Do you think there is a chance to be at risk? Perhaps you just had a steamy night but you didn’t take safety precautions as you should have done. Well, it’s true to believe you might have put yourself at risk of contracting HIV. Luckily, there’s a chance to keep you safe. The answer is Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP), an anti-HIV medication that you have to take in a course of 4 weeks. These can potentially lower the chances of HIV infection after exposure. Keep in mind that you have to start this medication 72 hours after exposure. Consider these 5 tips for effective use of PEP.
The most important step in the effective use of PEP is to begin the medication as soon as possible after exposure. The recommended period to seek PEP is not to exceed 72 hours after exposure.
The situations when to seek PEP include:
- When a condom breaks during sex
- Sex without a condom with a partner you are not sure of
- Use of shared syringes for injecting
- A partner ejaculating on you
Understand when not to use PEP
This anti-HIV medication is not for oral sex or other low-risk sexual activities. If you are unsure of the risk involved, ensure to talk to a professional who will tell you more about the possible risk. You might not be at risk of HIV but you cannot rule out picking up of other STDs. Therefore, take time to visit a professional clinic where to get professional advice or a blood test. This is highly recommended if you have sexual encounters with more than one partner.
Give the medication chance to work
For more effectiveness, ensure to visit a nearby reputable clinic to start HIV PEP a few hours after exposure. The medication is less likely to work if you visit the health center after 72 hours. Starting the medication earlier after exposure comes with the greater chance of working. When on the medication, ensure not to miss your medication to get the best odds against the infection. Ensure to take your medication regularly for a month without missing.
Understand potential side effects
Just like other antiretroviral medications, PEP has a risk of side effects. These might include:
These side effects are mild and last for only a few days. Therefore, ensure to talk to your doctor if you still have concerns about the likely side effects of PEP.
Be prepare for whatever comes
There is no guarantee that PEP will save you from HIV infection. You are highly recommended to stay safe . Below are 5 ideas that can help you stay safe from contracting HIV:
- Sticking to condoms for casual encounters
- Regular pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) when negative
- Going for regular testing
- Use of serosorting between positive partners
Dealing with HIV is not an experience everyone would wish to undergo. When you think there’s a chance of getting exposed, never hesitate to visit a reliable clinic for PEP. Taking PEP within 72 hours after exposure might save you from contracting HIV.