HIV Drugs: PEP and PREP Usage and Side Effects

Prep and PEP drugs are two medications that are commonly used to prevent the spread of HIV. Prep stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis, while PEP stands for post-exposure prophylaxis. These two drugs are very important medications used in the fight against HIV and AIDS but used in different situations and with different side effects.

PEP drugs are taken by people who have been exposed to HIV within the past 72 hours. PEP drugs are a combination of antiretroviral medications that work to prevent the virus from replicating in the body. PEP drugs must be taken within 72 hours of exposure to be effective, and they are usually taken for four weeks….CONTINUE READING

WebMD outlines some of the side effects of PEP drugs which are similar to those of Prep drugs and can include nausea, diarrhea, and headaches. In some cases, more serious side effects such as liver damage and allergic reactions can occur.

More so, Prep drugs are taken by people who are HIV-negative but are at high risk of contracting the virus according to Medline Plus. The medication is usually taken once a day and is highly effective at preventing the transmission of HIV. These drugs work by blocking an enzyme that is needed for HIV to replicate in the body.

The side effects of Prep drugs are usually mild and include nausea, diarrhea, and headaches. In rare cases, more serious side effects such as kidney damage and bone density loss can occur, but these are extremely rare and usually only occur with long-term use.

General Advice

It is important to use these medications in conjunction with safe s-e-x practices to have a high chance of protection against HIV. If you are at risk of contracting HIV or have been exposed to the virus, talk to your healthcare provider about whether Prep or PEP drugs are right for you as well….CONTINUE READING