Post-exposure Prophylaxis (PEP)

Last Updated: February 24, 2016

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Definition - What does Post-exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) mean?

Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is a type of medical treatment that is preventative and begins immediately after exposure to a pathogen. The PEP is designed to prevent infection from occurring and a disease from developing.

Kinkly explains Post-exposure Prophylaxis (PEP)

The most common PEP is an antiretroviral treatment used to prevent the infection if HIV following potential exposure to the virus. Individuals can be exposed to HIV occupationally or through sexual intercourse. PEP must be taken as soon as possible and within 72 hours of the potential exposure. It is important to remember that not all types of exposure yields the same risk, and that all possible exposure should be discussed with a medical professional.

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