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Broken condom



I was having vaginal sex with a women. The sex was quite vigorous and lasted a while. When I withdrew I noticed that the condom had ruptured at the base. My head was still covered but I didn't check to see if there was some minor rupture there. I got panicked and started taking Truvada 6 hours after the incident. I have been Truvada taking once a day and intend to take it for four weeks. My questions are following:

(1) Is Truvada once a day for four weeks an effective PEP strategy?

(2) Will I get at least some protection from condom as I didn't see any obvious breakage at the head? I am regretting not checking the head properly. Also, I am uncircumcised.

Thank you for your help.

Jim Allen:
If the head of the penis was covered it's not an issue, no need to check as it's obvious when it breaks during intercourse and even if it had broken why would you take truvada only? I presume it was not prescribed to you as PEP.

PEP was prescribed to me. However, in addition to Truvada, Tivicay was also recommended. Unfortunately my insurance wanted to mail the meds instead of letting me buy at my local pharmacy. They told me it can take up to three business days for the meds to arrive. It was Friday when I spoke to them so it would have taken a total of five days for me to get the meds.  I didn't have that much time as I needed to start the meds within 72 hours. I could afford generic Truvada at the time which cost around $600. So I bought it immediately and started taking it. Tivicay was gonna cost additional $2000. I didn't want to spend that much money.  I requested my insurance to talk to their management and allow me to buy the med at my local pharmacy. They said they will reach out to their management and will let me know their decision within two days. Anyway, they never gave me the approval and I was left with generic Truvada only.

So that's my story. Can I expect generic Truvada once a day to be somewhat effective?

Jim Allen:
Okay, well if you need PEP in the future knowing this coverage issue ask for a different combination of meds.

Anyhow, Truvada is a combination of 2 drugs and should offer some level of prevention.

Now, what you posted isn't so far an HIV risk and I am not going to pretend it was but if it gives you peace of mind test 6 weeks post finishing the PEP course with a blood-drawn HIV antibodies test to know your HIV status. A negative (non-reactive) result at that time would rarely ever change.

Here's what you need to know to avoid HIV infection:
Use condoms for anal or vaginal intercourse, correctly and consistently, every time, no exceptions. Consider talking to your healthcare provider about PrEP in the future as an additional layer of HIV protection

Keep in mind that some sexual practices described as ‘safe’ in terms of HIV transmission might still pose a risk for transmission of other STI's, so please do get tested regularly and at least yearly for all STI's including but not limited to HIV and test more frequently if unprotected intercourse occurs

Also, note that it is possible to have an STI and show no signs or symptoms and, the only way of knowing is by testing.

Kind regards


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Thank you for your encouraging words Jim!! As you are assessing me to be at no risk for HIV, I will try to forget this incident and move on with my life. I will also keep your suggestion in mind when it comes to PEP. Have a good night!


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