When should postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) be initiated in occupational exposures to HIV?

Updated: Jul 27, 2020
  • Author: Ana Elizabeth Markelz, MD, FACP, FIDSA; Chief Editor: John Bartlett, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

Timely administration of PEP should not be delayed by drawing blood for laboratory studies. PEP should be initiated as soon as possible, ideally within a few hours and generally no later than 72 hours after the possible exposure. Decisions regarding initiation of PEP beyond 72 hours postexposure should be made on a case-by-case basis with the realization of diminished efficacy when timing of initiation is prolonged. The sooner the medications are started, the more effective they may be. [9]


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