What if You are Exposed to HIV?

If you act soon… it’s not too late

… Either from a condom break, condom slippage, or perhaps because you were just plain drunk, horny and stupid. But even getting cut or stabbed by a knife or poked by a needle that has been exposed to others’ blood can transfer HIV to you and infect you.

After accidental exposure, you may significantly reduce the risk of HIV infection if and only if you act promptly.

The “Post-Exposure Prophylaxis” (aka “PEP”) is fairly proven to significantly reduce the risk of HIV infection after accidental exposure to the virus, provided the treatment is started immediately within 1-72 hours after exposure. We can’t stress enough, if you are exposed to HIV regardless of the cause, report to medical, explain the situation and insist that you be given PEP.

PEP may not be a pleasant experience. The drugs are given in high doses and have some immediate side effects while being taken, but the downside of HIV infection which you will have for the remainder of your life is far worse.

Even if the other person believes that he is HIV-, there is no way to know for certain. Remember, antibodies do not appear for weeks to several months after exposure, so an HIV test on the other person is done immediately after an accidental exposure, the test will not show if the person was infected within the last few weeks, even if the person is in his most contagious stage of infection.

Again, no matter the cause of potential exposure, including just “being stupid in the moment,” do not hesitate to ask for PEP treatment, the peace of mind will far outweigh the short and long term consequences or any guilt about your “reputation.”

For more about PEP, CDC Reports.