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HELP

Feb 22, 2001

I had a condom break with my partner the other night I'm pos he is neg is there anything that can be done after the fact other than praying

Response from Mr. Kull

The only real option is to consider post-exposure prophylaxis, but too much time might have elapsed for that to be effective.

There are many factors that need to be assessed to determine if post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is appropriate. PEP is a relatively new protocol that attempts to prevent a person from becoming HIV infected by administering anitviral medications after a significant exposure to the virus. If your partner got your semen in his rectum and this incident happened less than 36 hours ago, then he might want to consider taking PEP.

PEP is complicated. It is still not clear if PEP actually works, the medications' side-effects are very difficult for many people to tolerate, and insurance companies don't generally cover the cost of medication. It's also hard to find professionals who actually use PEP protocols.

If you feel that your partner meets the PEP criteria and would like to take medication, you should talk with your doctor. If for some reason you cannot, contacting a hospital might be your next best choice (hospitals have PEP protocols for occupational exposures, and some emergency rooms administer PEP for sexual exposures).

You also need to take care of each other emotionally during this difficult period. If praying works for you, then seek out spiritual counseling and guidance. You may also want to find a counselor or a support group who can be sensitive to your needs.

RMK



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