Currently on PEP, is it necessary?

Question

Hello,

I'm currently taking PEP, and I'm on Day 3 and today I've started feeling nauseous. A few days ago I had protected sex with an ex who I assume is also having sex with other people. I was the receptive partner in the equation. The condom did not break however it did slip off as he was pulling out. We did not climax because it wasn't comfortable/pleasurable for me to enjoy so we decided to stop. He says the condom slipped off because he had begun to get soft after he saw that I was uncomfortable. The condom was still inside but half of it was outside so it was easy to grab and pull out. I don't know if he is HIV+ or not, but I do remember him getting letters from the Public Health Department requesting him to give them a call. Before this event we haven't had sex since March - it was protected - and I've been tested in July and the result was negative. I've asked him if he was clean of all STD's and of course he says "yes". I found this to be suspicious and decided not to believe him due to the letters he received from the county's public health department. How much of a risk would you consider this event, and should I continue taking PEP? If I continue taking PEP, in your opinion what are the best ways to cope with the nausea and still be able to function at work?

Answer

I'm sorry you have had to deal with such confusion. Sex can be a beautiful and sensational part of living life with pleasure. But when these questions arise, it can feel like more trouble than its worth!

Based on your description here, I can't see any point at which you were exposed to HIV. I'm saying this because: (1) Your partner used a condom; (2) He did not ejaculate; (3) You don't know if he's HIV+ and detectable; (4) The condom was still on him (although half off) when he pulled out. I just don't see the potential risk.

Whether or not you continue on PeP is a decision you and your doctor can make together. In the future, if you feel you could be at risk for HIV, you may wish to consider using PrEP, which is a daily pill one takes before a possible HIV exposure.

Either way, I hope you feel better and can enjoy sexual connection again soon.