Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California


UCLA Previously Published Works bannerUCLA

Differentiating Nonoccupational Postexposure Prophylaxis Seroconverters and Non-Seroconverters in a Community-Based Clinic in Los Angeles, California.



Nonoccupational postexposure prophylaxis (nPEP) is a 28-day regimen of antiretroviral medications taken within 72 hours of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) exposure to prevent HIV acquisition. Although nPEP has been recommended since 1998, few studies have analyzed the characteristics that distinguish nPEP failures (seroconverters) and successes (non-seroconverters).


This retrospective study analyzed all nPEP courses prompted by sexual exposure that were prescribed at the Los Angeles LGBT Center between March 2010 and July 2014. Fisher exact tests and logistic regressions were used to determine characteristics that distinguished nPEP seroconverters from non-seroconverters.


Of the nPEP courses administered, 1744 had a follow-up visit for HIV testing within 24 weeks of exposure and 17 individuals seroconverted. Seven reported a known re-exposure, 8 self-reported only condom-protected sex subsequent to the initial exposure, and 2 reported abstinence since the exposure. In multivariable analyses, seroconverters were more likely than non-seroconverters to report methamphetamine use, incomplete medication adherence, and nPEP initiation later in the 72-hour window.


Nonoccupational postexposure prophylaxis is an important emergency tool for HIV prevention. Our findings corroborate that timing of the initial nPEP dose is an important predictor of seroconversion. Although the current study did not offer the initial nPEP dose at the beginning of the visit, use of this fast-track dosing schedule will ensure that the first dose is taken as early as possible postexposure and may lower the likelihood for seroconversion. Furthermore, we recommend systematic screening for substance use because these individuals may be well suited for pre-exposure prophylaxis given their sustained risk.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View