|How effective is PEP?
Jul 26, 2008
Dear Doctor Bob:
How effective is PEP after a insertive vaginal sex where the condom broke. I was started at the 19th hour after exposure.
| Response from Dr. Frascino
We know PEP can help to abort HIV infection following an exposure. Unfortunately, I cannot tell you exactly how effective, because there are far too many variables to consider for each individual case. These variables are related to both viral (viral strain, viral load, etc.) and host (immune integrity, concurrent infections, route of exposure, size of inoculum, etc.) factors. What I can tell you is that PEP efficacy is linked to how quickly it is begun after exposure. The sooner it's started, the more likely it is to be effective. If more than 72 hours have passed since exposure, PEP is no longer considered worth trying. PEP efficacy also depends on including the appropriate antiretroviral drugs in the PEP regimen. If the patient were exposed to a virus already highly resistant to the drugs in the PEP regimen, PEP would fail. Finally, I can also tell you that even when PEP is prescribed and taken appropriately, there are PEP failures. It is not 100% effective in preventing HIV infection. A prime example of that would be yours truly. You can read more about PEP in the archives.
Good luck with your treatment.
Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS
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.