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When can I stop?
Nov 15, 2008

Hi Doc. Thanks so much for being that person you are. You have helped so many people by answering questions that are often the most scariest parts of their lives. My Question is simple. I had an exposure to hiv a few months ago. I was in South Africa and while having sex with a sex worker the condom burst. i removed my penis before ejaculation. there were no cuts or sores on my penis at that time. the sex worker was hiv positive. i went straight to the nearest hospital and the nurse on duty put me on Combovir immidiately without asking me what happened. i started combovir 4 hours after the exposure and then took it for 28 days. i had 4th Generation Elisa test at 6 weeks, 10 weeks post exposure and a 3rd generation Elisa test at 12 weeks post exposure. All results were negative( non reactive). You say that testing is conclusive at 3 months post exposure for low risk cases and 6 months post exposure for higher risks. Would you categorize my risk as low or high? i am really worried about this. as no one was there to advise me of whether i need to test further. The Hiv councellors in South africa told me that 3 months post exposure is conclusive for everyone irrespective of risk or whether they were on PEP. Please help me Doc. You are a dependable and knowledgeable person about this. Was that 3 months test indeed the last one? can i start the woo-hoo's. God Bless You

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

The nurse put you on PEP (Combivir) "without asking (you) what happened"??? Hmm . . . is she psychic or is she perhaps trying to increase sales for GlaxoSmithKline, the maker of Combivir?

At any rate, your risk was brief unprotected insertive penile-vaginal sex due to condom failure with an HIV-positive partner. That does place you at some degree of risk for HIV acquisition. Your repeatedly negative HIV tests out to three months are extremely encouraging. However, the post-PEP HIV testing guidelines recommend one additional test at the six-month mark before certifying you as WOO-HOOable.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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