The use of human immunodeficiency virus post‐exposure prophylaxis (HIV PEP) should be considered in the care of sexual assault patient populations. In order to effectively implement HIV PEP following sexual assault, healthcare providers need to have a working knowledge of HIV transmission risk factors following a sexual exposure and protocols for initiating HIV PEP. Being able to implement evidence‐based practices that address each of these factors is paramount to successful prevention of HIV transmission following a sexual assault exposure. Most healthcare practitioners, however, lack the specialized knowledge needed to address these issues in the expeditious manner necessitated by a potential HIV exposure. Implications: This paper is designed to provide healthcare providers with a basic understanding of HIV transmission risk factors and the knowledge and skills needed to effectively implement HIV PEP following a sexual assault exposure.
1Forensic Nurse Examiner Program, St. Mary's Hospital, 5801 Bremo Road, Richmond, Virginia
Received: January 29, 2009; accepted: September 10, 2009
Correspondence Kim Wieczorek, MSN, RN, SANE‐A, SANE‐P, Forensic Nurse Examiner Program, St. Mary's Hospital, 5801 Bremo Road, Richmond, VA 23226. Tel: 1‐804‐281‐8574. E‐mail: email@example.com