Post-exposure Prophylaxis

Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is a short antiretroviral course taken in an attempt to prevent HIV infection after a possible exposure. It can be taken after suspected exposure due to unprotected sexual intercourse or occupational exposure.

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I developed a series of symptoms after oral sex with a woman whose body piercing struck my lips and caused bleeding. Could I be HIV-positive?

Query: Hello doctor, Six months back, I had oral intercourse with two women and an unprotected erotic massage by a worker with her saliva and vaginal secretions to stimulate my penis. Two months later, I was in contact with a woman without sexual intercourse, during which one of her body piercings struck m...  Read Full »

Dr. Basti Bharatesh Devendra

Answer: Hello, Welcome to I read your query and can understand your concern. The HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) test is negative repeatedly and after three months of last risk exposure, except for the reused needle risk, as mentioned. Usually, all healthcare professionals are trained in uni...  Read Full »

Should I take PEP if I had protected sex with a sex worker?

Query: Hello doctor, I feel so stupid. I got drunk and ended up having sex with a CSW. She gave me oral sex, and then we had vaginal sex. I did not touch her vagina with my fingers. Earlier in the evening, I had trimmed myself in my pubic area and had a slight abrasion, but there was no bleeding. I used a ...  Read Full »

Dr. Jyotisterna Mittal

Answer: Hi, Welcome to I understand your concern. With protected sex, you are safe from contracting HIV (human immunodeficiency virus).  Read Full »

I had sex with a sex worker and started PEP after 48 hours. What are my chances of getting HIV?

Query: Hi doctor, I had two sexual encounters nine days back. I had sex with a sex worker unknowingly. My penis is uncircumcised, and my condom broke while having vaginal sex. I also ejaculated inside her. After the session, within 48 hours, I consulted a doctor and started PEP, so what are my chances here...  Read Full »

Dr. Sandhya Narayanan Kutty

Answer: Hi, Welcome to As per the history provided, in case of possible exposure to HIV infection, antibody testing would not suffice. Initially, when infected, the viral load with RNA (ribonucleic acid), which is the genetic material of the virus, along with a protein called p24, is released ...  Read Full »

Is the OraQuick HIV home testing really accurate?

Query: Hello doctor,I am a male who had unprotected intercourse two days ago with a female who had tested negative on Oralquick two months ago. Turns out she has been quite active, and I am debating on doing PEP. I can see her on Tuesday and she said will take another test but that will be 96 hours. I can ...  Read Full »

Dr. Atishay Bukharia

Answer: Hello, Welcome to Acyclovir has no effect on PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis). Yes, it would be wise to start PEP and later you can stop it. Oraquick is not reliable after two days of exposure. Hope it helps.   Read Full »

While on PEP, is HIV RNA PCR test conclusive?

Query: Hi doctor, I am a 28 year old male and had unprotected anal-vaginal intercourse with a sex worker, me being the active partner. I was put on PEP immediately within 11 hours post exposure and the first dose of PEP was the tablet TLE (Tenofovir or Lamuvidine or Efavirenz), given to me on the morning o...  Read Full »

Dr. Sushil Kakkar

Answer: Hello, Welcome to I have noted your concern. Perhaps your question was not completely typed. Anyways, your PEP regime of Tenofovir/Emtricitabine and Dolutegravir is recommended one. Continue with it for 28 days. As far as the HIV PCR RNA test is concerned it is not a reliable test w...  Read Full »

Can I continue taking tablet Truvada after having sex with a sex worker without protection?

Query: Hello doctor, I am a 37-year-old male, a very active athlete. I had sexual interaction with a sex worker, specifically oral sex without any protection, she is young, and her face has lots of acne, and I also noticed some lumps in her scalp, but her entire body skin is clear. I started taking tablet ...  Read Full »

Dr. Rakesh Kumar Bahunuthula

Answer: Hi, Welcome to I understand your concern. Apart from oral sex, was there any vaginal or anal intercourse? Any ulcers over genitals and discharge noticed?  Read Full »

What are the side effects of taking post-exposure prophylaxis?

Query: Hello doctor, I had unprotected vaginal sex with a woman 17 hours ago, and I am worried that I may have contracted HIV. I say this because I have learned that the woman I had sex with has multiple sexual partners, and I am anxious she may have HIV. I am not in a position to ask her if she has HIV, ...  Read Full »

Dr. Ashaq Hussain Parrey

Answer: Hello, Welcome to I went through your post. I understand it is a difficult situation. However, because the PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) is time-dependent. So, I suggest the first thing you should do would be to start PEP right away, as it may not be helpful after 72 hours. Also, if t...  Read Full »

I had unprotected sex, and my fourth-generation combo test came back negative. How accurate is it?

Query: Hello doctor, I had a possible HIV exposure risk about a month and a half ago. Although the individual said, they recently tested negative three weeks before and were on PREP. I did not know them that well. I am circumcised, and I was the insertive partner and had unprotected sex. Out of precaution,...  Read Full »

Dr. Basti Bharatesh Devendra

Answer: Hi, Welcome to Thank you for the query. It is good that it is negative after one month of PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis). The chances of HIV tests coming positive later are very low. But it is better to go for an HIV (human immunodeficiency disease) antibodies test after three month...  Read Full »

I fingered a masseuse, and we shared a Jacuzzi. Is HIV waterborne?

Query: Hello doctor, I recently went to a spa, and I had a back-to-back session with the masseuse. However, she insisted on having sexual intercourse. I declined. But I fingered her, after which there was a massive outflow of vaginal fluid. The fingers I used had no cuts or wounds. So, am I still at risk o...  Read Full »

Dr. Basti Bharatesh Devendra

Answer: Hello, Welcome to Thank you for writing in, and I understand your concern. I went through your pictures (attachments removed to protect the patient's identity). The chances of transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) by fingering are highly impossible. This is because yo...  Read Full »

My partner is HIV positive, and we had sex a few days back. Should I begin with PEP medications?

Query: Hello doctor, My partner turned HIV positive when he was tested five months ago. I tested previously, and it was negative. My partner and I decided not to have intercourse till my reports came in. However, last night we had quick intercourse wearing a condom. It was the correct way and for less than...  Read Full »

Dr. Basti Bharatesh Devendra

Answer: Hello, Welcome to Thanks for writing in, and I understand your concern. The chances of transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) by single protected intercourse with an HIV-positive person are almost nil. If there is no contact of blood or semen or infected secretions...  Read Full »

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