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PEP vs. PrEP: What’s the difference? | HIV Awareness| Sexual Health

PEP vs. PrEP: What’s the difference? | HIV Awareness| Sexual Health

Good morning my sisters! I hope everyone is doing well and continuously learning and striving to be the healthiest versions of themselves possible. Today I wanted to focus on a topic regarding different medicine types for HIV. I know that a lot of you have heard of PEP and PrEP, but do you know which one is which, and what they truly are? Well today we are going to talk about it in hopes that it saves some lives.

What is PrEP & How does it work?

PrEP stands for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, and similarly to what the name suggests, this is the medicine you would take before you have been exposed to the virus. Personally I had no idea this existed until one of my gay friends told me about it. I was astounded to hear about something like this even existing. PrEP is a medicine that if taken daily can prevent exposure to HIV. When PrEP is taken daily, it builds up a protection layer for the immune cells in your body, so that the HIV can’t destroy your T-Cells (Immune Cells). Prep have been approved for use by the FDA all the way back in 2012, and has been deemed safe to use for anyone who is:

  • HIV Negative
  • Has normal Kidney Function

To get prep, you need to go see a medical doctor and have them examine you, and You will also have to take an HIV test to make sure you are HIV Negative or else prep alone won’t work for you.

So what is PEP & how does it work?

PEP stands for Post-Exposure Prophylaxis and it is for people who have been recently exposed to the Virus. PEP stops the body’s T-cells that have been exposed to the virus from multiplying the virus. Instead of multiplying the virus the T-cells die off without any replication taking place. Since the multiplying of the virus is how it spreads in your body, stopping it from multiplying can save you from contracting the Virus. PEP is not 100%, so it shouldn’t be used as a way to consistently keep yourself healthy (use PrEP and condoms for that). PEP can only work within 72 hours of exposure so time is of the essence. As an example, at one point in time there were people putting needles with the HIV virus at random places to stick people and infect them with the virus. If that happened to you, you should go and get started on PEP right away. Sexual assault victims should also seek PEP right away if possible as well. To get PEP you can see your doctor or any specialist at an emergency room to get started.

So those are the two medicinal options for combating HIV. It is not recommended to use PEP and PrEP in place of protection, and you should always be extra when it comes to protecting your body. I hope that this information helps some of my sisters out there, and as always You can get more information on HIV/AIDS from the U.S. National Library of Medicine here at their MedlinePlus website.

And don’t forget to live your best SAFE life sis!



Nikki Brame
Health and Wellness Contributor

Nikki is a natural hair blogger and youtuber , also known by the handle @ChicNaturlNikki, has been in the game over five years now. She loves journies to find her best self and has enjoyed sharing her these journeys and practices with you along the way.

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