Opening Hours: 8.30am to 2.30pm (daily)
6.30 pm – 10.30 pm(on Mon, Wed, Fri & Sun)
Telephone Number:+65 9662 5512

[ HIV Post-Exposure Prophylaxis / Prevention ]

Prevention of HIV

Unprotected sex, whether intentional or accidental due to condom breaks or slips, can be a source of great anxiety to patients and their partners. When there is unprotected sexual contact, it may be useful for the persons involved to consider the use of HIV Post-Exposure Prophylaxis to reduce the risk of catching HIV. 

 

HIV PEP / HIV Post-exposure Prophylaxis

HIV post-exposure prophylaxis refers to the use of anti-HIV medications to prevent or reduce the risk of getting infected with HIV after a risky encounter. While the actual risk of HIV infection varies depending on the type of exposure and likelihood of infection in the source, most guidelines on reducing HIV risk after exposure agree that the following situations may warrant consideration of using HIV PEP:

  • unprotected sex with known HIV infected persons
  • unprotected sex with high risk partners eg. commercial sex workers, IV drug users who practice needle-sharing, partners of known HIV infected persons.
  • condom slip / condom break / condom rupture / condom tear ( with high risk partners )
  • victims of rape or sexual assault

The usual time frame for use of HIV PEP is 72 hours. However, it is likely that the earlier the medications are started, the better the chances of preventing infection. Hence, patients are advised to contact us as soon as they are aware of the exposure. ( Tel: 6251 5512   SMS: 9662 5512 )

 

How  is PEP taken?

There are different types of medications which can be taken for HIV post-exposure prophylaxis ( PEP ). In general, medications are taken orally once or twice a day, for a duration of about 1 month. There is usually no need for any drastic diet or lifestyle changes while on the medications but should side effects occur, our doctor will advise you accordingly. Also, if you have any pre-existing medication conditions, or need to take any other medications while on PEP, do speak with our doctor.

 

What are the side effects?

Some of the common side effects include headaches, diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting. More serious side effects are rare, but may include a drop in the red blood cells or inflammation in the kidney or liver. This explains the need for some basic pre- and post-medication blood tests. Remember to let our doctor know if  you have any pre-existing conditions in the kidney or liver.

 

Does taking PEP make me immune to HIV while I’m on it?

No. Unsafe sex and other risky behaviour while on PEP may allow more HIV into your body, increasing the chance that PEP will fail. We advise against taking further risks even when you are on PEP medication. 

 

So PEP may not always work?

That’s correct. PEP can fail if you happen to catch a resistant strain of HIV, or if it is not taken properly or soon enough. Our doctor will discuss your situation with you and work with you to decide if the risk of infection justifies the cost and potential side effects of PEP.  

 

What happens if PEP fails? Will i be worse off than if  I have not tried PEP?

No. Use of PEP, if taken according to guidelines, has not been shown to encourage resistant strains of HIV. However, if PEP has failed for you, you may already have a resistant strain of HIV to start with. Our doctor will discuss the subsequent options and follow up plans with you.

 

 


[ Condom Breaks ]

What to do when the condom tears / breaks / slips out:

1) Stop having sex immediately.

2) Remove condom and wash yourself with warm water. For ladies, if you suspect your partner has ejaculated inside you, DO NOT try to scrape the ejaculate out with your fingers or other objects as that risks injuring the vaginal walls and may increase the risk of infection. For the same reason, DO NOT use strong antiseptics and caustic soaps to wash the intimate areas.


3) There can be a risk of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. Do come down to our clinic for a discussion on whether you may be suitable for Post-Exposure Prophylaxis for HIV. In addition, screening tests for STDs may be required after an appropriate interval.

4) For ladies, if you are not on regular oral contraception, emergency contraception is also available and can be considered.
 
It is great that you use condoms. Even if you do not require contraception, condoms serve as an important pillar in the prevention of sexually transmissible infections. For other measures to reduce or prevent STDs or STIs, click here.
 
If you ( or your partner ) have experienced a condom break or slip, or have had unprotected sex, do give us a call or SMS at 9662 5512 immediately.
 
Condoms tear / break because:

  • poor quality or expired condoms
  • condom was not kept properly ( eg. left in the car in the sun )
  • damaged by nails or teeth when opening condom
  • insufficient lubrication – most condoms available in Singapore are pre-lubricated but if the receptive ( anal or vaginal ) partner is too dry, or if sex was prolonged, it may not be sufficient.
  • rough sex
  • inappropriate lubricant – always use water-based lubricants with condoms; oil-based ones such as massage oils can increase the risk of breaks.
  • 2 condoms were used simultaneously – double condoms actually increase the risk of breakage when the 2 condoms rub against each other.

 

Condoms slip out because:
  • rough sex or prolonged sex
  • penis was not fully erect when the condom was put on; or penis goes soft during sex
  • condom was not rolled down completely to the base of the penis
  • condom was too big – condoms smaller than the standard sized ones may be available at specialty shops

 

Treatments and HIV post-exposure prophylaxis are most effective when started early. For inquiries and an appointment with our dedicated doctors, please call or SMS 9662 5512.


Consultations are private and discrete.
Same day appointments usually available.
Please call the clinic at (+65) 6251 5512 or SMS (+65) 9662 5512

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