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Medical News & Perspectives
January 15, 2003

PEP Talk: Treating Nonoccupational HIV Exposure

JAMA. 2003;289(3):287-288. doi:10.1001/jama.289.3.287

Although guidelines for postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) to prevent HIV infection in health care workers exposed to the virus on the job have been available for several years, clinicians seeking a comprehensive blueprint for treating HIV exposures outside the health care setting have been largely on their own. Recently, Rhode Island has taken a pioneering role in developing perhaps the most comprehensive guidelines issued by a state to help clinicians evaluate and manage patients potentially exposed to HIV as a result of sexual assault or other "nonoccupational" exposures, such as a needlestick from a needle left in a garbage can or a potential exposure during sex caused by condom breakage.