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Author Topic: Unprotected Sex/Exposure, Now on Meds  (Read 2396 times)

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Offline sarah

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  • Posts: 3
Unprotected Sex/Exposure, Now on Meds
« on: September 19, 2008, 11:34:01 PM »
I am not sure why I am here...maybe I am just looking for reassurance that I'll be ok, maybe I don't think I will be and I'm just preparing myself.  But the fact of the matter is I spent two fabulous days with an incredible guy, someone I've known for years, someone I wanted to fall in love with.  After we had two full days of unprotected sex (several times over), I found out he is HIV positive.  That was yesterday. 

Last night I was lucky to get a hold of an HIV Specialist who was willing to meet me at her office after hours and prescribed me truvada and kaletra.  She had me start taking them immediately...which scares me.  Right now I feel sick...sick to my stomach, I have a horrible taste in my mouth, I can't eat, etc.  I know it's partially from the medication, and I'm sure some from being scared, nervous, etc.  I already had a cold/sore throat when we were together and I'm thinking it's worse at this point (stress, lack of sleep).

The doctor I saw has labs for me...but because it was 9 PM when she saw me, she couldn't do it at that time.  She has asked that I take the order into another lab, have them draw my blood, then send her the results.  But it is my understanding I wouldn't test positive at this time, right? 

I'm just concerned.  There are so many people that have posted on this sight without a real threat of becoming positive.  I'm pretty sure my threat is real and I'm sick about it.

Any advice is welcome, I'm not sure what else I can do. 
Thank you for your help and thoughts. 

Offline atlq

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  • Posts: 518
Re: Unprotected Sex/Exposure, Now on Meds
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2008, 11:40:37 PM »
Sarah,

I am sorry about your experience...you did have a risk, but I think you are getting good support from your doctor. If infected, the vast majority of people seroconvert within 22 days. A test after that time will need to be confirmed. Normally, an antibody test at 13 weeks is conclusive, but PEP does extend that window period for a month. But while you are waiting to test, do not stop your meds! 

All the Best.....

« Last Edit: September 20, 2008, 07:30:44 AM by atlq »
“Keep up the good work....   And God bless you.”
  --  Sarah Palin, to members of the Alaskan Independence Party, 2008

Offline Ann

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  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: Unprotected Sex/Exposure, Now on Meds
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2008, 06:46:59 AM »
Sarah,

The labs the doctor ordered are likely to be what's called baseline testing - it's to find out if you were already hiv positive before this incident as you're correct, it's far too early to find out if you've been infected within the past few days.

As long as you've stated PEP (that's what they call the hiv meds when used in this manner) within 72 hours, chances are good you'll be ok. The sooner they were started, the better.

If this man is on hiv meds himself, with an undetectable viral load, your chance of being ok is even greater.

Taking PEP extends the window period. As you have to take the meds for one month, the window period is also extended by one month. So, instead of being able to get a conclusive negative at three months, you'll have to get one at four months.

However, if the meds don't work and you do in fact seroconvert, you will test positive before this time. It's only a conclusive negative that you'll have to wait for (and here's hoping you have to wait!).

PEP is not easy to take as many people do experience side-effects. Please have a look at our Lessons where you can find way of dealing with the side-effects.

Good luck, keep us posted.

Ann

Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline sarah

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  • Posts: 3
Re: Unprotected Sex/Exposure, Now on Meds
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2008, 12:09:40 PM »
Hi Ann,

Thank you for your post--I know for sure that the man I was with is not on HIV meds, his viral load is quite low, but not undetectable (under 1000).

PEP is certainly not easy to take, I feel miserable...I've been very nauseous, tired, and the taste I have in my mouth is horrible (think I already mentioned this).  I did start taking the meds right away - I think it was about 30 hours after the first time we were together, 12 or so after the last time.  I guess my next question is, is the there any proof that these meds will work?  The doctor who was so kind to help me after her normal work hours said "no...but, if you were my sister, I'd tell you to take them."   She mentioned it's been proven to work in pregnant women not passing hiv to their children and also with needle sticks, but not contact sexually.  Just am curious on your take.

I understand that I'm going to feel a bit of side effects from the medication, but at what point do I contact my doctor--how horrible do I have to feel?  And maybe my "horrible" is someone else's "not so bad"...

Anyway, thanks again for your help.  Sarah

BTW, she did not tell me the meds would extend my window period--why is this? 

Offline Ann

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  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: Unprotected Sex/Exposure, Now on Meds
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2008, 12:21:45 PM »
Sarah,

Maybe the doc just forgot to mention about the window period.

I agree with the doc, you're better off taking the meds than not, for the reasons she stated.

It's only for a month and you might well find that the side-effects lessen after the first couple weeks. Being a bundle of nerves can't be helping either, so please, if you can, find someone to talk things over with face-to-face. You can find an ASO near you by going to the ASO database at POZ.com - http://directory.poz.com/

The fact that the man has a very low viral load is also going to work in your favour. That, together with your quick initiation of PEP gives you an excellent chance of coming out of this ok, and hopefully wiser where condom use is concerned.

Hang in there hun. Keep us posted.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline RapidRod

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  • Posts: 15,288
Re: Unprotected Sex/Exposure, Now on Meds
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2008, 12:25:20 PM »
Because the meds suppress the antibody production. The meds have around 86% effective level.

Offline sarah

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  • Posts: 3
Re: Unprotected Sex/Exposure, Now on Meds
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2008, 07:55:46 PM »
I am a bit concerned as I've missed an entire day of my PEP...this wasn't intentional in the least bit, but I am really worried as I know the importance of adhering to the meds for them to do their job.  Please tell me the damage i've caused?  Do I continue taking them, or double up today for missing yesterday?

Offline RapidRod

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  • Posts: 15,288
Re: Unprotected Sex/Exposure, Now on Meds
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2008, 08:03:28 PM »
Do Not Double Up. Just take them at your usual time. Forget the dose you missed.

Offline Andy Velez

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  • Posts: 25,399
Re: Unprotected Sex/Exposure, Now on Meds
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2008, 08:07:11 PM »
I agree with Rod. Don't waste a lot of energy worrying about the missed dose and do not double up to make up for the missed day.

But adherence is very important so make sure that you don't miss any other days. Do whatever you need to do to make sure you get your doses down daily.

Cheers,
Andy Velez

Offline anniebc

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  • Posts: 5,956
  • AM member since 2003
Re: Unprotected Sex/Exposure, Now on Meds
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2008, 08:21:06 PM »
 Obviously the more doses you miss, the less effective the treatment will be, but if you find you have missed a dose, take it as soon as you remember it but do not  take a double dose at the time you are next due,this is not recommended, mainly because of the side effects.

One of the main reasons PEP fails is because people missed not just one day but because they didn't take the medications as they were supposed to.

Believe me I know they are not easy to take, just try and remember to take them everyday, put a reminder on your cell phone if you need to.

Jan

Edited to add..I was called away in the middle of my reply and didn't realize Andy and Rod had already given you the same advise.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2008, 08:24:29 PM by anniebc »
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