Q and A

Question

Will PEP work if it was in below 0 degrees temperature?

Hello! I had sexual intercourse. For fear of HIV, I went to the hospital and got PEP. PEP is a post-exposure prophylaxis which I adopt to prevent HIV after exposure. It is taken for 28 days, but I was afraid to take it for two months. The fear was that I was outside for several hours, with a temperature of minus 2 degrees. On drugs it says to store at a temperature of 25 degrees. The drugs are emtricitabine / tenofovir, darunavir and ritonavir. Could 4 hours at minus 2 degrees C make these drugs effective?

Answer

Hi, how are you?

You have mentioned that you did not take PEP for 2 months. Does this mean you waited 2 months after exposure before starting PEP? PEP needs to be started within 72 hours of the exposure. At 2 months PEP would no longer be effective and you would need to test to confirm your status.

A lot of medication have requirements to be kept below 25 degrees. This is to stop temperature breaking the medication down. PEP being in very cold temperatures for a short while is not going to effect how well it works. It is also likely the medication was not this cold if it was in your pocket or something similar.

Josh.

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