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72 HOUR SHOT?
Jul 15, 2008

I heard that there was a post exposure shot to prevent for HIV infection for medical personal and police officers. Is this true, whats the percentage of killing the HIV? can anyone ask for this shot if they are exposed very interested into the validity of this information

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Don't believe everything you hear! No, there is no "72 hour shot" to prevent HIV!

Most likely what you heard about was PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis). This involves taking a combination of potent antiretroviral medications for a period of 28 days. The medications can be difficult to tolerate and have the potential for significant side effects and toxicities. PEP is recommended only for significant HIV exposures and needs to be started as soon as possible (and no later than 72 hours) after the exposure. Even when PEP is taken as directed, it is not 100% effective. There are PEP failures. Yours truly is an excellent example of that.

You can read more about PEP in the archives.

Remember, the real key to preventing HIV is not after-the-fact treatment, but rather a before-the-fact latex condom!

Dr. Bob



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