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What are my chances?
Apr 25, 2010

Had unprotected sex with an infected person three times but he came in me two of the times. And had access to pep about 70 hours after first encounter. The doc put me on a course of lamivudine & zidovudine tablets wich he says are used in prevention of mother to child & I tak that twice daily & I also take efivarez once a day. The side effects are so seriouse bt I dnt mind! I jus wana know wat my chances of infection are?? Help doc!!!!

Response from Dr. McGowan

Thanks for your question. The use of HIV medication to try to prevent becomming infected with HIV after an exposure is called "Non-occupational post-exposure prophylaxis" or nPEP. For nPEP to work it is best started within 72 hours of a possible exposure. The risk of getting HIV from exposures varies by the type of activity: receptive anal intercourse (50 out of 10,000 times), receptive vaginal sex (10 out of 10,000 times) and receptive oral (1 out of 10,000 times). Since you did not specify I have given all scenarios. So you can see the risks are low. The next most important thing is how much virus the person had in their blood and semen. If you know the person you can find this out. A low or undetectable viral load will reduce the risk to you further. There have been no studies on using medication as nPEP. The benefits are expected based on studies on using zidovudine in pregnant women to prevent transmission to tehir babies and health care personel who are exposed at work. Zidovudine by itself may reduce the risk by more than two thirds if used for the whole 4 weeks. The additional 2 medicines may add further benefit.

Best, Joe



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