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Atripla - prevention?
Sep 4, 2008

Recently, I found out a friend who I messed around with 2 years ago was taking atripla. He had always told me he was negative when we messed around so needless to say, I was quite surprised and concerned. Even though it had been 2 years, I got tested and was negative. I asked him when he tested HIV positive, he said he wasn't positive. When I asked him why he was taking atripla, he said he was with a guy 6-8 weeks prior who didn't disclose he was HIV+ and his doctor prescribed atripla because it has the ability to possibly block HIV transmission. I have read this about tenofovir (morning after pill) but not atripla. Does atripla work in this way or is this just another lie?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

It sounds like you and your ex have some trust issues.

There really is no such thing as an HIV morning-after pill! What we do have is post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), which may help abort an HIV infection after exposure. PEP consists of various combinations of antiretroviral drugs. This can include tenofovir in combination with other drugs. Atripla is a combination of efavirenz, emtricitabine and tenofovir. PEP is most effective when administered as soon as possible (and no later than 72 hours) after an HIV exposure.

Consequently, your buddy may well have been prescribed Atripla for PEP. However, I should also point out a full course of PEP is 28 days in duration. If his exposure was six-eight weeks ago, he should have completed his PEP by now. You can read more about PEP in the archives.

So, to answer your direction questions:

Does Atripla work in this way? Yes, it can.

Is this just another lie? Only your ex knows for certain. The bottom line is that you tested negative two years after you last "messed" with your ex. Consequently, HIV is certainly not your problem. Remember to play safe and you'll keep it that way.

Dr. Bob



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