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HAART broken
Aug 31, 2006

How effective is "highly active antiretroviral therapy" (HAART) in fighting possible HIV exposure due to broken condom? There seems to be very little info on the effectiveness of HAART in this situation. So, does it work? If my partner's condom breaks and I'm exposed to pre-cum or cum, what are chances HAART will work in blocking HIV infection? Thanks for considering my question.

Response from Dr. Wohl

There are reasons to believe that administration of HIV meds will work following sexual exposure to prevent transmission. Studies done in other primates are supportive, although it seems like the meds need to be started as soon after the expsoure as possible. We do not know how effective post-sexual expsoure prophylaxis (PsEP) is, however.

A problem is that it is really difficult to study this as the risk of transmission varies and it would be hard to assign participants to not receive PsEP given what we know about the use of HIV meds after occupational exposure to HIV.

So, yes it can work. How well remains unknown and it should be taken ASAP after the expsoure (i.e. within hours).

DW



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