Wednesday, February 02, 2005

PEP squad

The CDC released new guidelines for post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for HIV. Previously the PEP regimen was limited to occupational exposure (ex. needle sticks for hospital workers or blood contact for EMS employees) and sexual assault survivors (depending on your state). Now, if you have access and can afford it, the CDC has approved PEP for non-occupational exposure.

PEP is a medication regimen. Some folks compare it to emergency contraception aka "the morning after pill" which is actually two pills taken twelve hours apart or together or a whole bunch of birth control pills or IUD insertion and all the pill options are effective up to 120 hours (5 days) after unprotected vaginal intercourse and IUD insertion is good up to seven days later so it's hardly a "morning after pill" but that's another discourse. However, the discourse is similar.

PEP is hardly a morning after solution. It is a full anti-retroviral medication regimen. It must be started within 72 hours (3 days) after exposure and continued for 28 days. And, depending on the medication, can come with quite a load of side effects. Not exactly popping a pill and forgetting about that little indiscretion.

Here's an article
and here's the CDC release

it's about time.


Blogger Garrison Steelle said...


Thanks for posting the links!


2/02/2005 4:50 PM  
Blogger 00goddess said...

It's just now CDC approved, but like many medications, PEP has been prescribed for patients for years.

I really hope that this doesn't make people start thinking that it's okay to be risky because you canjust take a pill. Once a barely acquaintance said in my hearing "I'm not worried about it, because if I get infected I'll just take the cocktail." I sat him down and explained to him the side effects and lifestyle changes required by long-term HAART therapy. I hope that it made an impression.

2/03/2005 2:43 AM  
Blogger Jane Vincent said...

CDC approval is a major step for access. and access is important. just like emergency contraception doesn't increase sex without birth control, i hope PEP will not increase sex without HIV prevention.

part of our job as educators is to explain that HIV STILL (leads to AIDS which leaves one susceptible to other infections that) KILLS. you can't just pop a pill. or two. or twenty. the cocktails are not magic, they are not pleasant, and THEY DO NOT WORK FOR EVERYONE. the rate of viral mutation and medication resistance is sobering. I have too many friends counting down the days to the next drug trial because this one might work for them, unlike the last thirty.

Thank you OOgoddess for your fabulous and insightful comments, as always. I love having you here to chime in.

2/03/2005 12:23 PM  
Blogger 00goddess said...

Wow, thanks. I actually had the opposite impression. I am complimented.

2/24/2005 1:28 AM  
Blogger Jane Vincent said...

you make me work harder, but that's a good thing. thanks again for all your valuable input.

2/24/2005 10:27 AM  

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