In Singapore, there exist medications designed to prevent HIV transmission even after potential exposure, such as unprotected intercourse with an HIV-positive individual. This intervention, known as PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis), involves the prompt administration of medication following exposure to HIV. However, research underscores the critical importance of initiating PEP within 72 hours of exposure, as its efficacy diminishes significantly thereafter.


PEP demonstrates heightened effectiveness when administered within the first 24 hours post-exposure, offering substantial protection against infection in most instances. However, it’s essential to recognize that while PEP serves as an emergency measure, it should not replace standard preventive practices, such as consistently using protection during sexual activity. It functions as a crucial emergency response, although it may not fully mitigate the risks associated with high-risk behaviors. Nevertheless, it remains among the most effective emergency preventive methods available.

If you suspect potential exposure to HIV, whether through needle sharing or unprotected sexual encounters with unfamiliar partners, immediate action is imperative. Every passing hour is consequential, emphasizing the urgency of seeking medical attention promptly.

Understanding HIV Risk

In instances of unprotected sexual activity where HIV exposure is a concern, several factors warrant consideration. Research indicates that the risk of HIV transmission from a single episode of unprotected intercourse is relatively low, typically less than 1%. Conversely, the risk escalates significantly, up to approximately 15%, with needle sharing. Despite this, it’s advisable to consider PEP following any potential exposure to HIV.

Studies suggest that the relatively low transmission risk can be attributed to factors such as a diminished viral load in some HIV-positive individuals. Additionally, the presence of other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) may heighten the risk of HIV transmission, particularly when mucous membranes are compromised.

Who Should Consider HIV PEP?

PEP is intended for emergency use and is most effective when administered within the 72-hour window following exposure. Situations where PEP may be warranted include:

Incidents involving the breakage or slippage of protection during sexual intercourse
Engaging in sexual activity with individuals known to be HIV-positive
Sexual encounters with partners exhibiting risky behaviors and uncertain HIV status
Needle sharing or exposure to contaminated needles
Contact with blood or semen through open cuts, wounds, or mucosal surfaces
Instances of sexual assault
Additionally, PEP may be recommended for occupational exposure to HIV, such as needle prick injuries occurring in healthcare settings.

Initiating PEP

PEP initiation hinges on the individual’s history of potential exposure. However, when administered within the 72-hour timeframe, PEP demonstrates efficacy in preventing infection in approximately 90% of cases. Before commencing treatment, one typically needs to get some baseline blood tests done to screen for contraindications and assess ones kidney and liver function.

PEP medications, extensively tested over the years, are considered safe and are commonly used for both prevention and treatment of HIV. Typically, PEP involves a 28-day course of medication, often prescribed once or twice daily and consists of a combination of antiretroviral drugs. While side effects are rare due to the short duration of treatment, regular monitoring of liver and kidney function ensures patient safety throughout therapy.

hiv pep

Monitoring and Follow-Up

Following PEP initiation, rapid HIV testing confirms the individual’s initial HIV-negative status. Subsequent tests at one month and three months post-treatment serve to confirm treatment efficacy and provide patients with peace of mind. These comprehensive measures underscore our commitment to ensuring patient well-being and long-term health.

In summary, immediate action is paramount in cases of potential HIV exposure. Contact Hisential STD Clinic in Singapore without delay, as PEP represents a crucial intervention in the race against time to prevent HIV transmission.