Feasibility of postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) against human immunodeficiency virus infection after sexual or injection drug use exposure: the San Francisco PEP Study

J Infect Dis. 2001 Mar 1;183(5):707-14. doi: 10.1086/318829. Epub 2001 Feb 1.


The feasibility of providing postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) after sexual or injection drug use exposures to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) was evaluated. PEP was provided within 72 h to individuals with exposures from partners known to have or to be at risk for HIV infection. PEP consisted of 4 weeks of antiretroviral medications and individually tailored risk-reduction and medication-adherence counseling. Among 401 participants seeking PEP, sexual exposures were most common (94%; n=375). Among sexual exposures, receptive (40%) and insertive (27%) anal intercourse were the most common sexual acts. The median time from exposure to treatment was 33 h. Ninety-seven percent of participants were treated exclusively with dual reverse-transcriptase inhibitors, and 78% completed the 4-week treatment. Six months after the exposure, no participant developed HIV antibodies, although a second PEP course for a subsequent exposure was provided to 12%. PEP, after nonoccupational HIV exposure, is feasible for persons at risk for HIV infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-HIV Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Contact Tracing
  • Counseling
  • Didanosine / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Lamivudine / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nelfinavir / therapeutic use
  • Patient Compliance
  • Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk-Taking
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Viral / drug therapy
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Viral / prevention & control*
  • Substance Abuse, Intravenous / complications*
  • Time Factors
  • Zidovudine / therapeutic use


  • Anti-HIV Agents
  • Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors
  • Lamivudine
  • Zidovudine
  • Nelfinavir
  • Didanosine