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Antiretroviral prophylaxis (PEP) after occupational exposure to HIV in healthcare workers (HCWs) is used across Europe, but not in a consistent manner. A panel of experts, funded by the European Commission, formulated a set of recommendations. When it has been decided that the characteristics of the exposure indicate the initiation of PEP, PEP should be started as soon as possible; initiation is discouraged after 72 hours. PEP should be initiated routinely with any triple combination of antiretrovirals approved for the treatment of HIV-infected patients; a two class regimen is to be preferred. The source patient's treatment history should be sought. Counselling, psychological support, HIV testing and clinical evaluation should be performed at baseline, at 6-8 weeks, and at least 6 months post exposure. Additional clinical and laboratory monitoring at one and two weeks should be considered, as adherence with and tolerance of the regimen can highlight adverse reactions and potential toxicity. Routine HIV resistance tests in the source patient, and direct virus assays in the exposed HCW are not recommended.


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