HIV Postexposure Prophylaxis Does Not Increase Risky Behavior

WESTPORT, CT-Some scientists and researchers worried that an HIV postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) would increase high-risk behavior among its recipients. However, the results of a new study prove otherwise.

J.N. Martin, MD, of the University of California at San Francisco said there was a theoretical concern that the drugs would be an easy way for a person to protect him or herself, therefore, allowing risky behavior.

However, his team followed 400 individuals starting 4 weeks of HIV treatment within 72 hours of suspected exposure to the virus. The study, which involved mainly gay or bisexual men, showed a 74% drop in high-risk behavior after the suspected exposure. About 10% of the group reported an increase. The percentages remained almost the same after one year.

Martin pointed out that there are good reasons to avoid repeating the prescription. HIV PEP has side effects, the drugs are expensive and are not 100% effective.

The results of the study were presented at the 8th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Chicago.

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