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Waiting for the test
Dec 2, 2007

I had anal and oral sex with another man and do not know if he is hiv positive, is there anything i can do until i get the hiv test at the 3 month mark? i hear people go on about PEP treatment but unsure what this is. Thankyou.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

PEP is post-exposure prophylaxis. It involves treating people who had a significant HIV exposure with a combination of antiretroviral drugs (HIV/AIDS medications) in an attempt to abort a potential infection. This treatment is recommended only for significant HIV exposures and should be started as soon as possible and no later than 72 hours after the exposure.

If your exposure was protected by a properly used latex condom that did not break or if your exposure was more than 72 hours ago, PEP certainly would not be warranted. You can read much more about PEP in the archives.

Assuming PEP is not warranted or you are beyond the 72-hour cutoff, the only thing to do is wait for your three-month HIV test and also learn from this experience so that it never happens again. Please note HIV-antibody tests taken prior to the three-month mark are not considered to be conclusive.

Good luck!

Dr. Bob



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