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Had unprotected sex once with an HIV+ woman

Sep 11, 2011

Hi Doctor,

While I was in South Africa, I had unprotected sex with a woman that was hiv+. I paid for her to do an hiv test 3days after and we found out that she was hiv positive. The doctors there gave me Triomune 30g to use for 30days. I finished using it in April 2011. Im thinking of going for a hiv test sometime this month. What scares me is, the girl recently told me her cd4 count is at 180 and she has started showing symptons of AIDS. She was diagosned with DVT from a swollen calf and coughs non stop. I can bet her viral load was high at the time of our intercourse. My question is how reliable was my PEP treatment now knowing the girl has AIDS and not HIV and when should i go get tested.

Response from Dr. Frascino


Unprotected sex does place you at risk for STDs, including HIV. That your gal-pal was found to be HIV positive three days after your unprotected encounter and subsequently was found to have a low CD4 count (180) and some "symptoms" would increase your HIV acquisition risk, as we can assume she was not on antiretroviral therapy and may have had a high HIV plasma viral load.

PEP is most effective when begun as soon as possible after an exposure. You report your partner wasn't HIV tested until three days after the encounter, and then you were started on Triomune. If more than 72 hours had lapsed since the time of exposure, PEP would no longer be warranted, as it would not be effective.

Your next step is to follow the post-PEP testing guidelines, which recommend HIV-antibody testing at four-to-six weeks, three months and six months from the date of exposure. If you are fortunate enough to have dodged the HIV bullet this time, I hope you now realize that unprotected sex is not worth the potential catastrophic consequences!

Good luck. I'm here if you need me, okay?

Dr. Bob

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