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Psychol Health Med. 2012;17(2):235-54. doi: 10.1080/13548506.2011.579984. Epub 2011 Jun 30.

Nonoccupational postexposure prophylaxis following sexual assault in industrialized low-HIV-prevalence countries: a review.

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School of Nursing, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA.


Although available for over a decade, use of nonoccupational postexposure prophylaxis (nPEP) remains controversial in the United States. There are concerns over sexual assault survivors' adherence, or lack thereof, leading to increased costs without an appreciable decrease in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission. This review examines and synthesizes the available literature from the past 10 years to determine the true rates of provision and adherence to nPEP regimens in sexual assault survivors in low HIV prevalence, industrialized nations. Findings suggest that further prospective research is necessary to better understand the process of post-assault nPEP evaluation and subsequent follow-up and adherence.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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