Sexually Transmitted Infection and HIV PEP in Singapore


http://www.sexuallytransmittedinfection.org/sexually-transmitted-infection-and-hiv-pep-in-singapore

HIV is often acquired along with other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Having another infection at the time of HIV exposure increases the risk of acquiring HIV. Using HIV PEP is the only way to decrease the risk of getting HIV once you’ve been exposed, but it must be started within 72 hours.

Anytime you have unprotected sex, you could be exposed to a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Using a condom helps to protect you, but if the condom breaks or leaks, then you could still be exposed. If improperly stored, a condom may even develop microscopic tears that allow infectious organisms to get through and cause an infection, and you may not even realize that this has happened because the breaks in the condom are too small to see. Storing a condom in your pocket damages it, because your body heat breaks down the latex, and could put you at risk for getting a sexually transmitted infection. Condoms should always be stored in a cool location, such as in a purse or a nightstand, rather than in a pocket.

It’s common to acquire more than one sexually transmitted infection at a time. If you have one STI, then you know that a condom must have failed at some point (even if you didn’t realize it at the time), and you’re at risk for having other STIs as well. This is why STI testing usually tests for many different infections at once, even if you only have symptoms for one of them (or none).

  • Anytime you have unprotected sex, you could get a sexually transmitted infection (STI).
  • Condoms can help to protect you from STIs, but must be used correctly every single time you have sex. Storing a condom in a pocket damages it (because of the body heat).
  • It’s common to acquire more than one STI at the same time. If you have one STI, then you’re at higher risk for having others.
  • Someone who has an STI should be tested for HIV, because this lifelong infection has significant health consequences.
  • If you’ve been exposed to HIV, you can take medications to help decrease the likelihood that you’ll acquire the virus; this is called HIV PEP.

If you’ve been exposed to an STI, then you have to consider the possibility that you were exposed to HIV. Many people are more worried about HIV than about other STIs, because an infection with HIV is lifelong. If not appropriately treated, HIV is fatal in nearly every case. You can take medication to keep the virus under control, but you will need to be vigilant about it.

If you’ve been exposed to HIV, and want to decrease the risk that you’ll acquire this lifelong infection, then you may be a candidate for post-exposure prophylaxis, or HIV PEP. This is a regimen of HIV medications that you take for about a month following the exposure. By controlling the virus, HIV PEP decreases the chances that enough HIV will be in the body to establish the lifelong infection.

You can only take HIV PEP for a single known or suspected exposure, rather than for ongoing exposures or risky behavior. In addition, HIV PEP must be started within 72 hours after the exposure in order to be effective. To obtain HIV PEP in Singapore, visit your local STD clinic.

Sources:

Mayo Clinic. “STD symptoms: Common STDs and their symptoms.” Mayo Clinic. Published 18 Mar 2015. Accessed 27 Jun 2016. http://www.mayoclinic.org/std-symptoms/art-20047081

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs).” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Published 25 Feb 2014. Accessed 27 Jun 2016. https://www.cdc.gov/std/general/default.htm

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Screening Recommendations Referenced in Treatment Guidelines and Original Recommendation Sources.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Published 4 Jun 2015. Accessed 27 Jun 2016. http://www.cdc.gov/std/tg2015/screening-recommendations.htm

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “HIV Basics – Testing.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Published 5 May 2016. Accessed 27 Jun 2016. http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/basics/testing.html

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. “Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP).” AIDS.gov. Published 21 Sep 2015. Accessed 27 Jun 2016. https://www.aids.gov/hiv-aids-basics/prevention/reduce-your-risk/post-exposure-prophylaxis/

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2016 July 7th   Leave a comment

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