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PEP percent effectiveness?

Jul 24, 2014

I was curious what the actual effectiveness of PEP is. I know it varies widely based on a number of factors, but it seems like there is no conclusive number. Assuming someone started PEP well within the 72 hour window and took every dose for 28 days after sexual exposure, what is a reasonable estimate for PEP's percent effectiveness? I'm seeing 80-85%, does this sound right? Thanks for this helpful resource!

Response from Dr. Young

Hi and thanks for posting.

There isn't great clinical trials data to give you an exact number- there are many reasons for this, but the clinical study that put PEP on the map- using AZT monotherapy in healthcare workers showed 81% effectiveness in HIV prevention.

Clearly, the medications we use today are more effective and better tolerated that that.

A nice summary of PEP comes from our friend Gus Cairns at NAM.


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