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      Non-Occupational HIV Post-exposure Prophylaxis: A 10-Year Retrospective Review of Data Following Sexual Exposure From Yaounde Central Hospital, Cameroon

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          Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) consists of administering antiretroviral therapy within 72 hours of viral exposure and continued for four weeks. PEP has been shown to be an important means of preventing and decreasing the number of new HIV infections in the general population. The purpose of this study was to describe the profile of patients who consulted at the HIV/AIDS Care and Treatment Center of the Yaounde Central Hospital (YCH) for PEP following non-occupational exposure to HIV. To attain our objective, we carried out a 10-year retrospective review of patient records of all persons who consulted for accidental HIV exposure at the YCH, Cameroon.


          This study was an observational, retrospective analysis of hospital records of persons who consulted for PEP following accidental exposure to HIV in the outpatient HIV clinic at YCH between January 2007 and December 2016. Data extracted from patients’ records were: type of HIV exposure, sex, age, profession, level of education, HIV status of source and time to consultation. Descriptive and inferential statistics were analyzed using STATA IC 12.0. Results were presented as median and interquartile range for continuous variables. Categorical variables were expressed as frequencies and proportions.


          There were 628 consultations for PEP of which 48% (299/628) were as a result of non-occupational post exposure prophylaxis (nPEP). Of those who consulted for HIV PEP following non-occupational exposure, 78% (234/299) were females; adolescents group (15-19 years) and young adults group (20 – 24yrs.) constituted 41% (125/299). Forty percent (1208/299) were secondary or high school students (level of education) and 88% (262/299) were non-healthcare workers. The median time-to-consultation for non-occupational PEP (nPEP) was 19 hours (IQR: 12.4-25.0) and HIV status of the source was unknown in 64% (191/299) of cases and positive for 8% (25/299) of cases. The most frequent indications for consulting were sexual assault, 75% (224/299); condom slippage or breakage, 10% (30/299); and unprotected consensual sexual intercourse, 15% (45/299).

          Conclusion and Global Health Implications:

          Consultations for nPEP are as frequent as those occupational PEP (48% vs 52% in this study) in clinical practice at YCH. A good history of the source is important as it prevents unnecessary prescriptions of ART (which themselves have potential side effects) for persons consulting for potential HIV non-occupational exposure. In our study, we found that 27% (82/299) unnecessary ART prescriptions were avoided by determining that the exposure source person had negative HIV status. In addition, adolescent or young females consulting for nPEP in clinics could be potential victims of sexual assault or gender-based violence. Where possible, we recommend that clinicians consider the source of suspected viral exposure in clinical practice prior to administering ART for PEP.

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          Most cited references 7

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          Use of postexposure prophylaxis against HIV infection following sexual exposure does not lead to increases in high-risk behavior.

          The effectiveness of postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) following occupational exposure to HIV has prompted advocacy for PEP following sexual or drug-use exposures. To evaluate the concern that the availability of PEP for sexual or drug-use exposures might result in behavioral disinhibition. Non-randomized trial of 397 adults with high-risk sexual or drug-use exposures within the prior 72 h. Antiretroviral medication for 4 weeks and five counseling sessions. Participants were followed for 12 months for repeat request for PEP and for changes compared with pre-enrollment in overall high-risk behavior and the acquisition of sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and HIV. After 12 months following receipt of PEP, the majority of participants (83%) did not request a repeat course of PEP. At 12 months after exposure, 73% of participants reported a decrease compared with baseline in the number of times they had performed high-risk sexual acts; 13% reported no change, and 14% had an increase. Most participants (85%) had no change in the incidence of STD; 8.5% had a decrease and 6.8% an increase. Three homosexual men seroconverted for HIV (none associated with the presenting exposure) for a rate of 1.2/100 person-year, equivalent to rates in San Francisco among all homosexual men. After receipt of PEP consisting of antiretroviral medication and behavioral counseling following a potential sexual exposure to HIV, most individuals do not increase high-risk behavior. Coupled with prior safety and feasibility data, this lack of behavioral disinhibition suggests that use of PEP should be routinely considered following high-risk sexual exposures.
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            Feasibility of postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) against human immunodeficiency virus infection after sexual or injection drug use exposure: the San Francisco PEP Study.

            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.
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              Nonoccupational HIV post-exposure prophylaxis: a 10-year retrospective analysis.

              We conducted a retrospective analysis of administration of nonoccupational HIV post-exposure prophylaxis (nPEP) in a single centre where tracing and testing of the source of exposure were carried out systematically over a 10-year period. Files of all nPEP requests between 1998 and 2007 were reviewed. Characteristics of the exposed and source patients, the type of exposure, and clinical and serological outcomes were analysed. nPEP requests increased by 850% over 10 years. Among 910 events, 58% were heterosexual exposures, 15% homosexual exposures, 6% sexual assaults and 20% nonsexual exposures. In 208 events (23%), the source was reported to be HIV positive. In the remaining cases, active source tracing enabled 298 HIV tests to be performed (42%) and identified 11 HIV infections (3.7%). nPEP was able to be avoided or interrupted in 31% of 910 events when the source tested negative. Of 710 patients who started nPEP, 396 (56%) reported side effects, among whom 39 (5%) had to interrupt treatment. There were two HIV seroconversions, and neither was attributed to nPEP failure. nPEP requests increased over time. HIV testing of the source person avoided nPEP in 31% of events and was therefore paramount in the management of potential HIV exposures. Furthermore, it allowed active screening of populations potentially at risk for undiagnosed HIV infection, as shown by the increased HIV prevalence in these groups (3.7%) compared with a prevalence of 0.3% in Switzerland as a whole.

                Author and article information

                Int J MCH AIDS
                Int J MCH AIDS
                International Journal of Maternal and Child Health and AIDS
                Global Health and Education Projects, Inc (USA )
                06 December 2019
                : 8
                : 2
                : 138-145
                [1 ]Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Dschang, Cameroon
                [2 ]Day Hospital, Hospital Central Yaounde, Cameroon
                [3 ]Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Services (CBCHS), Yaoundé, Cameroon
                [4 ]Department of Public Health, School of Health Sciences, Catholic University of Central Africa, Box 1110, Yaoundé, Cameroon
                [5 ]School of Health Systems and Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria Private Bag X323, Gezina, Pretoria, 0001, Pretoria, South Africa
                [6 ]Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
                [7 ]Section for Epidemiology and Social Medicine, Department of Public Health, Institute of Medicine (EPSO), The Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
                [8 ]Collaboration for Research Excellence in Africa (CORE Africa)
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding author email: ngwayuclaude1@
                Copyright © 2019 Kouanfack et al.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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