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.