Ernest Amoabeng Ortsin, President of the Ghana HIV and AIDS Network, has stated that while PEP (Post Exposure Prophylaxis) and PrEP (Pre Exposure Prophylaxis) can help in the fight against HIV/AIDS, they must not be abused.
He explained that if you believe you have been exposed to HIV in the last 48 hours, you should consider PEP. PEP is a course of HIV medication that you can take if you are at risk of HIV infection.
You will have to take the medication for a month, but if you start taking it within 48 hours of being at risk, it may prevent you from becoming infected with HIV,” he said.
He stated that PEP will only be given if doctors determine that you have a high risk of contracting HIV; if doctors determine that you do not have a high risk, PEP will not be given. Warning: PEP is NOT a replacement for condoms,” he added.
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), he explained to host Kwabena Agyapong, is a course of HIV drugs taken before sex to reduce the risk of contracting HIV.
PrEP is for people who are at high risk of contracting HIV. You will use PrEP if you examine your lifestyle and realise it is risky, or if you intend to have sex with someone and realise you are at risk. This is distinct from post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), which is administered AFTER a potential HIV exposure.”
”We have begun piloting the project, and certain groups have received these drugs,” he said. But first, a word of caution. We must exercise caution so that we do not abuse them. These are anti-retroviral drugs used to treat HIV/AIDS. If you do not exercise caution and abuse these drugs, and unfortunately contract the virus, it will be difficult to use anti-retroviral drugs.
Thread with caution if you intend to use them. The drugs should not be abused. The drugs are potent and should only be used occasionally,” he stressed.