In our latest letter to our online clinic, one reader asks about getting PEP or Post-exposure prophylaxis after having bareback sex.
I recently hooked up with a guy I know to be promiscuous, we got drunk and he ended up f**king me bareback and I had some blood down there the next day. I’m desperate to get PrEP, as even though he says he’s HIV negative, how can I be sure? I don’t normally take risks, but this time I slipped up.
Sam (name changed)
If you’re worried about your status you should visit a sexual health clinic right away or an A&E department, who also can prescribe the Post-exposure prophylaxis drugs (PEP). It is a course of drugs which lasts up to 28 days. It is effective at stopping the HIV virus up 72 hours after exposure.
You will need to explain to the doctors why you think you need the treatment and they will assess the likelihood of your exposure to the virus.
Bareback sex carries high risk to HIV exposure, but also to a variety of other infections, which can all be very nasty and may not show symptoms. You say that the guy said that he was HIV negative, but when was the last time he was tested and was he telling the truth? You can never be sure, which is why it’s important for you to take responsibility for your own health. If he’s had unprotected sex with you and you say he’s known for being promiscuous the likelihood of him having unprotected sex with others is very high.
Make sure you ask your doctor or sexual health professional about the side-effects of PEP.
As for the blood you mentioned, the anus is filled with veins and delicate capillaries, which can get damaged during sex. You may want to check that you don’t have piles and if you do there are many over the counter remedies for these. If you’re worried or concerned see your GP.
Remember unless you 100% trust someone wrap it up.
Visiting a sex health clinic is an important part of life, taking responsibility for your health and for others you’re having sex with. Making regular visits every six months to once a year is suggested if you’re sexually active.
Did you know you can order an at-home HIV test online? Click here to buy one
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The advice given in this article is for guidance only and you should always seek your own independent, professional medical advice from your own GP if you are concerned about your health.
Got a problem you’d like advice on?
For more information about sexual health and HIV, visit www.tht.org.uk or call THT Direct (a free, confidential helpline) on 0808 802 1221