If you have had a high risk exposure to HIV in the last 72 hours. You are a potential candidate for PEP.
Factors that can increase the risk of HIV infection and you are a potential candidate for PEP due to:
- The partner is known to be HIV positive AND is not on treatment.
- Anal sex with penetration without condom
- Vaginal sex without condom
- Condom break
- Presence of blood
- Presence of cuts or ulcers
- You are not circumcised
- You have been exposed to potentially HIV infected body fluids
- Your exposure was less then 72 hours ago
- Partner of unknown HIV status who belong to higher risk HIV group (e.g. MSM or from africa or S.E.Asia)
- They penetrated you (Their penis, your arse) AND you don't know for sure whether they have HIV or not.
HOW DOES PEP WORK?
Once you are exposed to HIV, it take less than a week for the virus to establish itself within your body. Once it is established you will have HIV for the rest of your life. However, if you begin taking PEP in time, the anti-HIV drugs will prevent the HIV (that's already in your body) from reproducing and it DIES out before it has a chance to multiply.
WHAT HIV PEP DRUGS DO WE USE?
We use the latest gold standard PEP medicines with fewer side effects and better HIV prevention which will be taken for 28 days.
For adults: Tenofovir combined with either Tenofovir (TDF) and emtricitabine (FTC) as preferred backbone drugs and these are also the preferred drugs for treating HIV. The recommended third drug, which is also recommended by WHO and CDC as a preferred drug for HIV treatment, will be chosen by your doctor.
WHAT ARE THE HIV PEP SIDE EFFECTS?
With the new PEP drugs we use, side effects are very rare. Fewer than 1 in 100 of our patients actually develop any side effects.
Common side effects (<1%) include nausea, diarrhoea and feeling tired.
Rash and fever are uncommon (< 0.1%) side effects.
HOW MUCH DOES THE HIV PEP COST?
The usual costs involved are:
1. Consultation Fee
2. Rapid HIV test (15 minutes)
3. Rapid Hepatitis B, C virus test (15 minutes)
4. PEP Medications according to the latest international HIV prevention guidelines (CDC/WHO)
5. Treatment for possible sexually transmitted infections (optional)
WHAT ELSE SHOULD BE DONE?
Your doctor might advice that you get treatment as prevention for possible gonorrhoea/chlamydia/syphilis after unprotected sex or sexual accident.
YOU DON'T NEED PEP IF...
- You are confident that your partner doesn't have HIV.
- The partner is HIV positive and on successful treatment (Known as ‘undetectable viral load').
- Human bites
- Another person's semen gets in your eye.
WHAT WILL DOCTOR ASK ME?
The doctor will try to evaluate how likely it is you have actually been exposed to HIV before starting treatment.
Questions will include what sort of sexual or injecting activity or partner is likely to be HIV-positive.
At PULSE CLINIC (Silom Bangkok, Phuket, HatYai) they have seen this 1600 times before, you're not the first and not the last. The doctor won't judge, He/She will be very helpful and make you feel at ease.
If you think you're at risk and need PEP, call us.
I HAVE COMPLETED MY 28 DAYS COURSE OF PEP, WHAT DO I DO NEXT?
Once you've finished the course of PEP, see your provider or come back to us to get tested for HIV, the doctor will evaluate your risks and might recommend you to start taking PrEP. You should get tested again 3 months after you have finished the PEP to confirm!