Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) - Help

Question

Hello Doctor,

I've been exposed to HIV in the beginning of this month. My condom completely broke and i had sex for a couple of minutes completely exposed. I suspect my partner was HIV infected.

Went straight to the hospital and started Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) within the next 6 hours and for 28 straight days. Didn't finished yet the treatment.

The doctors here say it should work for more than 90% of the cases, and if taken carefully the pills won't let the virus come in. Went to visit couple of doctors more (HIV Specialists) who told me almost for sure the pills will prevent the virus.

I'm very anxious, can't sleep and can't eat thinking on this 24h/day. I don't have HIV symptoms like fever (80% of hiv infected have fever in the first days/weeks), neither ganglions or skin rash. I know this doesn't mean nothing, because many HIV infected don't have any kind of symptoms in the first days.

I'm taking Combivir (1 pill) plus Kaletra (2 pills) twice a day. The effects of the medication are very strong, but i will keep through.

I would like really to know if this kind of medication is strong to prevent virus from coming in and if i really should trust on this treatment?

Thank you very much for your words.

Answer

Hello and thanks for your post.

Your PEP regimen is a standard treatment for high-risk exposures. Overall, given that you started treatment very soon after exposure, your benefit from PEP should be at their maximum.

However, other that what I've stated, there's still need for regular follow up testing (we usually do 1, 3 and 6 months), to be certain.

I hope this helps and wish you well, BY