Have you been in a high-risk situation for HIV infection during sex? Emergency
If you’ve been in a high-risk situation for HIV in the past day or two, you should immediately go to a hospital emergency room or a Checkpoint center. You can significantly lower the risk of getting infected with HIV after unprotected sex if you react quickly. The sooner, the better!
A specialist will discuss with you whether an emergency treatment is necessary. The treatment is called PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis). In such case you’ll take pills for a short period of time, which can prevent an HIV infection.
The sooner you get on PEP after a high-risk situation, the greater your chances of preventing the infection.
There is a risk of HIV...
- if you’ve had unprotected vaginal or anal sex with an HIV-positive person whom you know to “secrete” the virus, i.e., who is contagious.
- if you are a man who has sex with men engaging in anal sex without condoms nor PrEP (“PrEP = pre-exposure prophylaxis. It’s a medical protection against HIV by taking pills. For more information, go to www.myprep.ch) with someone whose HIV-status is unknown..
- if you’ve had vaginal or anal sex without a condom or PrEP with a person from a region of the world where HIV is widespread and whose HIV-status is unknown.
If your sexual partner is HIV positive and undergoing successful HIV treatment, this was not a high-risk situation.
To find out more about it, talk to your doctor.
What if the high-risk situation was more than two days ago?
If the high-risk situation happened more than two days ago, you should urgently go to a counselling centre or talk to a doctor and discuss a possible HIV infection. Use a condom until an HIV test confirms no infection.
Your doctor diagnosed you with a sexually transmitted infection? Partner notification
If you’ve been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection (STI), reflect, together with your doctor
- who transmitted you the STI, and
- whom you might have passed the infection on to.
You should inform your sexual partners about your diagnosis. Though that is voluntary, it is important to do so. They might be infected even if they have no symptoms. It’s important they get tested and, if necessary, treated.
If your sexual relationship with these partners is ongoing, both of you need to be treated simultaneously. Otherwise there is a chance you repeatedly re-infect each other (“ping pong infection”).
NOTE: Left untreated, infections can lead to serious health complications.
Can’t have a face-to-face conversation?
If a face-to-face conversation is not possible, you can write to your sexual partners. Here are some suggestions for sending a text or an email.
Choose your language and the infection you have been diagnosed with. Then copy the wording and paste it into a text message or an email.
My partner had sex with someone else. Talk about it!
If you and your partner don’t just have sex with each other but with others as well, safer sex is important. You need to discuss sexually transmitted infections and protection. Chlamydia, for example, is fairly easily transmitted. If your partner is infected, you can get infected too.
Find out more about safer sex with the Safer Sex Check.
I had unprotected sex. What do I need to do?
As far as HIV is concerned, vaginal or anal sex is considered unprotected if you’ve used neither a condom nor PrEP verwendet hast.
PrEP = pre-exposure prophylaxis. It’s a medical protection against HIV by taking pills. For more information, go to www.myprep.ch.»
Did you have that type of sex with your regular partner, and are you sure that both of you have sex only with each other? And did you both take a test at the beginning of your relationship to rule out an HIV infection? If so, there is no risk for HIV.
If you had unprotected sex with someone else, find out what the risk is. Depending on the circumstances, you may have to act immediately.
If the HIV high-risk situation happened a few days or weeks ago and you are now experiencing flu symptoms, it might be a sign of an primary HIV infection. [Link zu «HIV-Primoinfektion», S. 11] If that happened, you should act immediately and contact a doctor or a counselling centre.
If you’re unsure or have questions, contact a counselling centre [link] to discuss whether it makes sense to get tested for HIV or for other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).