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July 10, 1996

Update: Provisional Public Health Service Recommendations for Chemoprophylaxis After Occupational Exposure to HIV

JAMA. 1996;276(2):90-92. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540020012007

ALTHOUGH preventing blood exposures is the primary means of preventing occupationally acquired human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, appropriate post-exposure management is an important element of workplace safety.1 Information suggesting that zidovudine (ZDV) postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) may reduce the risk for HIV transmission after occupational exposure to HIV-infected blood2 prompted a Public Health Service (PHS) interagency working group,* with expert consultation, to update a previous PHS statement on management of occupational exposure to HIV with the following findings and recommendations on PEP.‡1

Background  Although failures of ZDV PEP have occurred,3 ZDV PEP was associated with a decrease of approximately 79% in the risk for HIV seroconversion after percutaneous exposure to HIV-infected blood in a case-control study among health-care workers.2 In a prospective trial in which ZDV was administered to HIV-infected pregnant women and their infants, a direct effect of ZDV prophylaxis on the