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Bareback sex; top was on prep, I wasnt, possibility of HIV risk?

Dec 23, 2017

Dear Damon,

I had bareback sex on 16th December at 4pm. The guy I met said he was on PrEP and was someone Ive seen 3+ times so I thought it maybe ok, he has a high sex drive so its highly likely he has seen multiple people before we met.

My question is, if what he says is true (that hes on prep), does this reduce the risk of HIV for me too? I would highly appreciate your advice as I am still within the 72hrs timeframe I could obtain PEP.

Many thanks

Response from Mr. Jacobs

Hi there,

Although this is being answered outside the 72 hour timeframe, I hope there is still information that can be of use for you.

Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is a drug that prevents an individual from acquiring HIV if they are exposed to detectable viral levels. If used as prescribed, it is over 99% effective (http://www.natap.org/2016/ICAAC/ICAAC_02.htm). In the initial efficacy trials, no one who used PrEP four or more times per week acquired HIV (https://www.robertmgrant.org/project/has-prep-ever-failed/).

If your partner was using PrEP as prescribed then his chances of having HIV are nearly zero. If someone does not have HIV, then they cannot transmit HIV to others.

So although his using PrEP and staying negative indirectly protects you, it does nothing to protect you from worry. And that's exactly the point: YOU are 100% responsible for your own protection, not your partner. It is not your partner's duty to assure you that he is using PrEP as prescribed and remaining HIV negative. He can try, and already has. But you won't experience his reassurances as helpful, comforting, or calming, unless you are getting tested regularly and consider using PrEP for yourself.

If you did decide to go start PEP then that is the ideal time to talk to a provider about seamlessly continuing PrEP once PEP is completed. If you chose not use PEP, then PrEP is still an option that would allow you to have condomless anal sex without the fear of acquiring HIV.

If you are interested in finding PrEP in the U.S., check out the national database of providers at https://preplocator.org/ .

For providers outside the U.S., check out the global database here: https://www.pleaseprepme.global/ .

To join in discussions about PrEP, pleasure, connection, and research, please join the Facebook "PrEP Facts" group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/PrEPFacts/ .

I hope this helps you to relax, and figure out what decisions you need to make in order to experience the kind of protection and pleasure you prefer.



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