Dr. Olu Funmilayo 

'Yes, you heard me right. It’s called HIV Post Exposure Prophylaxis'

A Nigeria medical doctor living and working in the UK, through his Twitter handle @DrOluFunmilayo recently tweeted a thread where he as our 'Our Fav Online Doctor' educated us about a drug course or treatment which can be taken immediately after having an unprotected s3x with a prostitute or a suspected HIV patient so as to prevent us from getting infected. He called it Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP)

Read the thread below:

If you just had a very risky unprotected s3x and you don’t want to get HIV, go to a hospital.

PS- It has to be within 72 hours of the s3x.
So What is PEP?

PEP stands for post-exposure prophylaxis. It means the act of taking antiretroviral medicines (ART) after engaging in an activity (like unprotected s3x, sharing needles etc) that can potentially expose a person to HIV.

The aim is to prevent becoming infected.
Who should take PEP?

You should go to a hospital and speak with a doctor about having PEP if you:

had unprotected s3x with a very high risk person like a prostitute or with someone who already has HIV.

Or you got pricked with an HIV-infected needle or while sharing needles.
So how is a PEP taken?

The PEP is NOT one-off medication.

It is a course of anti-HIV medication.
You should start the treatment immediately if you think you've been exposed to HIV, ideally within a few hours.

The medicines should be taken on a daily basis for 28 days.
When is the best time to start a PEP?

The earlier the better. The faster the more effective.

Most ideally within 24 hours of being exposed to HIV. But latest time, it must be within 72 hours of the exposure. PEP is unlikely to work after 3 days. So most doctors won’t give it.

Does PEP guarantee 100% that a person will not get HIV? 

NO. It does not. However it reduces the likelihood that a person may develop the infection. It makes Infection with HIV less likely.

Almost like how postinor doesn’t guarantee not getting pregnant but reduces chances.
Is there anything that can make a PEP fail to work?

The PEP may not work if you:
take the medicines incorrectly
take the medicines after 72 hours
don’t finish the course for 28 days or continue to have unprotected sex with HIV infected persons or keep getting reinfected.
Where can I get PEP from?

S3xual Health Clinic. HIV Clinic.
Accident and Emergency. You should be able to get it from any hospital really.

All you need do is walk in and speak with a doctor. If they don’t have it, he o she can point you in the right direction to how to get it.
Do the doctors ask anything before prescribing the PEP or is it automatic?

It’s NOT automatic.
Doctors may ask about- who you had s3x with, to assess the degree of risk (higher if prostitute or known HIV person)

whether it was oral, v*ginal or an*l s3x (risk highest with anal) The doctor may also ask about timing. “How long ago was the s3x or the event?” If more than 72 hours, PEP is not effective and may not be prescribed by the doctor as it is deemed useless.

Doctors ask this questions because PEPs are anti HIV medications that are quite serious.
What are the side effects of the PEP?

Different people cope differently with the medicines. However some people report nausea, vomiting, headache, tiredness etc. Some people say it can be very exhausting.

However, this usually starts to get better as you keep taking the PEP. You may be asked to take an HIV test before starting it to be sure whether you already had HIV before this event without knowing.

And you may also need to do an HIV test after completing the PEP just to be sure of what your status is. PEP is an “emergency” medication. It’s NOT a method of “routine” HIV Prevention.

It’s mainly for unexpected situations where people get pricked with HIV infected needles or have unprotected s3x with an HIV person (or condom breaks) etc

PEP is not a substitute for safe s3x.
Remember:

Don’t gamble with your life.
If you have regular s3x, practise safe s3x.

If you have done something risky, it’s better to have a PEP (for a month) than ignore and develop HIV later and need to use medicines for years maybe.

PEP side effects aren’t life threatening.
Overall I hope this thread has opened your eyes to something you probably haven’t heard about before now. Or you have, but not known in this way. Or you know already and it was a good reminder.

Whichever way, thanks for reading.
And please retweet for others also.

Thanks

Credit: Dr.  Olu Funmilayo 

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