Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP)
Post-exposure prophylaxis of HIV means administration of antiretroviral preparations (medicines for HIV infection treatment) to a HIV negative person following risky contact with HIV positive person or his/her body fluids, or biological material containing HIV.
PEP is indicated if HIV positivity of the contact person (who has either measurable or unknown level of the virus in the blood at the time of risk) is known. It is also indicated after risky contact with a person of unknown HIV status, who however could be HIV positive. The administration of PEP is decided by the clinician of the AIDS Centre. The ideal starting time for prophylaxis is less than 4 hours from the risky contact and acceptable time is within 48 hours after the risk exposure.
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) – a complementary method of prevention against HIV infection.
The pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) represents one of the complementary options of prevention for people living at high risk of HIV infection: it is a preventive administration of a combination of two drugs for HIV treatment to a healthy individual (HIV negative person). Regular use of these drugs can reduce the risk of HIV infection by up to 90%.
Who is at high risk of HIV infection?
- those who are among persons at risk of HIV transmission (e.g. men having sex with men, sex workers, partners of HIV positive persons, injecting drug users) those who do not use a condom regularly and with all sexual partners
- those who had unprotected sex with more than one partner in last 6 months.
- those who have a sexual partner having other sexual partners and is at increased risk of HIV infection
- those who have unprotected sex with a person who is an injecting drug user and shares injecting equipment with others
- those who are injecting drug users and share injecting equipment with others
- those who have sex under the influence of alcohol and/or recreational drugs (CHEMsex)
- those who themselves or their partners had sexually transmitted infection (syphilis, gonorrhoea, herpes)
In the case that the person “evaluates” himself/herself or is evaluated by health professionals or counsellors (for example, during anonymous testing or during the treatment of other sexually transmitted disease) as a vulnerable one and is interested in PrEP, he/she may contact PrEP specialised sites (currently AIDS Centres). PrEP has been available in the Czech Republic since 2017. The cost of PrEP has to be covered by the clients.