Q. Can PrEP prevent HIV in a 28-year-old male who had a risky sexual encounter?

Answered by
Dr. Ravinder K. Sachdeva
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Nov 18, 2022 and last reviewed on: Dec 01, 2022

Hi doctor,

I am a 28-year-old male, my height is 177 cm, and I weigh 77 kg. I wanted to consult you about something. A year ago, I had a risky encounter, so to stay safe, I started PEP 12 hours after. After taking the first dose, I had a fever and a prickly feeling in my face (left side), eyes and nostrils, jaw, and forehead, which later appeared to be an inflammation of the trigeminal nerve, and every time I took the dose I get this attack and feel like half my face is being electrocuted I stopped the PEP after eight days because the symptoms were becoming very intolerable, I found a thread on the internet with a similar case. Still, I was wondering if you know anything about this, I stopped the medicines for almost five days, but I still felt numbness in the left side of my face, which eventually went away. So six months later, I decided to try to be on PrEP because I am a gay man, so my exposure to HIV is high, so I started Truvada for three days, and I had a similar reaction, slightly milder but still intense, so I stopped it after three doses. Now I would like to know if maybe Descovy would solve that problem or if there is any other solution to being on PrEP without getting this hyperallergic reaction. Please help.



Welcome to

I understand your concern.

Such complaint has never been reported in my patients. Therefore, I suggest you get the following tests.

CBC (complete blood count), LFT (liver function test), serum creatinine, vitamin D3, vitamin B12 levels, FBS (fasting blood sugar), lipid profile, thyroid profile, and HbA1c (glycated hemoglobin). Also, get a baseline HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) rapid test, HBsAg (Hepatitis B surface antigen ), anti-HCV (hepatitis C virus), and VDRL (Venereal disease research laboratory test) before starting PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis).

I suggest a tablet of Levocetirizine 5 mg half an hour before PrEP for one week. Review with reports.

I hope you find it helpful.

Kind regards.

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