PEP and PrEP for HIV
HIV PrEP

Conversations During Commuting – PEP & PrEP

Dr. Srikant Hari was traveling by a shared cab and writing out some notes in his notepad. His co-passenger, an inquisitive young girl, spotted some words like ‘prep’ and struck up a conversation with the Doctor.

“Sir, are you a medical professor?” asked the curious girl, “asking students to prepare for a test?”

Doctor, realizing she had spotted the word ‘prep’ corrected her immediately, “No, No. This is PEP & PrEP! It’s medication for HIV.”

“Oh! What do they do? Sorry for bothering you… I’m thinking of getting into the medical field after my 12th exams!”

“No worries,” replied the Doctor, “PEP for HIV means Post-Exposure Prophylaxis and involves medication to be taken after a risky exposure to prevent a life-long infection with HIV.”

“Oh! So I’m assuming PEP should be taken immediately?” enquired the girl.

“Yes!” responded the Doctor, “PEP must be taken within 72 hours for it to be effective. PEP must be taken if your condom breaks, you’ve had unprotected sex or shared needles with someone with HIV.”

“Understood… And is PrEP a part of PEP?” prodded the young girl.

“No dear… PrEP for HIV means Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis and involves medication to be taken on a regular basis by at-risk people to avoid HIV infection.”

“So before getting infected? How does one know they’re at risk though?

“You’re at risk if your partner is HIV positive, if you regularly have unprotected sex or if you share syringes with at-risk or infected people,” the Doctor continued, “PrEP prevents HIV from taking hold and spreading in your body. PrEP is highly effective when taken properly and consistently as directed by your medical practitioner.”

“So are these medicines injected or…”

“They’re pill-based,” The Doctor completed the girl’s statement for her. “They must be taken every day. PEP must be taken every day for 28 days and PrEP must be taken every day till you remain at risk.”

“Got it! Thank you so much! This was very informative!” beamed the girl as she prepared to disembark from her cab. “My stop’s here, thank you once again!”

“Please share the knowledge ahead with your friends! It’s important to make people aware of HIV and the medical advancements around it!” The Doctor responded, as he bid goodbye to the girl and got back to making his notes in the cab.

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