreading in the body if used within 72 hours of exposure to the disease. With our same-day treatment service, you can meet with a top online doctor, get diagnosed, and receive the medication you need.
Getting The Conversation Started
If you think you may have higher chances of developing HIV, its important to discuss this and the steps you can take for protection from HIV with a trained healthcare professional.
Here are some things you can do to get a meaningful discussion started:
- Learn about the chances of contracting HIV from reputable sources like the CDC.
- Write down questions you want to ask a counselor or healthcare professional.
- Be open and share your concerns about HIV and your health experience.
- Ask where you can get tested regularly.
- Ask about where you can get PrEP medications in your area.
- If you dont have insurance, some state health departments offer free access to PrEP.
- Discuss how to share concerns with sexual partners about contracting HIV.
Read Also: What Does The Hiv Virus Do
Preferred Pep Regimens For Patients Who Weigh 40 Kg
The medications that comprise the recommended PEP regimens listed in Table 2: Preferred Post-Exposure Prophylaxis Regimen for Patients Who Weigh 40 kg, below, have favorable adverse effect profiles, fewer potential drug-drug interactions, and expected efficacy similar to older PEP regimens that contained ZDV or PIs. Researchers have reported increased rates of adherence and regimen completion when TDF/FTC or TDF/3TC have been used as components of the PEP regimen . Observational cohorts and 1 small randomized study reported improved tolerability with TDF/FTC plus RAL . Additionally, TDF/FTC has been highly successful in recent studies of pre-exposure prophylaxis . One observational cohort demonstrated high completion rates with TDF/FTC plus DTG .
Unlike PIs, which block HIV replication after integration with cellular DNA, all currently recommended medications act before viral integration with cellular DNA, providing a theoretical advantage in preventing establishment of HIV infection.
What Happens After I Finish Taking Pep
Your provider will want to verify that PEP has successfully prevented an HIV infection. This means your provider may ask you to be tested one month and three months after completing PEP.
You may be offered additional services, such as HIV/STI prevention education, recovery services, needle exchange services, or counseling. If you need these services but they have not been offered, ask your provider for a referral.
If the exposure to HIV is ongoing your provider may want to discuss PrEP with you in detail. PrEP is a daily pill that has been shown to protect people who are at ongoing risk for getting HIV. If you believe PrEP would be a good choice for you, ask your provider for more information.
Recommended Reading: Can Dried Blood Transmit Hiv
What Are Some Other Ways To Help Prevent Hiv And Other Infections
PEP is the only way to help prevent HIV after a potential exposure to HIV. It is for emergency use only. It is not meant to be used as a long-term HIV prevention strategy.
There are several ways to help prevent HIV before you are exposed to HIV:
PrEP is a highly effective way to prevent getting HIV when used as prescribed, on an ongoing basis, starting before and continuing after exposure to HIV.
Condoms are highly effective at preventing both HIV and other sexually transmitted infections if used consistently and correctly.
New drug use equipment
For people who inject drugs, using new injection equipment each time is a highly effective strategy to prevent HIV, hepatitis B and C, and other infections.
Maintaining an undetectable viral load
When people with HIV take treatment and maintain an undetectable viral load, they do not pass HIV on to their sex partners. Their risk of passing HIV through sharing needles is also reduced, but we dont know exactly how much. If you have a partner with HIV who is on treatment and maintaining an undetectable viral load, this is a highly effective strategy to prevent the sexual transmission of HIV.
In a work context, it is important to use universal precautions, such as wearing gloves, disinfecting surfaces and handling and discarding sharps safely, to avoid coming into contact with bodily fluids that may transmit HIV or other infections.