[Question #1332] Pep window

47 months ago
Hello dr

I had an incident where I was put on pep I completed the 28 days of it and tested 5 weeks and 11 weeks after I finished the 28 days treatment, I tested negative on both. My question is: is 11 weeks after finishing the 28 days of pep conclusive or do I have to repeat the test? 
I've read that pep can hinder the results so how many weeks after the pep is conclusive I've read 8 weeks is but then I've read 12 weeks and even 6 months is! Very misleading guidelines out there and very worrying! I know your the experts in this field, so hopefully you can put my mind at rest.

Many thanks
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
47 months ago

Welcome to the Forum.  I will try to help.  You are correct, the guidelines for follow-up of PEP are variable and in flux.  Previously the CDC recommended that PEP follow-up should be carried out for six months following completion of medications.  More recently they have reduced that recommendation to three months.  Because there are few failures of PEP and most of those which occurred have been in persons who may have not taken their PEP correctly, these recommendations are not very precise.  The fact however is that virtually anyone who takes PEP would have a positive 4th generation, combination antigen/antibody test for HIV 4 weeks after completions of PEP.  The chance that a negative HIV test would be incorrect 11 weeks after completion of PEP is virtually zero.   My advice is to put your PEP concerns behind you and move forward without further concerns or testing.

I hope this information is helpful to you.  Stay safe./  EWH

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47 months ago
Ok thanks dr even 9,10 11 weeks after pep would be ok? Just that I've read that pep can stay in your system for a while?
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
47 months ago
PEP does not stay in your system more that a few days.  Believe your 11 week results - you're in the clear.  EWH
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47 months ago
Ok thank you