29 Mar 2012

Health : PEP; No Walk in the Park!

Category: Health

Dear Adam4Adam blog,

I have something to say that I think is important for your readers to know.

Although I know better, I ended up fucking a guy I had just met without a condom. Before I left his house he started talking about all the guys he had been with that week, which kind of freaked me out. I asked him if he was positive and he said no, I even asked him if he got tested.

I normally use a condom for fucking, but this guy was hot, and I wanted to be inside him without anything between us.

Once he started talking about the other guys he had been fucked by I started to get scared, and I wondered if he really did get tested at all. I couldn’t sleep that night I was so freaked out.

I had read your blog post on PEP and the next morning I decided to ask for it. I called the local health center and they told me to go to the emergency room. First of all, going to the emergency room sucked, it took hours and I had to talk to two nurses, one that looked just like my mother. Finally I talked to a doctor, he was nice enough, but I could tell he did not want details. As a matter of fact, nobody asked me exactly what I did, they were too busy trying to figure out what medications I should get. Finally after a few hours and lots of sideways glances, I left with a prescription for Kaletra and one for Truvada.

The first day on the meds was fine, but the second day I started to get cramps and lose stools. By the fourth day I had bad stomach problems, felt tense all the time, and was starting to feel bloated. By the end of the week I was sick, my stomach was bloated, I had really bad cramps, horrible diarrhea.  I felt totally stressed out and even had strange heart palpitations when I tried to go to sleep at night.

I just felt like I couldn’t take it anymore. I went on the internet and read about the trials where they  used monkeys to test the drugs, and I found that PEP worked best when the medication was started early (I started it within 36 hours after sex) and that it worked about 50% of the time after treatment of 10 days.  (or something like that)

Finally after 9 days I decided I was going to stop taking the meds. Considering I started the early and I was the top (the sex was short, like 10 minutes and I did not cum in him then I took a shower right after) I decided that 50% was enough protection for me, considering my risk…I will get tested again in a couple of months.

Anyway, I thought that your readers should know, that ya, there is PEP, but it is not walk in the park. I have heard that the symptoms get better but it takes a month of so for your body to adjust. But considering PEP is 28 days, when you are on it you never get the chance to adjust!

Thanks for reading this, hopefully you will post it for others to read so maybe they will think twice before they need to take PEP!

Anonymous

 

 

34 comments for Health : PEP; No Walk in the Park!

  • everything was ok until I read ” then I took a bath” lol man, a bath does not help you avoid STDs. I thought you should know that.

  • As the saying goes, treat ‘em ALL as if they were hiv+ and act accordingly. Sorry to read about your loss of judgement but glad you took action to hopefully avoid becoming infected.

    I am hiv+ from someone who was never tested; just assumed he was negative. I was put on Truvada/Kaletra (recommended regimen at the time) and I was extremely fortunate to have no side effects, even the first few weeks. Kaletra is the gut buster…so diet is VERY important for what you eat.

    undetectable, tcells at 850 and fortunate to have great compassionate medical care and doctors that are not judgmental.

    Still hope in my lifetime a real cure is found…some promising research underway in Europe right now that “tricks” the hiding hiv virus out of blood cells, etc that could truly lead to a cure.

    In the meantime, daily meds (never missed a dose in 4+ years…ever!), diet and exercise keeps me going strong.

    I just HATE the guys online that state “disease free/expect same”. They just have no idea how offensive that is.

  • Anonymous, I feel your pain. That’s a truly scary experience.

    I had a condom break while a guy I had just met was fucking me (in a sex club). We had talked about HIV prior, and he assured me he was negative. But I didn’t know how long the condom had been broken, and I didn’t want to take a chance.

    I went to the Callen-Lorde Clinic in NYC, which thankfully was non-judgmental and experienced in prescribing PEP. Somehow I had no side effects whatsoever, which I understand is unusual. My partner had to to the same thing, and he had stomach issues the first day, but he was fine after that.

    I have a friend who had a similar experience as yours, unfortunately.

    Going to an emergency room sucks, but if you don’t have a gay or gay-affirmative doctor or clinic nearby, you have no other choice.

    I don’t know what I would have done if I had those kind of side-effects.

    Just know that some people can tolerate the meds. And of course, many people have the experience you had.

    PEP should be more widely publicized, despite the potential side-effects. Prevention experts don’t want to make it known that it is available for fear that people will use it like a morning-after pill. But consider the long-term costs of a single HIV infection. 1,000 people receiving PEP might equal the lifetime cost of just 1 HIV infection.

  • I recently did PEP after a condom broke. I was the top, but I was with a new partner and am a bit paranoid about such things. “Luckily” I live in a large gay population center, so at the local clinic they are very familiar with PEP and all the options around it. They hooked me up with the prescription, the meds cost nearly a grand.

    I took it for a the full course, and I have to say that it is no walk in the park. In addition to being freaked out over the condom break, the side effects from the drugs are quite brutal and your body isn’t on them long enough for it to adjust to them. I was basically exhausted for a month, not hungry, and felt like I was going to puke all the time.

    For those of you out there considering PEP, know that it’s a last resort, as it should be. If you are concerned about safety, use condoms. Don’t rely on PEP (it’s not even 100% proven anyway). Leave PEP for those times when the unexpected happens. I hope I never have to do it again.

  • You forgot the cardinal rule: assume that the person is infected, even if they say they’re aren’t

  • If the treatment regimen is 28 days, do the 28 days! Failure to do so could result in a new and more virulent strain of HIV than the one you fear you contracted. Smarter folks than you and I will tell you that changing a treatment regimen, particularly one for HIV, is not only dangerous, but often fatal. The miserable side effects for the full course will help remind you of the cost of your ten minutes of foolishness and irresponsibility – lol! Regardless of the nastiness of the regimen, it beats the alternative hands down. Best of luck to you!!!

  • It works for Herpes exposure, but that’s about it

  • scary

  • ah…dah! PEP has very harsh side affects that make people not want to have sex ever again. I’m surprised that the MD didn’t assess what was going on, what if you were raped?Then this would be a total different issue. But I guess it would be better to suffer a few months of pain and diarrhea then to change your entire lifestyle from thinking with your dick that one time. Heal fast and well my friend

  • The side effects really depend on the individual. I have taken PEP twice and never had any of the symptoms above, though the nurses in the emergency room told me that they knew people who got sick taking the drugs. Even if I did have side effects, I still would’ve powered through and completed the course because I would rather only have to take these medications for just a month instead of the rest of my life.

  • My heart goes to you. I know what you are going through. My problem is more serious. I have used meth about one day a month for the last 8 months. Before meth, I used condoms and never made exceptions even for hot guys. But after using meth multiple times, I started having unprotected sex and all I think about is this kind of sex right now. I don’t like condoms anymore. I am on third course of PEP in 7 months. My last test was negative, but I don’t know if next one will be. I never had serious side effects from Truvada/Kaletra, but everyone is different. Guys, please don’t ever do meth. It changes your mindset. I am not as scared of unsafe sex or HIV anymore, but I should be.

  • Unless you had severe cuts in your penis I highly doubt that you had contracted the virus. I don’t think people understand how the virus is transmitted, and it isn’t always as easy as we may think. You were the top, you did not cum in him. Your odds of being infected are rather dim. I know you wanted to be safe, but it sounds like you went through all of that when you really weren’t that exposed.

  • Now imagine taking those meds everyday for the rest of your life. Is the incrementally additional pleasure that comes from barebacking worth going through that?

  • PEP sucks when it comes with no guaruntee and its HELL to take! Condoms are much better!

  • Actually, while taking a shower after sex will likely NOT EFFECT the primary concern of this particular story referencing HIV and PEP, the washing of genitals and body in general ‘-afterwards-” may be helpful in reducing the possible viral load on the surface of the skin for OTHER STI risks such as HSV or HPV. Certainly a bath / shower will not worsen your exposure. Perhaps also reduce transmission of other problems, like scabies/Lice.
    I say cut the author some slack, he is providing a peek into a very stressful interval in his life, and doesn’t need static because he took a bath after a hook up.

  • How did you pay for prescriptions? For anyone who does not know this, HIV drugs are very very expensive if you do not have insurance. The local HIV / AIDS agency may be able to help get them, but it may not be right away.
    Just thought guys need to know PEP is not always easy to get your hands on in the time period needed, unless of course you have a thousand dollars at your disposal.

  • Yeah, I got a kick outta the shower part too -I assumed that was the “comic relief” part of the tale..at least I hope so!

    I don’t get side effects from meds, personally, so I can’t relate to that, but why would he be so freaked out… If HE was fucking him bare -& the guy was that hot- wouldn’t he naturally figure everyone else did too That’s the really dumb part.

    It’s fine to let your dick think for you, but for heaven’s sake let the thought process follow thru!

  • How about this: Assume that EVERYONE is positive. For several years I counseled people newly affected by the HIV. Every one of them… absolutely every one of them got it from something that swore they were negative. In many cases they had been shown proof of a recent negative HIV test. I cringe every time someone asks me my status. I never tell them. If we don’t meet up that’s fine. Without disclosing my status if I tell them I am negative they would meet me for an immediate hookup. It creates a false sense of security, one that is very dangerous.

  • Dear Anoymous,

    Thanks for sharing your experience with us. I can only imagine how many of “US” in the world have that moment where we meet someone that is just the kryptonite to our common sense. I do not mean to insult you, just mean that someone who is irresistably hot to the point that you think to yourself, this guy looks hot, looks well, he just can’t be irresponsible about his health. Then of course the nightmare comes when you find from his own postsex admission how many people he has been with. And, the fact that he let you do him without a condom only adds to your concern… in that moment you’re like it’s ok, but after it must be hell. In any case, I think you’ve done everything in your power to – well not sure about only 50% of the PEP. No insight into what impact that has on the overall effectiveness. In any case, I do wish you well, I believe we all learn from our mistakes. If anything, I think the biggest thing you said to me was that, he was so hot. We are in a time where looks are such a big first impression thing, on who you let into your space, trust, and have sex with. Yet again, you story should serve a warning to all of us out there, looks should be a redflag, we should maybe spend more time knowing a person, before actually jumping into the sex, and that still isn’t 100% assurance, people are just not honest. But, we have to do only what we can, if its meant to be then it will be.

  • Well DUH! No one likes going to the ER, but I guarantee you cramps and some loose stools are much better than walking death.

  • he did not take a bath he took a shower Big Difference. LOL

  • Guys who use condoms also get a false sense of security. What about the Poz tops that stealth an unknowing sole? That is a serious problem that doesn’t get talked about. If you always played safely but suddenly your test is Poz, chances are you were stealthed by one of your sex partners and you probably will never know which one.

    For those who aren’t familiar with the term, it means to tamper with a condom for the sole reason as to infect your sex partner without them knowing who it was.

  • I want to add one more thing; so what if you DO become HIV+… It is hardly the “walking death” people think of it as.

    It’s infinitely more manageable & treatable than diabetes, less fatal than being chronically overweight or heart disease (which there is a lot more of)..in fact, it is now considered to be so NOT a life-threatening condition (it is not a ‘disease’) that most health organizations, like Medi-Cal, don’t even consider being HIV+ alone to be a deciding factor in decisions concerning coverage. It’s unfortunate, yes, & sometimes inconvenient, but hardly fatal.

    With a modicum of care, good medical & dental practices, decent diet and a good mental outlook -it is an immunity issue, and like all things immune system related, it’s success or failure hinges upon your approach to life, your attitude & outlook.

    That said, it is still incumbent upon you to be an intelligent, caring & responsible human being. Don’t worry about the other guy; he may or may not be, but always default to the positive and assume the best of people. 99% of the time you will be rewarded with the same..the few times you are not are inconsequential.

  • Perhaps I missed something in sex ed. class. How does not ejaculating in someone bode better for one’s self.

    This sounds like nonsense. Better to flush the urethra, including urinating (in toilet), than to not flush. And this is for all STD’s!

  • the chances of a top getting the kitty are slim but you can get other stds as well as when your a bottom… your chances are higher!!! We tend to be like mmmmmm he so hot and so fly then we fuck him raw or get fucked by him raw then we get tested and we want to kill ourselves!!

  • I rarely bb & I’ve been both top & bottom, although it feels so hot & exciting, I am sure to use condoms from now on, I believe I’ll only bb if i have a true partner & we are in love & get tested before we decide to bb or maybe just use condoms always. After reading all about this I’m lucky nothing has happened to me but I will continue to get checked. Good therapy everyone, thanks!

  • Well, I guess if you wanted to reduce any risk at all you did the right thing, but being the top you were at such little risk to start out with. While being at risk you are no where at near the risk had you been bottom. I do not necessarily advocate risky sex, but I also do not advocate false alarms. My partner is HIV negative and I am HIV positive. His first partner died of AIDS some years before. 15 years ago when we begin our relationship he refused to wear a condom when topping or performing oral sex on me. I decided this was crazy and way too risky by the information I had been given and decided I would end this relationship for his sake, he was devastated and asked why, so we talked about the “high risk” sex we was having. He explained he had always been the top in his previous relationship, and had not contracted HIV during those years, and had performed oral sex on his previous partner and had not contracted HIV. So he felt that he was safe enough to suit him. The first few years I worried in constant fret over this “unsafe” sex practices, but eventually accepted he knew what risk he was taking. 15 years later he is still negative. 15 years later… I still worry but not nearly the same…. Just absolutely never bottom without a condom unless you are in a monogamous relationship and can totally trust your partner…

  • Forgive my ignorance, but what the hell is PEP?

  • Be lucky you live in an area where you can even get it. Living in the bible belt sucks ass (in a bad way).

    I was in a relationship with a poz guy and a perpetual supply of condoms. We were fucking pretty hard and next thing I know he’s wearing a broken condom and I’m loaded up with cum. Being in a relationship with a poz guy, I’d read up a bit about PEP and immediately got the cum out of me and went to the ER. Four hours later I’m talking to a nurse who has absolutely no interest in hearing what I’ve got to say. I argue with her and a doctor for about another hour before finally giving up.

    I live a bit far out from any other hospitals, so I gave up and went home to the tune of $400 in ER bills for them doing absolutely nothing. Thankfully my partner at the time was on his meds and after months of making myself sick with worry and monthly tests coming back negative decided that we got lucky. (Still so a year after, no thanks to hillbilly doctors)

  • Whollis,

    You know what’s worse than “disease free/expect same”? “Clean” – like all of us poz guys are somehow dirty. Plus not accurate, I know poz guys who when asked if they are “clean” say yes because they are – they showered and douched just fine, thank you. And they haven’t lied if that’s all you asked.
    I have been poz since 2005 and non-detectable to the new low levels – healthy in all respects. I have been on Atripla since the beginning – I guess only poz guys know there are a variety of side effects to meds – but the new ones are far less harsh on the body than old. Most side effects tend to go away with use so using these drugs as PEP, you’ll be on them for the worst of the side effects. I got the severe dizziness I was told about – take mine at night and that takes that away. Didn’t get the wild dreams – not sure but maybe I got cheated there, LOL. But yes, using these drugs as after sex precaution means huge expense (without insurance, my drugs would be over $1500/MONTH) and all the unpleasant side effects. And they are no guarantee.
    And like every poz guy out there, I grimace over all these statements like “sex with only neg guys” or statements that confirm guys are neg. Whether it is out-and-out lies or the fact the person could be easily infected after the last test (or just before), none of those statements warrant any belief, they just false sense of security. I don’t post my status, not because I’m poz and don’t want to lnow, but because I think positng status and presenting that false sense of security id more dangerous than not posting. Not posting forces the question to be asked – I bet most people never question a posting of “neg” and should.

  • Just to add some clarity to the shower thing: careful cleaning of the genitalia and urinating IMMEDIATELY after sex reduces the chances of getting syphilis and gonorrhea and most other STDs. (It’s irritating that the CDC discounts this information, but most other “in the trenches” sexual treatment clinics give this advice). But this means hopping out of bed and cleaning right after sex. Not cuddling for an hour and then cleaning. Washing right after sex has not been shown to reduce the risk of HIV – but as several people noted above, the top has much lower risk than the bottom.

  • I might sound like a fool here but I must ask, what exactly is PEP? Is this like some backup plan if you think you had sex with someone who is HIV+? Somebody wanna give me the heads up on this, not that I have plans of having unprotected sex with strange men in the nearby future but I would like to know. Thanks guys!

  • Was playing with a friend and I was being careful about making sure condoms were used (when he was fucking me or using toys, but I was fucking him bb). Another FB who was there as well, “thought” he saw the other guy using a toy on him before using it on me, so I headed to emergency for antiretrovirals. Living in Canada with healthcare meant no problems in getting in to emergency, even though I had to pay for the anti-retrovirals, or whatever they are called. Was on a 30 day regimen that did not bother me at all. Scared me enough to totally abstain from sex now. Going on 2 years now and NEG so consider myself lucky in one way in that my physical health is fine, but it really has done a number to my mental health.

  • I’ve been positive since the late 1980s. Being scared into celibacy is a pretty stupid way to live your life. I assume you don’t drive (you could get killed in a car accident), go shopping (you could be mugged and murdered), or generally go outside your house (the sky is falling). Practice as much safety as you can, but please, live. Living without living because of fear is not living.

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