Postexposure Prophlaxis (PEP)

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Postexposure Prophlaxis (PEP)

PEP is recommended when occupation exposure to HIV occurs. The U.S. Public Health Service provides the following guidelines:
  • If possible, determine the HIV status of the source patient to guide need for HIV PEP
  • Start PEP medication regimens as soon as possible after occupational exposure to HIV and continue them for four weeks.
    • PEP medication regimens should contain at least three antiretroviral drugs for all occupational exposures to HIV.
  • Expert consultation is recommended for any occupational exposures to HIV
  • Provide close follow-up for exposed personnel that includes counseling, baseline and follow-up HIV testing, and monitoring for drug toxicity. Follow-up appointments should begin within 72 hours of an HIV exposure.
  • If a newer 4th generation combination HIV p24 antigen-HIV antibody test is utilized for follow-up HIV testing of exposed healthcare personnel, HIV testing may be concluded at 4 months after exposure. If a newer testing platform is not available, follow-up HIV testing is typically concluded at 6 months after an HIV exposure.


Reference: Guidelines for the use of antiretroviral agents in HIV-1 infected adults and adolescents. Available at: https://aidsinfo.nih.gov/guidelines/html/1/adult-and-adolescent-treatment-guidelines/0. Accessed April 29, 2020.