PEP and viral load
Sep 30, 2005
My doctor started me on PEP two weeks ago, after I was possibly infected with HIV. Last week (7 days after exposure), I took a viral load test. I have not yet seen the results, but my doctor told me that if they are undetectable I should discontinue the PEP. I have looked online to see if this use of PEP and viral load tests are common, but have found nothing. To me it makes sense that even if I was exposed my viral load might read undetectable because I am on the PEP. I am just looking for some advice to help me evaluate what to do. Please help. Thanks.
Response from Dr. Frascino
You are absolutely correct: PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) is a combination of antiretroviral drugs. As such, they could drive an HIV viral load to an undetectable level and therefore should not be used to assess HIV status during PEP treatment.
If you have had an HIV exposure significant enough to warrant PEP, I suggest you be seen by an HIV specialist. The HIV specialist will evaluate your risk, guide your use of PEP, help with any PEP-related side effects or toxicities and arrange for post-exposure (and post-PEP) HIV testing. To locate an HIV specialist in your area, check the American Academy of HIV Medicine's Web site at www.aahivm.org. They have a listing of HIV specialists by location.
Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS
- Why Do I Get Bacterial Vaginosis After Sex?
- Why Cant I Get Rid Of Bacterial Vaginosis?
- Which Ways Can Chlamydia Spread?
- What Happens If You Have Gonorrhea For A Year Without Treatment?
- What Does The Discharge From Chlamydia Look Like For Men?
- What Are The Long Term Effects Of Gonorrhea?
This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.
Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither TheBody.com nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.