|What's the difference between PrEP and PEP?
Jul 2, 2009
Hey Doc, Are PEP and PrEP the same thing? I'm confused. Jimbo
| Response from Dr. Frascino
PEP and PrEP are similar in that these treatments both try to prevent HIV infection. But they are not exactly the same. Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is administered to folks who have had a significant exposure to the virus: for instance after a broken condom incident while having sex with a poz partner or after a significant needlestick in a health care setting while treating a patient with AIDS. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), on the other hand, is taken before a potential HIV exposure. Clinical studies (currently ongoing) will determine if PrEP really does prevent infection. Both PEP and PrEP consist of a combination of antiretroviral medications, the same medications used to actually treat established HIV disease. We know that PEP/PrEP does work to help prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission from an HIV-positive pregnant mom to her unborn child when it is given before birth to the mom and after birth to the newborn. You can read much more about PEP/PrEP in the archives.
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