When is HIV postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) indicated?

Updated: Jul 08, 2021
  • Author: Derek T Larson, DO; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

HIV nPEP is indicated in all HIV-negative patients after significant exposure to a substantial-risk bodily fluid, as detailed below. PEP with antiretrovirals in patients who are already HIV-positive is not recommended, although considerations for other treatments (eg, other infections, trauma, legal issues, undesired pregnancy) remain unchanged when the exposed patient is already HIV-positive. If rapid (< 1 hour) determination of the exposed patient’s HIV status cannot be obtained, it is prudent to proceed under the assumption that they are HIV-negative. Oral HIV tests are not recommended for use during this evaluation owing to a lack of sensitivity.


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