The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App 
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
Ask the Experts About

Choosing Your MedsChoosing Your Meds
Rollover images to visit our other forums!
  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

Post-exposure prophylaxis
Dec 20, 2002

Hos does PEP work?It is starting to get quite popular here down under, but I dont understand how it actually works. If PEP blocks a cell cycle in replication, how come the meds dont 'cure'HIV? What is the percentage of effectivity of PEP? Thank you for answering.

Response from Dr. Young

PEP, or post-exposure prophylaxis works by preventing viral replication. Productive viral replication results in the insertion of the HIV chromosome into our genes-- hence it becomes part of our cell's own chromosomes and can be very difficult, if not impossible to eradicate without killing our own cells.

PEP, if given very early after exposure can prevent productive infection. This is a different situation that in the person with established infection, where HIV has already infected hugh numbers of cells. In this later situation, the drugs can prevent new cells from getting infected, but cannot effectively remove the HIV from the already infected cells.


Viread, Videx-EC, & Viramune

  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary



This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.

Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.

Review our complete terms of use and copyright notice.

Powered by ExpertViewpoint