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Pep,Sexual Assault,and Family
Nov 15, 2010

Hello Dr.Bob, I was sexually assaulted in June '10. And was put on PEP after about 20 hrs since the pharmacy could not find Lamivudine and zidovudine and I had to drive to a few pharmacy's to get the prescription filled. I was not followed by a hiv specialist since there was only one in my area and he would not see me if I was not a confirmed hiv case. The assault did leave me with trauma and no condom was used.I was supposed to go back to my doctor to have my six week test but could not due to a cross country move. I did not get the courage to get tested until 18 weeks had passed. I took the unigold rapid test at a planned parenthood the results were negative. I also took a hep c test and the results also negative. I am getting ready to take my 24 week test later this week but I am so scared my results will change. But here is whats really eating me up, I had protected sex with my husband but started my period in the middle of it. When my husband went to remove the condom some blood got on his penis up to the head of it. He just cleaned the blood off with a cloth and went on as if nothing had happened. I on the other hand obsessed with it all I could think of was that blood carries virus and that I had just killed my husband. Though I know none got on or near his urethra I am still in shambles over it. Now fast forward to a few days ago my husband had his wisdom molars removed and later on that day he accidentally sneezed on our daughter who was laying near him and then I panicked again that some of his blood might have gotten in her mouth or eyes. I really considered taking her to get pep and actually cried last night at her 72 hr were up since I knew they would not give her. And my husband reminding me how sick it made me as an adult to take them. I never missed or took a late dose for the first 21 days but after that I might have been a most a little over an hour late due to my extreme nausea and me not wanting to vomit my pills out I would wait until the discomfort calmed long enough to take it. Dr. Bob I am really starting to lose my mind over this and starting to question myself for taking pep and extending my window period. I feel like if anything happens to my family it will be my fault. Is it common for a negative 18 week negative to change? And what are the risk from the accidents I described for my husband and daughter? Did I do the right thing in not trying to get her pep?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

Testimonials like yours provide additional evidence why those who have an HIV exposure significant enough to warrant a course of PEP should be followed by an HIV physician specialist. Had you done so, he would have put your fears instantly to rest. The HIV-transmission risk to your husband or subsequently from your husband to your daughter is completely nonexistent. PEP certainly would not have been prescribed and absolutely was not warranted.

I agree you are indeed "starting to lose (your) mind." I would suggest you establish care with an HIV physician specialist for the duration of your PEP course and post-PEP HIV testing period (6 months). In addition you should get psychological help for your irrational and totally unwarranted fears.

Good luck! Be well.

Dr. Bob



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