Q and A

Question

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.

Answer

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.

84 comments

  1. Simon Collins

    Hi Derick, it is fine to change your PEP to a different time. It will still be just as effective.

  2. Derick

    If am taking PEP at 10:00 am every day. I want to shift the time to 7:00 am should I? Or it will lead to PEP not to work?

  3. Simon Collins

    Hi Enzo

    It sounds like you are being too hard on yourself. Although not perfect or planned similar experiences happen to millions of people every day.

    Luckily, HIV is a difficult virus to catch.

    Your symptoms are likely all related to stress and worry.

    In the UK, a negative fourth generation HIV test at 6 weeks doesn’t need to be confirmed by second test. Maybe also think about whether PrEP might reduce the stress that HIV causes you and might allow you to enjoy sex more.
    https://i-base.info/guides/prep

    Protection for men can come from using on demand dosing (2:1:1) where 4 pills prevent close to 100% of the risk.
    https://i-base.info/guides/prep/on-demand

  4. Enzo

    Hello guys. I had protected sex with a healthy man ( he says he is on prep and he had taken the results – few days before our date – with all negative. I couldn’t end. So, when he was done, on my chest – in order to help me he penetrated me with no protection, for few seconds. I panicked. I am so disappointed as I put myself at risk. I am at the end of my 2nd week of pep and I ve been experiencing fatigue, in appetite, loss of weight – it may depends on my stress. How do you deal with anxiety of getting blood tested after a month, then 3 and lastly 6 months? This is a never ending agony.

  5. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Faith,

    If you have been exposed to HIV then it’s a good idea to take PEP.

    However, if your man is taking HIV meds (called ART) and has an undetectable viral load, then HIV can not be transmitted. And that’s even if you don’t use condoms. Please see more info at this link to Undetectable = Untransmittable.

  6. Faith

    I slept with a man and we had unprotected sex and I asked him why and he answered that he is HIV positive and he knows himself and he is taking medicines so I panicked and I had to run to the hospital afta 48hours and I was given pep will it work or I will be positive also

  7. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Fikile,

    Tenemine is a generic form of Truvada. Truvada used on its own is called PrEP. PrEP is used to prevent HIV infection.

    Tenemine can be used with other HIV drugs as treatment (called ART) for someone who is HIV positive. If you have been taking ART and have an undetectable viral load you can not transmit HIV even if you don’t use condoms. Please see U=U here.

  8. Fikile

    I had sex wth some man who is using the pills called tenemine…an the condom plastered so I want to knw if he can infect me even if he’s using those pills

  9. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Emza,

    It’s good that you went to the doctor before 72 hours. The sooner you start PEP the better.

    And now that you’ve finished PEP you need to wait 28 days to have another test to check that it’s worked.

    For more info about PEP please see this link.

  10. Emza

    I slept with a HIV positive man last month 18th but I go to the doctor before 72hours, the doctor prescribed Trivenz for 30days today I finished my treatment I just wanted to know if am ok I can’t be affected

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