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Post exposure prophylaxis answers (172)

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Q: 

What Is an HIV prophylaxis?

A: The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is the virus that causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). It is spread through infected bodily fluids that enter the blood stream of an uninfected person. Transmission most commonly occurs during anal or vaginal sexual intercourse, when injection drug users share needles, or when a health care worker is pricked with a needle that contains infected blood. Additionally, a pregnant woman who is HIV positive can transmit HIV to her child during delivery or while breast feeding. An HIV prophylaxis is a treatment aimed at preventing the transmission of HIV; there are two kinds of HIV prophylaxis: pre-exposure prophylaxis and

Q: 

HIV exposure

A: Dear Sam: Thanks for caring so much for my thoughts, but the physician providing your care is the right person to ask.   The research on PEP is a little hard to assess - mostly comes from a small group of health care workers with significant exposures, some become infected, some do not, but that would happen anyway.  There seems enough statistical evidence to suggest that PEP is better than non-PEP. In theory, weakening HIV by attacking it with antiretrovial agents should reduce the chances of an infection occurring.  A real problem has been that in early PEP studies, many of the workers stopped taking the meds because of side effects.  Thus, I said "may" because I cannot speak definitively on the matter.  Would "probably" have...


Q: 

Possible AIDS exposure

A: Dear Brian: Peace and all good things, thank you for your service.  The recommendations for health care workers (HCW) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) are contained at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5409a1.htm and go into some great depth of analysis; bottom line is that the sooner the better.   PEP was being practiced even prior to 1985 and a study dated from 1991-1996 is also at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov) website.   I will add a few observations and opinions from my own experience: 1) While it is difficult to get clinicians and policy-makers to agree, there should be a PEP policy and it should be known, with the medications -...


Q: 

what to do in case of accidental exposure

A: Response from Dr. Wohl There are limited data regarding the prevention of transmission of HIV sexually. However, the available evidence suggests ART started early might be able to interfere with HIV infection. We know from animal data and looking at the post exposure prophylaxis of health care worker data as well as studies to prevent transmission of HIV from mothers to infants that ART can prevent infection. For sexual transmission prevention, it is likely effective drugs have to be started as soon as possible following exposure. In some places, local emergency rooms are set up to provide post sexual exposure

Q: 

stopping meds after HIV exposure

A: Response from Dr. Pierone Hello and thanks for posting. Strictly speaking, the regimen that you have been on is not for treatment of acute HIV infection but rather for post-exposure prophylaxis after a high risk exposure. The standard course of treatment for post-exposure prophylaxis is 30 days. Then it becomes a waiting game with follow-up blood testing. The good news is that there is a greater than a 99% chance that infection will not occur. By now you should have your follow-up HIV results back should know if this preventive therapy was effective. Good luck!...


Q: 

exposure as a nurse

A: Dear Trish: Thanks for your note, and please continue appropriate touching where no infectious fluids are present.  I have heard horror stories of patients whose HIV status was known who were greeted by professionals gowned and gloved for the simplest of procedures.  The connection between healing and touch is so important, I would hope you don"t distance yourself from patients - known to be infected or not - by being overly cautious.  Barrier protection isn"t necessary in every situation - and inappropriate for non-invasive procedures. Again, thank YOU for your service. Terry...


Q: 

Immediate meds after exposure

A: Response from Dr. Young Thanks for your post. If you truly think that you may have had a risky exposure, then starting on post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) can reduce the likelihood of transmission. PEP should be taken as soon as possible after exposure and for 4 weeks. You''d hate to look back at this period and say that you didn''t do all you could to prevent HIV. Good luck and be safe out there,BY...


Q: 

exposure as a nurse

A: Dear Trish: Thanks for your note, and please continue appropriate touching where no infectious fluids are present.  I have heard horror stories of patients whose HIV status was known who were greeted by professionals gowned and gloved for the simplest of procedures.  The connection between healing and touch is so important, I would hope you don"t distance yourself from patients - known to be infected or not - by being overly cautious.  Barrier protection isn"t necessary in every situation - and inappropriate for non-invasive procedures. Again, thank YOU for your service. Terry...


Q: 

HIV exposure through work!

A: Response from Dr. Young Hello and thank you for your post. I''d think that your exposure was low risk; nevertheless, it''s seems reasonable to undergo post-exposure prophylaxis with the Combivir. Make sure to stay in contact with your prescribing healthcare provider about any side effects and to get the usual laboratory monitoring. Be well,BY...


Q: 

exposure to infected blood

A: Dear Asif: Peace and best wishes for your mother.  An occupational exposure to HIV as described is of serious concern; the reasoning described by the healthcare professionals seems quite sound as well.  One factor not mentioned is that her wearing gloves also served to at least slightly reduce the amount of infected blood to which she might have been exposed by the wiping effect of passing through the latex. post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is what you describe with her taking medications immediately after the exposure.  It may reduce (has in some reports) chances of an exposure becoming and infection.  References to...


 
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