In a health alert today from the New York City Health Department to medical practitioners, health authorities say prompt initiation of Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) using antiretroviral medication can prevent the establishment of HIV infection.
Recent analysis of Health Department data shows that the proportion of visits to NYC hospital emergency departments related to HIV exposure has increased three-fold in the past decade. Exposure to HIV is a medical emergency, as infection can establish within 24 to 36 hours.
Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) using antiretroviral medicines can prevent HIV infection if initiated within 36 hours of exposure and continued for 28 days.
The recommended regimen is Tenofovir 300 mg PO daily + Emtricitabine 200 mg PO daily Plus Raltegravir 400 mg PO twice daily or Dolutegravir 50mg PO daily, health officials spell out in the health alert.
This is part of the health department’s new outreach campaign, PrEP & PEP: New Ways to Prevent HIV, to provide primary care and infectious disease practices with resources to support pre-exposure and post-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP and PEP).
“Too many New Yorkers continue to be diagnosed with HIV every year, and too few clinicians are prescribing PrEP and PEP,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett. “With the Health Department’s new detailing campaign and targeted messaging, approximately 600 primary care and infectious disease practices will be armed with these life-saving tools.”
“Increasing prescriptions of PrEP and PEP is a critical step in interrupting the chain of transmission of HIV in NYC,” said Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, Assistant Commissioner for the Health Department’s Bureau of HIV. “We are excited to give our clinical colleagues more tools to prevent their patients from contracting HIV. Educated clinicians lead to educated patients.”