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PEP 3 yrs ago after sexual assault
Sep 14, 2007

Hi Dr Bob,

Im hoping you can help me. I am a female in Australia who was prescribed PEP after being a victim to a sexual assault in May 2004 (offender unknown HIV status). The course was started about 52 hrs after it happened.

I finished the full course and tested negative (ELISA/p24) out to 12 months with the specialist.

I have since moved away to a small country town, I am married and pregnant. I had a routine HIV test 6 weeks ago which was negative.

Having this test though has brought up fears that maybe the PEP delayed seroconversion or that the virus is laying 'dormant' in my body somewhere.

Is it possible that PEP could delay seroconversion for 3 years? Or could PEP have somehow made the virus hide or lay dormant in my body somewhere?

I just want to put this behind me but it feels like it is just coming back to haunt me now that my life is back to normal! I am too far away from the clinic who looked after me in 2004 so I am hoping you may be able to help me with some info re. this so that I can get on with my life and be happy!

Thanks so much.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Aussie Gal,

Your fears are unwarranted. HIV is not your problem. No way. No how! Your negative ELISA/p24 out to 12 months post-PEP is definitive and conclusive. Your recent negative test three years later merely corroborates what we already definitively knew: you are HIV negative.

Could PEP delay seroconversion for three years? No, absolutely not.

Could PEP cause the virus to be dormant somewhere in your body? No, absolutely not.

As for putting this entire incident behind you and moving on with your life, that is exactly what you should do (and should have done long ago)!

My advice is to pet a koala, listen to a kookaburra laugh, munch a vegemite sandwich and put any and all of your residual fears related to this incident permanently to rest, OK?

G'day. (Yes, it is a very good day!)

Dr. Bob



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