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What to Do If You Had Unprotected Sex?

Written by
Dr. Lohit Chauhan
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.

Published on Feb 21, 2019   -  2 min read


The dilemma of having an HIV infection can be traumatic, there are ways by which you can prevent HIV infection even after getting exposed. The article focuses on the time for getting tested and when to start prophylaxis for HIV.

What to Do If You Had Unprotected Sex?

If you had unprotected sexual intercourse and you are not sure of your partner's HIV status, then what should be done. First of all, never let that thing happen to you ever again (Prevention is better than cure). Always use some barrier method. Here, our topic will focus on instructions and things to do after you have been exposed.

The things to be kept in mind are as follows:

How and When to Get Yourself Tested Again?

HIV, like many infections, gets transferred from one host to another and the body tries to fight it. So initially, no test can detect HIV infection immediately.

The time between when a person has been exposed to HIV and when a test can tell for sure whether they have HIV is called the "window period." The window period can vary from person to person. Also, it depends on the type of test used for detection. There are many tests to detect HIV, some are described in brief here.

  1. 1st Generation - uses infected viral cell breakdown products as antigen.
  2. 2nd Generation - uses glycopeptides (recombinant antigens) from the HIV virus.
  3. 3rd Generation - synthetic peptides are used as antigens.
  4. 4th Generation - simultaneously detects the p24 antigen, HIV-1 and HIV-2 antibodies, and nucleic acid based tests.

Some Facts About HIV Tests:

What to Do After the Initial Test for HIV Is Negative?

Hope this helps all those worrisome persons, who are in the dilemma of having HIV infection or not.

Last reviewed at:
21 Feb 2019  -  2 min read


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