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is PEP warranted?

Jun 13, 2011

First of all I appreciate what you do. In particular, the effort in Africa which I am orignnally from. I have been living in the US for over 12 years now. Here is what happened: I had a sexual encounter with a female CSW and I used condom. A minute in to handling the business, I heard a pop and pulled out immediately. Obviously, the condom was broken. I put on another one and continued the journey (I thought I throw in some humor in my question). The lady also performed unprotected oral for about minute before she put on the condom. After I left the scene of guilt, I reached out to the lady and mentioned my concern about about the broken condom. She laughed at me and told me to stop "tripping" as there is nothing to worry about. She said that she donated plasma and that she has no health problems. However, I am still freaked out. She even went to say "Stop what you do if it freaks out this much." Does my encounter warrant PEP? I know deep inside that things are fine but I am worried.

I will donate to your foundation. Keep up the good work.

Response from Dr. Frascino


Your HIV-acquisition risk is remote. You had very brief unprotected (broken-condom) insertive vaginal sex with a partner of unknown HIV serostatus. PEP would generally not be recommended for such a minimal potential exposure. (It's also worth noting that if PEP had been warranted, it would need to be started as soon as possible and no later than 72 ours after exposure.) If you are still in touch with your gal-pal, you could offer to have her HIV tested. Rapid HIV tests can provide definitive results in just a few short minutes! If she tests HIV negative, your HIV risk would be reduced to the remote possibility that she was very recently infected and still within her seroconversion window period.

I would recommend you get a single HIV-antibody test at the three-month mark. The statistical odds are all in your favor.

Thanks for your support of The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation ( It's warmly appreciated. In return I'm sending you my good-luck karma that your definitive three-month HIV-antibody test is negative.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob

Will I feel like I did before HIV?

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