PEP (HIV Treatment)

Infectious Disease Specialist serving Jacksonville and the surrounding areas

PEP (HIV Treatment) services offered in Jacksonville and Jacksonville Beach, FL

Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) may prevent you from getting human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) after exposure. At Reza Health in Jacksonville, Florida, Mohammed Reza, MD, prescribes PEP for those who need it. You must start PEP within 72 hours of your exposure to HIV. To find out more about PEP and how it can help you, call the office or schedule an appointment with the HIV specialist online today.

What is PEP?

Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is an emergency treatment for people who’ve been exposed to HIV. It involves taking a short course of HIV medication called antiretrovirals. These medications prevent the virus from multiplying and taking hold in your body.

To prevent HIV, you must start PEP within 72 hours of your suspected exposure to the virus. PEP isn’t effective if you wait longer than that to begin treatment.

Who needs PEP?

Dr. Reza may recommend PEP if you’re HIV-negative or unsure of your HIV status and think you were exposed to HIV within the last 72 hours. You may need PEP if you:

  • Had unprotected sex with an HIV-positive person
  • Shared needles with an HIV-positive person
  • Were sexually assaulted

Dr. Reza also recommends PEP if you think you were exposed to HIV through sex, sharing needles, or at work. 

PEP is for emergency use only and isn’t recommended for people who regularly engage in behaviors that put them at risk of getting HIV. For people at risk of HIV, Dr. Reza recommends pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), which prevents people at risk of HIV from getting HIV.

What happens with PEP?

Before starting PEP, Dr. Reza talks to you about your exposure and reviews your medical history. He also tests for other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Dr. Reza doesn’t test for HIV until after you complete your PEP treatment.

He then prescribes your PEP medication, which you take every day for 28 days. Dr. Reza schedules regular follow-up appointments while you’re on PEP to monitor for side effects and symptoms of HIV. 

While taking PEP, you may have headaches, insomnia, or an upset stomach.

What happens after PEP?

Once you complete your course of PEP, Dr. Reza has you return to the office so he can test for HIV and other STDs. When taken as prescribed, PEP is very effective but not 100% effective. 

If you test positive for HIV following PEP, Dr. Reza offers HIV care to help you manage the virus and prevent complications.  

If you think you were exposed to HIV, call Reza Health or schedule a consultation online today. Don’t wait. The sooner you start treatment, the better your chances of a full recovery.