What are the DHHS guidelines for postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) antiretroviral therapy of HIV infection after a nonoccupational exposure?

Updated: Apr 18, 2019
  • Author: R Chris Rathbun, PharmD, BCPS (AQ-ID), AAHIVP; Chief Editor: John Bartlett, MD  more...
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Nonoccupational exposure to HIV includes any exposure to potentially infectious bodily fluids and tissues not secondary to job duties. These exposures include but are not limited to sexual contact and the sharing of injection-drug equipment.

Data from animal studies, perinatal transmission studies, experience with occupational post-exposure prophylaxis, and observational studies support the premise that initiation of a brief course of antiretroviral therapy after nonoccupational exposure may decrease the likelihood of HIV transmission. [116]

It is recommended that patients who present 72 hours or sooner after a substantial-risk HIV exposure involving an HIV-infected source be offered postexposure prophylaxis consisting of 3 antiretroviral agents. The risk is based on the type of exposure. If the HIV status of the source is unknown, each case should be determined individually based on risk. [116]

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