PEP and dating
Jun 24, 2013
Recently I was with a guy who had lied about his status. Unfortunately, I made the terrible choice to top without a condom (never again) and to bottom with a condom. The morning after, I noticed his bag to be open and saw a medication that I recognized and later checked online to confirm for HIV. He eventually owned up to being positive, but "undetectable." Since he initially lied, I am under the impression that he's not an accurate historian or reliable source.
Within 12 hours I was offered his medication, and in under 24 hours had got to an urgent care center to start PEP.
My question in short is: When can I date without having to disclose that I *might* be infected after a recent exposure? I recently had a very promising future with another guy prior who expressed interest, but after I told him of the incident and how we needed to be extra cautious and I would be content with just cuddling, I have not heard a word back in over two weeks.
To avoid this from happening again, I rather wait until I can say "I'm in the clear" ethically. When do you propose I can start dating again without having to index my recent exposure and when should I get tested again? Will the PEP slow down the hiv test results from, leading to a false negative? And how often should I get retested for ease of mind?
Thank you for everything you do.
Response from Dr. Fawcett
Thanks for writing and for being careful with your health and that of your partners. Based on what you have reported you were at low risk of infection. The fact that he was on antiretroviral therapy and that you used a condom both dramatically reduce the risk. That said, you did complete PEP which is indicated for individuals who have had a "significant exposure." For persons who have had PEP, the CDC recommends follow up HIV testing through 6 months post-exposure (as opposed to the normal three months).
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