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Avatar universal

Could PEP have failed me?

Hi All,

Looking for some advice to help me settle my nerves.  In January I had a high risk HIV exposure ( unprotected inserting anal for about 1 minute) .

The following morning the partner informed me that he was HIV positive for 8 years and not on medication(VL of 7,000).  I went straight to the clinic and was on PEP within 14 hours of exposure.

I completed the full course without missing a dose and a few days ago I had a follow up rapid test at the clinic (10 days post pep) which came back neg for antibodies and antigens.

However, over the past couple of days I've had a regular itch in both armpits ( can't feel any swelling) and my throat feels uncomfortable, today significantly worse around my lymph nodes area.  I've had no other symptoms and generally feeling healthy.

This last couple of days has been driving me mad with worry. What are the chances that the pep could have failed and this this is the ars symptoms beginning to show now that I've finished pep? Could these symptoms be brought on by worrying and anxiety ?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

4 Responses
Avatar universal
Hey let's see if we can calm those nerves....although PEP has shown to be effective it is not 100%.  I'm citing an article from medscape. A study was done on 702 people who had high risk situations and started PEP within 72 hours. 7 patients seroconverted. That's 1%. All were men who received anal sex. So as you can see it is very effective but we can't say it's 100% . The good news for you is that you were the insertive which is still a risk though not as high as being receptive partner. Also, the itching you describe is not HIV related. Symptoms are a terrible way to diagnose as they mimic many other illnesses. That being said, the most common symptoms are the triad of fever, sore throat, and rash. They would all come on at once and be mild - severe. Quoting Dr Hansfield ars is almost impossible without fever. You did have a risk but you recognized it and took appropriate actions. Your test is a good indicator though not conclusive. For now trust your doctors and keep a positive attitude. When's it's all said and done pick up some condoms. Hope this helps.
Avatar universal
You took the PEP at the right time, and at the right time, it is around 85% effective. Nobody can give you any guarantees, but your chances of a negative are much greater than a positive. His viral load seems to be low too, which is rather unusual after 8 years without meds ((but, I'm not a doctor, so maybe it isn't that uncommon)), and again his low VL is to your advantage.
Just take the same test at 28 days post exposure for an excellent indication. Follow up at 12 weeks post exposure for a conclusive result.
Avatar universal
I'm sorry, i meant to say take the DUO at 28 days post last dose of PEP. and another antibody test 12 weeks post last dose of PEP. Your test at 10 days was to soon.
Avatar universal
Thanks for the reassurance guys, sound s like pep failures are pretty rare!

Just to add to the worry - I've now got a rash along my left forearm - no idea why. I'm currently in Australia working on a farm to help me get my second year visa, hoping it's got something to do with that but seems a pretty big coincidence!

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