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Had sex with my pregnant wife while on PEP

Jul 8, 2017

I have been declared HIV negative,I had unsafe sex and before 48hrs I took PEP treatment.on the fifth night I had sex with my six months pregnant wife,could it be possible I infected her?

Response from Mr. Jacobs

There are a few details missing that complicate this scenario a bit.

If I'm following, you tested HIV negative, had "unsafe sex," began PeP before the 48th hour after a potential HIV exposure (VERY wise!). Then, on the 5th night of using PeP, you had sex with your wife. Now you are worried that your transmitted HIV to her.

Okay - what we don't know here is what you're describing as "unsafe sex." Were you actually exposed to detectable levels of HIV? Or was this a situation or encounter where you didn't know the HIV status of your partner? If your partner was HIV negative they cannot transmit to HIV to you. If your partner was HIV positive and undetectable for six months or longer, then they cannot transmit HIV either (http://www.thebody.com/content/77932/sex-58000-times-with-undetectable-partners--zero-h.html). Even if you were exposed to detectable levels of HIV, infection from one exposure is very unlikely (https://www.poz.com/article/HIV-risk-25382-5829). Based on these variables, do you think you were actually at risk?

Nevertheless, you took the safe and very wise steps of getting yourself PeP just in case. And now you are wondering if you could have exposed your wife to detectable HIV after 5 days of using PeP? In order to answer this, we have to consider two things:

(1) As stated above, it is very unlikely you were exposed to HIV in the first place. (2) Even if you acquired detectable levels of HIV, you are using a combination of anti-retrovirals (ARVs) in PeP to prevent the virus from duplicating and spreading. The current ARVs are very powerful in how they work, these are the same drugs that make someone living with HIV become undetectable (and untransmittable), usually in a relatively short period of time.

Only an HIV test would be able to give you and your wife the true answers. But based on the variables you shared, it seems unlikely that you could have transmitted HIV to your wife.

If your wife is concerned, and if it has been less than 72 hours, then she may wish to talk to her doctor about PeP for herself. Most ARVs are safe to be used during pregnancy (https://aidsinfo.nih.gov/understanding-hiv-aids/fact-sheets/24/70/hiv-medicines-during-pregnancy-and-childbirth).

I hope you will both find the answers you are seeking, and find ways to be loving partners and reduce medical risks.



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