Comprehensive data that address current HIV nonoccupational postexposure prophylaxis (nPEP) practices in the emergency care of sexual assault patients are limited. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released HIV nPEP guidelines in 2005 and updated guidelines for Sexually Transmitted Disease Treatment in 2006 and 2010, each of which support providing nPEP to sexual assault patients. This study examined the offer, acceptance, and adherence rates of nPEP among sexual assault patients treated at an emergency department (ED).
We conducted a retrospective review between January 1, 2008, and December 31, 2011, of women, aged 16 years and older, treated for sexual assault in an academic ED that participates in the sexual assault nurse examiner program.
One hundred seventy-one female patients were treated in the ED for 179 sexual assault events. nPEP was not indicated in 19 cases and was offered to all 138 of patients for whom nPEP was appropriate. Five patient cases that exceeded the 72-hour exposure window were offered nPEP. Of the 143 patient cases offered nPEP, 124 (86.7%) initiated nPEP. Of the 124 who accepted PEP, 34 (27.4%) had documented completion of the 28-day course.
nPEP was offered in all 138 cases where patients were eligible for treatment. Of patients who accepted nPEP, a minority are documented to have completed a course of treatment. Systems to improve postassault follow-up care should be considered.