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PEP medication?
Sep 4, 2005

I had a sexual encounter with a man last night where i gave him oral sex. He was exposed by having anal sex (topping) and the condom broke with someone who has HIV, three months ago. He had PEP straight after, and his blood tests have shown up negative now three months later. However, because he has lots of precum etc and i was giving him oral sex i went to the sexual health clinic and i've started taking pep, about 5 hours ago. I'm a bit concerned. What are the chances of transmittal in my circumstances? Should i just cross my fingers or should i be taking the PEP, or do the side effects outweigh the benefits? I'm just a bit scared, i'm not sure if i should be taking this or not. Are there any serious long term bad health effects if i take this and i wasn't exposed?

I was also wondering - is there any correlation between the medication working and people experiencing side effects? (I.e. if you are sick etc, the drug is working, if you feel normal and fine, the drug is not?) I chose to go on PEP because i'm 17, and i thought it was better to be safe than sorry. Thanks.. paranoid.

Response from Dr. Frascino


The estimated per-episode risk of acquiring HIV from receptive oral sex with a partner confirmed to be HIV positive is 1 per 10,000. Your estimated risk would be less, as your partner's status is unknown (and presumably negative from what you've written). For this degree of risk, I would not recommend PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis). Antiretroviral drugs (PEP) are potent and can have significant side effects.

Regarding your second question, no, there is no correlation between the PEP's efficacy and the incidence of side effects.

Don't be paranoid. But do spend some time on this site and related links to learn more about HIV risk, prevention and safer sex techniques.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob

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