Much has been heard of cases in which unprotected sex is had with strangers and, either at the end of the act or the next day, this other person tells them that he has AIDS. At that moment the alarm goes off. AIDS! Now what? You may be wondering. You may not know it, but even if you have had sex without a condom with someone with AIDS, there is a possibility that HIV will not become an infection in your body and, therefore, you will not develop AIDS. Of course, as long as you go to the doctor as soon as you know that you may have been infected with HIV.
This is a medicine called post-exposure prophylaxis. If you want to know what it is and its possible side effects, as well as what to do in case of AIDS infection, keep reading this article that we have prepared for you. Quiet, all is not lost.
What is AIDS and HIV?
AIDS is one of the most feared sexually transmitted diseases among the population because of how dangerous it can be. However, what is contagious is not AIDS, but HIV, the human immunodeficiency virus. This virus incubates for many years in the body, so the symptoms are not seen until after 8 or 10 years.
When these begin to manifest, it is said that the person already officially has AIDS. The acronym AIDS stands for human immunodeficiency syndrome, and what the virus does is, in fact, attack the person's immune system, weakening it to its destruction, so that the body could not defend itself from diseases and infections and, after many years, the person would die.
Chances of contagion without protection
The condom is the only barrier that protects you against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), so the chances of HIV infection without protection are very high, but these increase much more if anal sex is maintained, since the anal canal is extremely delicate, so it would be very easy for a small fissure to occur and, as a result, HIV passes directly into the blood.
The same goes for the vaginal walls or mouth, if you have small ulcers. The chances of HIV infection during sex are very high, but they are even higher if any injury occurs in the encounter.
You may also be interested in this other article on How HIV Is Transmitted.
Contagion by a single relationship?
Yes, it is possible. As we said, it is extremely easy to get HIV if you do not use a condom, the only thing that protects you from sexually transmitted diseases. Therefore, it is very easy to get AIDS from a single sexual intercourse.
So never hesitate to use a condom, especially if you don't know the person. Be wary if they tell you they don't have any STDs, because they may have one and they may not know it. As we have already said, AIDS, for example, does not manifest itself until after 8 or 10 years.
What is post-exposure prophylaxis
If you have recently had relationships with someone who has AIDS, the first thing you should do is go to the doctor as soon as possible. This will ask you a series of questions to know how long it has been since the sexual encounter occurred, since the less time it does, the easier it will be to be able to stop the spread of HIV. How? With a medicine called post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP).
This drug, also called treatment after exposure, consists of a set of antiretrovirals (ARVs) that must be taken for about 4 weeks in order to prevent the spread of HIV through the body, which would stop the infection and, therefore, AIDS would not develop.
It is extremely important to take PEP during the first 72 hours after the sexual encounter in order for the treatment to be fully effective, otherwise, even if you took it during the established time, you could be at risk of becoming infected with HIV.
Side Effects of Post-Exposure Prophylaxis
Pep, on the other hand, is extremely strong, so many people do not tolerate the 4 weeks of treatment. Among the most common side effects of post-exposure prophylaxis are:
- Feeling unwell
- Kidney stones
If you have these or other symptoms, see your doctor to ask if you should continue treatment or should be prescribed another medication to counteract the adverse effects of PEP.
What are the risks of having unprotected sex?
Having unprotected sex can not only lead to the spread of sexually transmitted diseases such as AIDS, but also another series of problems, such as an unwanted pregnancy, in the case that the couple is heterosexual.
This would become a problem especially if the couple is young and has no money to have an abortion. The best thing in this case would be to talk to the parents and tell what happened, which could be very violent on both sides.
Now that you know what to do if you get AIDS, you may find this other article on How Long to Wait to Get Tested for HIV helpful.