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Worried after PEP
Aug 10, 2008

Hi Dr. Frascino,

Firstly, thank you on behalf of all of us who have had "errors in judgement" when it comes to sex or others who are worried because of honest mistakes. Your words & advice are so appreciated. My query is as follows. At the end of July I (stupidly/drunkenly) had unprotected insertive anal sex with an 18 year old of unknown status. Almost 2 weeks ago I completed a 4 week PEP regimen which I had started around 31 hours after the incident (1 Truvada and 4 Kaletra tablets daily). Taking the tabs (and their side-effects) was a daily reminder of just how stupid I had been. It's now been almost 5 weeks since the incident. Thankfully, my partner chose to forgive me. However, last night we had protected sex (I was insertive) where the condom broke. I am now worried for him - although I hadn't cum and am pretty sure there was no pre-cum either. So my question is, if I test negative for HIV at the 3 month mark (from the date of the incident) can it be assumed that my partner (who was recently tested) is also negative or would he need to be re-tested? The STI clinic I attended have asked me back at the 3 AND 6 month mark (as per WHO guidelines). This is probably the worst episode in my life and (like many here) I am so worried. For instance I woke with a sore throat today and immediately thought HIV! Of course, having read your advice to others, symptoms are unreliable - the test is the key. Please take a few moments to answer my question - you would make an Irish man very happy. Thanks again.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Irish Man,

My advice would be for you to get post-PEP HIV testing at the three- and six-month marks per the guidelines. If you are negative (and the odds are certainly in your favor!), I see no reason for your partner to be retested due to the broken-condom incident. Having to endure a course of PEP can indeed be a learning experience and gives incredible insight into what it's like for those of us who are HIV positive and have been popping fistfuls of antiretrovirals for well over a decade!

I'd suggest you check the expiration date on your latex condoms and review the guidelines for proper use with water-based lubricants. Latex condoms properly used very rarely fail!

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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