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Adherence to Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) and Incidence of HIV Seroconversion in a Major North American Cohort

A research by Clinique médicale l’Actuel, Montréal, Québec, Canada

Drs. Réjean Thomas, Chrissi Galanakis, Sylvie Vézina, Danièle Longpré, Michel Boissonnault, Emmanuelle Huchet, Louise Charest, Daniel Murphy, Benoît Trottier, Nimâ Machouf 

PEP Adherence and Efficacy: Research Abstract


There is limited evidence on the efficacy of post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for sexual exposures. We sought to determine the factors associated with adherence to treatment and describe the incidence of PEP failures in a Montreal clinic.


We prospectively assessed all patients consulting for PEP following sexual exposures from October 2000 to July 2014. Patients were followed at 4 and 16 weeks after starting PEP. Treatment adherence was determined by self-report at week 4. Multivariable logistic regression was used to estimate the factors predicting adherence to treatment.


3547 PEP consults were included. Patients were mainly male (92%), MSM (83%) and sought PEP for anal intercourse (72%). Seventy-eight percent (n=2772) of patients received a prescription for PEP, consisting of Tenofovir/Emtracitabine (TVD) + Lopinavir/Ritonavir (LPV) in 74% of cases, followed by Zidovudine/Lamivudine (CBV) + LPV (10%) and TVD + Raltegravir (RAL) (8%). Seventy percent of patients were adherent to treatment. Compared to TVD+LPV, patients taking CBV+LPV were less likely to adhere to treatment (OR 0.58, 95% CI 0.44-0.75), while no difference was observed for patients taking TVD+RAL (OR 1.15, 95% CI 0.83-1.59). First-time PEP consults, older and male patients were also more adherent to treatment. Ten treated patients seroconverted (0.37%) during the study period, yet only 1 case can be attributed to PEP failure (failure rate=0.04%).


PEP regimen was associated with treatment adherence. Patients were more likely to be adherent to TVD-based regimens. Ten patients seroconverted after taking PEP; however, only 1 case was a PEP failure as the remaining patients continued to engage in high-risk behavior during follow-up. One month PEP is an effective preventive measure to avoid HIV infection.

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