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Author Topic: Help! Terrified of PEP side effects  (Read 1524 times)

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Offline Onpep

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Help! Terrified of PEP side effects
« on: April 11, 2014, 01:10:09 PM »
I am brand new to Poz forums, and hope that I've chosen the right heading to post this message under. (I apologize if not!) I am so grateful that this site exists. :)

After a very recent sexual encounter in which I may have been exposed to HIV, my doctor has advised that I begin PEP.  I am writing because I am terrified. 

I was on PEP three years ago, after another such incident, and had a hideous experience. I was prescribed Truvada and, I believe, Kaletra, and had violent side effects, including extreme vertigo, nausea, rapid heartbeat, and unrelenting exhaustion. The doctor who prescribed these was part of a large, publicly funded facility in Chicago; I experienced her as deeply shaming, homophobic, and (frankly) sadistic. Needless to say, I discontinued the treatment well before completion (after 2 weeks), partly because I was so sick, and partly because seeing her again was too much for me.  In the end, 4 months after possibly being exposed to HIV, I received a negative result in an HIV test.

Now, after another risky sexual experience (yes, I'm feeling a lot of shame), I am terrified to go on PEP again. I plan to go to a different provider, so hopefully the experience with the doctor will be different. (I don't have insurance until May, so I need to visit institutions that can offer PEP and doctor's visits on a sliding scale.)

I am terrified of the violent side effects I experience before. I missed almost 2 weeks of work last time, and almost lost my job.

Are there other drugs that are appropriate? HELP!

Offline Ann

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Re: Help! Terrified of PEP side effects
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2014, 01:36:47 PM »

I removed your thread from the Treatments section of these forums to the Am I Infected? section. As someone who is not hiv positive, you are NOT permitted to post outside this section. Do not post anywhere else in these forums again unless and until you have confirmation that you are hiv positive. Thank you for your cooperation.

What was your risk? You might be able to take Truvada alone (it's two meds in one pill). You need to start PEP within 72 hours after the risky incident, but earlier is better.

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

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