After a HIV risk situation : Swiss AIDS Federation

What should you do after an HIV risk situation?

PEP emergency treatment for HIV is available after unprotected anal or vaginal sex. To be effective, the treatment must be provided with a matter of hours.

What is PEP?

PEP stands for post-exposure prophylaxis and is a form of medical emergency treatment, which can prevent a potential HIV infection after possible exposure. The treatment with medication runs for four weeks and is prescribed by a doctor. Medical monitoring is carried out to assess the risk and side effects.

Why is it necessary to take action immediately?

The sooner the PEP treatment begins the more effective it will be. The chances of success start to fall as early as six to eight hours after possible exposure. After 48 hours, it will no longer make sense to begin PEP treatment. It is therefore vital to act quickly.

Where is PEP available?

In every hospital. This is because a potential HIV risk is an emergency – even if you are abroad.

How long does PEP last?

Administration of PEP begins immediately after an HIV test and lasts 28 days. It should never be discontinued without first taking specialist advice. Your blood values will be monitored during the treatment. At the end of the treatment, you will be tested for HIV.

How much does PEP cost?

PEP is covered by your health insurance. Obtain the emergency contact number from your health insurance provider before you go abroad.

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