Narrator: This is Science Today. AIDS researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, are studying a little-known 'morning after' drug intervention for HIV exposure, called post-exposure prophylaxis, or PEP. Dr. Michelle Roland says that anyone can start PEP within 72 hours after a potential exposure.
Roland:Any healthcare provider can provide post-exposure prophylaxis. These are medicines that are approved for the treatment of HIV disease and they are covered on all insurance formularies because they are very standard drugs.
Narrator: Roland says that although anyone can get PEP, it will be difficult to popularize the drug treatment because many doctors aren't familiar with assessing risks or treating HIV.
Roland: I think it's going to be a challenge for clinics, emergency departments, HIV clinics, STD clinics, to think about over time whether they want to provide this service because they will need to develop a group of healthcare providers who have expertise.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.