Post-infection HIV drugs are an important part of healthcare provision in the fight against HIV transmission. Where possible, it is important for all HIV-positive patients to take the right ART drugs to prevent the risk of infecting others.
All preventative measures, including Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, are preferable when we can stop the spread of the virus. However, there are times when these actions simply aren’t suitable. This is when healthcare providers need to provide access to Post-Exposure Prophylaxis.
What is Post-Exposure Prophylaxis and why is it such an important tool for HIV-negative patients?
Many HIV-negative patients may receive Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis treatment as a preventative measure. This is likely if they are in a relationship with an HIV-positive individual.
These drugs work to inhibit the spread of the disease during times of exposure. This is great for all those that are in a relationship with a known risk of exposure.
It acts as another aid alongside other safe sex approaches. However, there are times when non-infected individuals find themselves exposed without warning. It is important that anyone in this situation receives the help they need to deal with the risks of transmission.
One of the key areas of concern here lies with individuals that are victims of rape and sexual assault. If there is any chance that the assailant is HIV-positive, they may have transmitted the disease.
Victims deserve access to these post-exposure options as soon as possible for the best result. Then there are simply those that have unprotected sex or that may have accidentally come into contact through shared needles. This is where Post Infection HIV Drugs come in. They target HIV post-exposure to deal with any risk.
Generally speaking, most patients involved with PEP will receive Raltegravir (400 mg twice daily) or Dolutegravir (50 mg daily). They will combine this with 300 mg of TDF and 200mg of Emtricitabine.
Is this PEP system the right approach for all individuals?
Anyone in the situations mentioned above should be able to turn to PEP initiatives as a lifeline. However, some may be cautious about seeking help.
There may be some concerns over the warning that PEP is only for use in “emergency situations.” These recent events, especially sexual assault, are emergencies and need treatment within 72 hours of exposure.
Health care providers urge anyone in this situation to seek help as soon as possible. Those deemed to be at risk will receive a 3-5 supply of the drug, followed by a continuous supply for the full 28-course.
During this period, doctors must monitor patients on follow-up appointments. Here doctors can test for signs of HIV, drug toxicity, and other issues. There is also the opportunity for counseling to advise patients on the situation.
Post-infection HIV drugs are a vital aid in particular circumstances and need wider promotion.
The issue of “emergency situations” is not the only concern here. There is also the chance that some non-infected individuals may not even be aware that Post-Exposure Prophylaxis is even available.
Education is one of the most important tools in HIV treatment and prevention. It is important that the wider public becomes more aware of this opportunity for post-infection HIV drugs. This is true in this 72-hour window post-exposure. Without awareness, many victims could suffer.