Q and A


I have started PEP and want to know if I will be okay?

I had sex with a transexual man. I was on top and without me realizing the condom had ruptured, I washed myself and went home. But I did not feel comfortable. So I sent a text asking the man I had just had sex with if he was HIV positive, to which he answered, yes. I freaked out and went inmediately to the internet and did some research. I read about PEP, so the next morning I went to the clinic and I was placed on – Truvada 200 mg, Norvir 100 mg and Reyataz 300 mg. This was 36 hours after the incident.

I have had no side effects. But for the last two days, I have felt as if I have some fever. I tested my temperature and it is within the normal parameters of 98.2 and 98.7. Please tell me do I have a shot to be well? The person I had sex with told me that his viral count is below 40. Please help.


Thank you for your question.

I am sorry to know that you are distressed. What is important is that you have taken the right steps to giving yourself a chance of remaining  uninfected. PEP is effective the earlier that you take it and should be taken within 72 hours of being exposed to HIV. You started PEP within that time frame.

Additionally, as the person who you had sex with is on treatment with an undetectable viral load, then your chances of an HIV infection are much more reduced than if that person was not on treatment.

If you take the PEP as prescribed this will reduce the small chance that you were exposed to HIV.

Symptoms do not occur this soon after an exposure.

Good luck.


  1. Claire

    I had protected sex with a man whom I am not sure of his status and the answer he gave me later when I asked was I should go and get pep and he refused to tell his HIV status or if he knows it. After he ejaculated, when he was half way pulling out of the vagina, the penis pulled out of the condom and the condom was left hanging from my vagina with few sperms dropping on my thighs (but not too far from my vagina) I was on my knees when this happened so he pulled the condom from me from behind still full of sperm. I immediately went to the bathroom and used a dry towel to wipe his sperms trying to avoid touching the vagina but my fluids were also all over my thighs. I then washed my vagina with water from the tap and wiped my self. I was only able to take pep after about 52hours. After a day i stared feeling itchy on my clitoris and around my vagina but nit inside. What are the chances of being infected.

  2. Josh Peasegood

    Hi Ivan, no you do not need to extend the course of PEP. PEP works as PrEP for the duration of the course. This means while you are taking PEP you are protected from further HIV exposures. You can complete your course of PEP when originally planned.

  3. Ivan

    Good morning. I have been on Pep for a week, and had protected sex with someone hiv+ yesterday. The condom did break and there was some penetration without protection. I still have 3 weeks of pep to complete my 28 days of medication. Should I be concerned and ask for one more additional week of Pep to be safe?

  4. Josh Peasegood

    Hi Hillary, are you able to describe how your stomach feels e.g., is it a pain, an ache or does it make you nauseous? While on PEP you are not protected from other infections so it is possible that this is being caused by something else.

    You can use other treatment while on PEP. It is best to check if there are any interactions which i-base can check for you if you know the names of the treatment and PEP you are taking.

  5. Hillary

    Am in the 2nd week taking Pep. I have started feeling weird in my stomach.. something like ulcers which I never had… Secondly I was told by the doctor am not suppose to use any other medicine while on Pep but now I feel like I was affected by bacteria infection.. what should I do.

  6. Josh Peasegood

    HI Sindiswa, Tenemine is used as PrEP because it contains 2 drugs. PEP is usually given as 3 drugs but it is okay to use a 2-drug combination. This is why Tenemine would be suitable if no other drugs could be added to this treatment. It will still be effective. Being on PEP will not prevent other illnesses e.g., you can still catch a cold. Fever and headache are very common and can be a sign of a number of things. As you are on PEP, HIV is very unlikely. It is also possible this is caused by the stress around HIV transmission.

  7. Sindiswa

    I had an exposure with an HIV+ guy(only found out much later). I went to the doctor within 24 hours and she only gave me tenimine pills as PEP,(not sure if they supposed to be Prep and not PEP)….6 days after taking the medication I started getting fever and headaches, what could be wrong?

  8. Josh Peasegood

    Hi Simon, I am sorry you are having these symptoms. It is good that you started PEP though. These are very significant side effects if they are only being caused by TLD. This is uncommon and you should speak with your doctor. Stress around HIV testing can also cause symptoms similar to what you have described.

  9. Simon

    Hi,im Simon
    i had an unprotected sex with a lady whom i later learned she is positive,she claims she didn’t know she was +ve until that time we tested,i went to the hospital i think around 70hrs,and the doctor gave me LTD,this is my 7th day of taking the pills but im having very serious side effects,i feel weak,joint pains, Diarrhoea,sleepy,and i totally don’t have the energy,im so stressed right now please advice.

  10. Josh Peasegood

    Hi E, what medication have you been given as PEP? As you started PEP so soon, your symptoms are not associated with HIV. If these symptoms continue you will need to speak with a doctor.


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