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Having unprotected sex while on PEP
Nov 11, 2017

I went to hospital for PEP treatment and I was assisted. While o was on PEP Treatment on the seventh day of treatment I had unprotected sex again. So is it possible for me to still get HIV ?

Response from Dr. Young

Hello and thanks for posting.

Yours is an interesting question- the orthodox view is that if you had a second possible HIV exposure 7 days after starting post-exposure prophlyaxis (PEP), then you would extend the duration of PEP an additional 7 days.

However, the emergence of our appreciation for how pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) works it changing this view. While there's some debate, most experts (myself included) would agree that after 7 days of taking tenofovir DF/FTC (Truvada)- containing medications, that PrEP is fully active (perhaps, or even likely faster for men who have sex with men). As such, the PEP that were already taking works as PrEP for the second exposure. In other words, though you may have had condomless sex you weren't entirely unprotected.

If you have ongoing HIV risks, you should ask about whether going on Truvada PrEP is an option for you. PrEP is widely recommended for people with substantial HIV risk and available in some countries, including the US and France. The US CDC has this nice HIV risk estimator tool), ask your healthcare provider if PrEP is right for you.

I also feel that while the focus of this question on HIV is understandable, we minimize the potential for a cast of other sexually transmitted diseases to be an issue- like gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, viral hepatitis or papilloma virus. Getting screened for these is recommended, and in the case of hepatitis A, hepatitis B and human papilloma virus, and I'd strongly recommend considering effective preventive vaccinations.

I hope that's helpful, BY


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