PEP duration from needlestick
Nov 6, 2007
Dear Dr. Frascino,
I'm a Physician Assistant and was stuck by a needle while suturing a HIV+ patient. His viral load was undetectable and CD4 850. I immediately washed the area and took Combivir within 5 minutes. I've been on the Combivir for one week now and having a difficult time with the side effects. I don't know if I can complete the full 4 week course. My question is, how was the 4 week duration of PEP established? Does it truly take 4 weeks to abort the virus?
Thanks for your time.
Response from Dr. Frascino
Your occupational exposure is less risky than most, because as suture needle is solid and your patient had an undetectable HIV plasma viral load.
The 28-day course of PEP was chosen because four weeks of ZDV (AZT) appeared to be protective in occupational and animal studies. However, in reality we really do not know what the optimal duration of PEP therapy is.
Your post brings up another important point for our readers: PEP is no picnic. Taking potent antiretroviral drugs can be very challenging. I speak from personal experience, having taken fistfuls of antivirals daily for over a decade.
Good luck, Physician's Assistant! If you're having difficulties with side effects or toxicity from your Combivir, talk to your HIV specialist. He should be able to help mitigate the symptoms or, if necessary, switch your therapy.
Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS
- Hiv Transmission Blowjob From A Prostitute
- Burning Penis After Licking Genital Worried I Have HIV
- Herpes After Condom Inside Out Worried I Have HIV
- Itchy Vagina After Genital Rubbing Sign Of HIV AIDS
- Painful Red Spots After Oral Sex Worried I Have HIV
- White Bumps After Handjob Worried I Have HIV
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 TheBody.com nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.