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prevention / protection after rape
Jun 5, 2012

If a girl is raped, she is often given ARV's asap after incident presumably to prevent the HIV infection . Similarly when a health worker suffers a needle prick incident from a patient who is HIV+, even before blood test results are in, the person is immediately given ARV's. How can a person take ARV's on an almost one-off basis? Can the virus be destroyed this way?

Response from Dr. Young

Hello and thanks for posting.

You're speaking about post-exposure prophylaxis (or PEP). PEP has been shown to be very effective if initiated soon after exposure and is thought to work by preventing HIV from productively infecting human cells.

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