Background: Studies indicate that antiretroviral postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) after sexual exposure to HIV reduce the risk of infection considerably. Since 1998 PEP after sexual HIV exposure within the preceding 24 hours, has been available in Denmark. PEP can only be prescribed at clinical centers with specialists experienced in HIV treatment. The objective of this study is to describe the use of PEP after sexual exposure from 1998 to 2006.
Methods: The Danish PEP registry collects data from all cases of PEP use in Denmark after exposure to HIV through a structured questionnaire.
Results: There were 374 cases of PEP use after sexual exposure. The incidence increased from 5 cases in 1997 to 87 in 2006. PEP was used by heterosexuals (40%) as well as men who have sex with men (57%). The HIV-status of the source was unknown in 41% of the cases of which 90% involved a source belonging to a high risk group, and 63% involved exposure by receptive anal intercourse. PEP was administered within 24 hours in 95% of the cases and the median time to initiation (N = 225) was 11.0 hours (range 0.5–60.0). PEP was completed by 65%.
Conclusions: This nationwide study showed a steady but moderate increase in the use of PEP after sexual HIV-exposure from 1998 to 2006. Time to initiation of PEP was low and the PEP prescription practice was targeted toward high risk exposures.