HIV post-exposure prophylaxis for occupational and non-occupational exposure to HIV infection

The use of ARVs for Post-exposure prophylaxis (HIV-PEP) following occupational exposure to HIV, and the recent expansion of HIV-PEP to non-occupational situations, have raised numerous areas of uncertainty for policy makers and healthcare providers caring for potentially exposed individuals. Key issues among these are the appropriate indications for HIV-PEP, ART choices, and management strategies to accompany use of PEP for HIV. With the expanding availability of ART in resource-poor settings, issues of provision of HIV-PEP require policy decision that can be implemented in programme and services delivery planning.

A joint ILO/WHO technical meeting for the development of policy and guidelines on occupational and non-occupational PEP for HIV infection was held in Geneva on 5-7 September 2005 to develop guidelines that address the needs of healthcare workers, non-healthcare workers who experience blood or body fluid exposure in the course of their work, and sexual assault survivors.

These guidelines present a unified framework for policy development and implementation issues for both occupational and non-occupational HIV-PEP in national contexts. Thus WHO and ILO, while presenting guiding principles for PEP policies, recommend and support national adaptations of these guidelines. The guidelines became available at the end of 2006.

For further information, contact Marco Vitoria (, Micheline Diepart ( in the HIV/AIDS Department or Claudia Garcia-Moreno ( in the Department of Gender, Women and Health, WHO.

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