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If I'm on Prep And My Partner Isnt?

Nov 11, 2017

Hi, I am wondering if I am on Prep and my partner isnt and I have unprotected anal sex with another man, will I pass on anything to my partner and how long do I have to wait until I can have anal sex with my partner after having sex with another man to make sure I am safe. Thats if I do not know the status of the other man I had sex with. Thanks

Response from Mr. Jacobs

Hi, thank you for writing in. I understand you concern and admire your attentiveness to protecting your partner.

Let's first begin by making sure we are understanding the basics of PrEP protection. Daily use of PrEP is over 99% effective (http://www.natap.org/2016/ICAAC/ICAAC_02.htm) and so you are definitely having "protected" sex with other partners. That may seem like a small word choice, but an important distinction in how you are assessing the risk to yourself and to others.

When someone is HIV negative, they cannot transmit HIV to others. When you take PrEP as prescribed you have a near zero chance of acquiring HIV from others. Therefore you can not pass HIV onto your boyfriend.

Now - I get asked the question this a lot. At this point someone often follows up my answer with a variation of, "What is someone HIV positive and detectable ejaculates inside my ass? How long do I have to wait before I am safe from transmitting that detectable load of cum to others?"

If that is the real question you are asking, I have some good news and bad news. The bad news is that there is simply no scientific answer to this question, it has never been studied (but I would love to be involved with a trial like this!). The good news is that the doctors I've asked this question to have all told me that even under these circumstances, the risk of passing detectable levels of HIV to a negative partner from your ass is nearly zero. Of course no one can definitely say it's impossible. But they do say it's improbable in part because transmittable HIV can't live outside long outside the host's body, and because the rectum isn't a great incubator for sperm cells.

So based on the available information we have, it appears there is no probable way for you to transmit HIV to another person unless you are HIV positive and detectable. However, if you or your partner have any concerns it may advisable for him to consider using PrEP as well.

Please keep taking good care of yourself!



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