HIV Prevention and Treatment
There is no cure for HIV/AIDS, but there are medications to treat symptoms and slow the progression of the disease.
Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) is emergency treatment that can protect you after a possible HIV exposure. PEP is medication that must be prescribed by a doctor. If taken daily for 28 days after a suspected exposure to HIV, PEP can prevent HIV infection. PEP should be started as early as possible after exposure but within 72 hours. PEP might be right for you if:
• you had sexual intercourse without a condom from someone who is HIV positive or whose HIV status you don’t know;
• you were forced into sex against your will;
• you shared drug equipment like syringes or needles.
Talk to a doctor or visit an emergency room right away. For more information, visit the CDC website.
Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is when people at very high risk of HIV take a daily pill to prevent infection. People at very high risk include those who have a sexual partner who is HIV Positive, those who share needles for drug use, those who trade sex for money; those who have a sexually transmitted infection; and men who have sex with men without using condoms. PrEP does not protect against pregnancy or other STIs. PrEP is only available by prescription. Talk to your doctor to see if PrEP is right for you.
Getting routine shots from your doctor is never fun, but getting HPV is worse.
Protect yourself by getting vaccinated. The HPV Vaccine is cancer prevention. Ask your doctor about what you can do to stay safe, or call 865-215-5000 to schedule a vaccination appointment at the Health Department.