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I took PEP - how effective is it?

Here is my story:
I'm a gay man and I met a guy on 23rd of March. We deeply kissed each other using our tongues. Condomless oral sex also took place (I sucked his penis intensively despite having a thrush in my mouth). We rubbed our dicks together. Finally I put my finger into his anus and played with his hole. He didn't ejaculate at all. I masturbated and ejaculated on the floor. After that he disclosed to me that he is HIV positive.
I was really afraid hearing that. On 25rd of March I went to an emergency clinic and took PEP exactly 42 hours after the incident. I also tested the same day for HIV which came back negative.
But the same day that I began PEP I developed fever (38.5 C), I had night sweats and my tonsils get enlarged and full of pus. I visited the doctor again on 26th of March and he put me on antibiotics (doxycycline for 7 days). All these seven days I had low grade fever (till 37.5 C), night sweats were insisting and my tonsils were still enlarged. I'm afraid that I'm seroconverted but the doctor said that perhaps something else bothers me. He ran a throat culture which revealed a severe streptococcal infection. He put on a new round of antibiotics (amoxillin for 10 days) since streptococcus was not sensitive to the previous antibiotics (doxycycline). My tonsils seems better day by day but night sweats are insisting. I'm waking up in the middle of the night and my pillow and my clothes are all wet.
Could all these be early symptoms of HIV infection? Could I have already seroconverted despite taking PEP? Did I begin PEP too late? What's the rate of PEP failure?

  1. Hi . I'm glad you were willing to reach out with your concerns and seek information. Given your symptoms it is certainly understandable that you are anxious, although it is a good sign that your symptoms are starting to improve on the amoxycillin. I need to stress that we are not medical professionals and, for your protection, cannot give medical advice over the internet. I do want to share with you this article on early stage HIV, which notes that seroconversion "happens about one to four weeks after an individual acquires the virus:" In addition, this article on PEP notes that it needs to be started within 72 hours: Of course, the only way to be certain is testing, which the CDC recommends as part of standard health care. Finally, I want to share with you this article on types of HIV tests which provides information on testing windows: I hope this information is helpful. Best, Richard (Team Member)

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