HIV postexposure prophylaxis-in-pocket: long-term follow-up of individuals with low-frequency, high-risk HIV exposures

AIDS. 2020 Mar 1;34(3):433-437. doi: 10.1097/QAD.0000000000002441.


Background: HIV preexposure prophylaxis and postexposure prophylaxis are two major biomedical HIV prevention modalities. The utility of these prevention tools for individuals with infrequent high-risk HIV exposures remains uncertain. HIV postexposure prophylaxis-in-pocket ('PIP') may be an effective HIV prevention tool in such situations. Here, we present long-term follow-up of a cohort of patients initiated on PIP for HIV prevention.

Methods: We retrospectively evaluated clinical characteristics of patients initiated on PIP as a primary HIV prevention tool between 1 January 2016 to 31 May 2019 at the Toronto General Hospital HIV Prevention Clinic and St. Michael's Hospital HIV Clinic, both in Toronto, Canada. Patients were referred for consideration of a biomedical HIV prevention modality. Individuals with a low frequency of high-risk exposures to HIV were initiated on PIP after counselling, and were followed at regular intervals. Demographic and clinical data was collected with a standardized form.

Results: In total, 79 patients were initiated on PIP as a primary HIV prevention modality and followed for a mean duration of 14.8 months combining for a total of 97.3 patient-years. Twenty-one (26.6%) patients used their PIP, and 32 courses of PIP were taken during the study period. Transitions between HIV prevention modalities included 13 (16.5%) patients who transitioned from PrEP to PIP, and 22 (27.8%) patients who transitioned from PIP to PrEP. No HIV seroconversions were detected during the course of this study.

Conclusion: PIP is helpful HIV prevention modality for individuals with a low frequency of high-risk HIV exposures.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-HIV Agents* / therapeutic use
  • Canada
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • HIV Infections* / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections* / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis*
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Anti-HIV Agents

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