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Discontinuing PEP after testing

Jan 9, 2013


I started the PEP cycle 48 hours after exposure and have been taking it regularly for the past 12 days. On day 5.5 of the PEP cycle my doctor administered a PCR test, which came back negative today. Along with the email of the test results he said that because of this I could consider discontinuing the PEP. The side effects have been terrible and I'd welcome the chance to stop the cycle, but before I made any changes I wanted to get a second opinion.

Response from Dr. Young

Hello and thanks for posting.

I'm reluctant to tell you to stop the PEP on the basis of a negative HIV RNA PCR done at day 6. This is because it could take longer to see a positive PCR in some (if not many) individuals.

On the other hand, if you're having bad side effects from the PEP, you should communicate this to the prescribing doctor- maybe there are (probably) better tolerated alternatives.

In the end, the decision to stop is a balance of understanding the risk of the exposure, the source person and the difficulty that you're having with side effects.

Sorry not to be more definitive, but I hope that this helps. BY

transmission to baby

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