Article: article from journal or magazin.
Spare non-occupational HIV post-exposure prophylaxis by active contacting and testing of the source person.
OBJECTIVE: HIV-1 post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is frequently prescribed after exposure to source persons with an undetermined HIV serostatus. To reduce unnecessary use of PEP, we implemented a policy including active contacting of source persons and the availability of free, anonymous HIV testing ('PEP policy'). METHODS: All consultations for potential non-occupational HIV exposures i.e. outside the medical environment) were prospectively recorded. The impact of the PEP policy on PEP prescription and costs was analysed and modelled. RESULTS: Among 146 putative exposures, 47 involved a source person already known to be HIV positive and 23 had no indication for PEP. The remaining 76 exposures involved a source person of unknown HIV serostatus. Of 33 (43.4%) exposures for which the source person could be contacted and tested, PEP was avoided in 24 (72.7%), initiated and discontinued in seven (21.2%), and prescribed and completed in two (6.1%). In contrast, of 43 (56.6%) exposures for which the source person could not be tested, PEP was prescribed in 35 (81.4%), P < 0.001. Upon modelling, the PEP policy allowed a 31% reduction of cost for management of exposures to source persons of unknown HIV serostatus. The policy was cost-saving for HIV prevalence of up to 70% in the source population. The availability of all the source persons for testing would have reduced cost by 64%. CONCLUSION: In the management of non-occupational HIV exposures, active contacting and free, anonymous testing of source persons proved feasible. This policy resulted in a decrease in prescription of PEP, proved to be cost-saving, and presumably helped to avoid unnecessary toxicity and psychological stress.
Anti-HIV Agents/economics, Anti-HIV Agents/therapeutic use, Confidentiality, Contact Tracing, Cost-Benefit Analysis, HIV Infections/diagnosis, HIV Infections/drug therapy, Health Policy, Humans
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