Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a type of virus that attacks the immune system of a human being, and thus the body becomes incapable of fighting against the virus. The white blood cells (WBC) that are important for the body to stay immune against infections are directly attacked by the HIV Virus. The last stage of HIV is AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome).
Types of HIV
HIV is of two types: HIV-1 (the one that causes AIDS), and HIV-2 (the one that causes an illness similar to AIDS). The common causes of HIV are by coming in contact with infected blood, semen, or vaginal fluids, by having unprotected sex with someone who is HIV infected, or during pregnancy or breastfeeding. If a person comes in contact with HIV, then the person should immediately consult a doctor or opt for HIV PEP Clinic Singapore.
HIV Post-Exposure Prophylaxis
HIV Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (HIV PEP) is made up of a combination of at least three antiretroviral (ARV) drugs. This drug helps in suppressing the HIV virus to a great extent and also helps in seizing the progression of the HIV virus.
When to Start the treatment
The PEP is to be started within 24 hours of the exposure to the virus. The PEP can also be helpful if the exposure to the virus was before 72 hours. If a person has been prescribed PEP by the HIV PEP Clinic Singapore, the person needs to take it on a regular basis for a period of 28 days. In case a person is found to be HIV positive, then one must go for regular blood tests in order to check the status of the virus before treatment.
Effectiveness of PEP
PEP is effective in preventing the HIV virus to a great extent, but not exactly 100%. It is better if the PEP starts as soon as possible. If one is taking PEP, then it is necessary for the person to have protection during intercourse.
When is PEP Required?
In case a person is accidentally exposed to the virus while working, for example, injuries via needle, coming in contact with infectious blood or body fluids, the workers are given antiretroviral medications (ARV) or antiretroviral therapy (ART).
There are many situations where PEP is required. Some of the examples are: in case of exposure of healthcare workers or prison officers to the virus, having unprotected sex with a partner who is HIV infected, condom breaks with a partner infected with HIV, or in case of sexual assault.
Side-effects of PEP
The HIV PEP drugs are prescribed can sometimes be having a few side effects like nausea and vomiting. But these side effects are in no way life-threatening and can easily be treated. In case one is having problems or the side effects do not go away, one should have a talk with their healthcare provider or visit an HIV PEP Clinic Singapore. It is also important for the person to let their healthcare provider know about any other medicine one is taking because it may cause some side effects or some drug interaction which can cause serious health issues when taken with the PEP.
CDC and PEP
Information and details regarding antiretroviral medications (ARV) are provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). CDC is responsible for recommending PEP to people with specific needs, especially children, pregnant women, or people who have kidney problems. The healthcare provider of a person is responsible for telling people what medicines are to be taken for the PEP.
Alternatives of PEP
PEP is basically taken for those cases that are an emergency. PEP is not recommended for people on a regular basis. There is another method quite similar to PEP, which is called PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis). This is used when a person is at a high risk of getting exposed to the HIV virus, and for this one has to take a specific HIV medicine to prevent the risk of getting infected.
Treating The Deadly Disease
HIV treatment usually lasts for a lifetime, and most of the times it is permanent. There are other complementary medications that can be used in place of PEP such as herbal medications, but they are not as effective as PEP itself. According to tests conducted worldwide, vitamin or mineral supplements can be beneficial in improving the overall health of a person to a certain extent. In the end, PEP is the only effective drug medication that is actually helpful in restoring the health of the person.