Behavioral Impact, Acceptability, and HIV Incidence among Homosexual Men with Access to Postexposure Chemoprophylaxis for HIV

Mauro Schechter, Regina F. Do Lago, Aaron B. Mendelsohn, Ronaldo I. Moreira, Lawrence H. Moulton, Lee H. Harrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

166 Scopus citations


Background: Little is known about the behavioral impact, acceptability, and incidence of HIV infection in persons with easy access to post-sexual exposure prophylaxis (PEP) to prevent HIV. Methods: Participants were recruited from a well-characterized, high-risk HIV seronegative homosexual male cohort in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, given a 4-day supply of zidovudine and lamivudine, and instructed to begin PEP immediately after an eligible exposure. For eligible exposures, an additional 24-day supply was provided. Reported behavior, PEP utilization, adverse events, and incident HIV infection were the main study outcomes. The observed and expected incidences of HIV infection were compared. Results: Two hundred subjects were enrolled and followed for a median of 24.2 months. The median age was 28 years. PEP was initiated 109 times by 68 participants (34.0%). In comparison to reported behavior at baseline, reported high-risk sexual activities on average declined over time for both PEP and non-PEP users. There were no serious drug-related adverse events. There were 11 HIV seroconversions, 10 among non-PEP users and 1 that was a PEP failure. The overall seroincidence was 2.9 per 100 person-years (95% CI = 1.4, 5.1). The expected number of new HIV infections and corresponding expected seroincidence based on the risk profile were 11.8 and 3.1, respectively (P > 0.97). The most commonly reported reasons for not initiating PEP among seroconverters were sex with a steady partner and not considering the exposure to be of sufficiently high risk to warrant PEP. Conclusion: PEP was safe and did not appear to be associated with increases in reported high-risk behavior in our cohort. Ready access to PEP did not appear to substantially affect HIV transmission, suggesting a limited public health impact of this intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)519-525
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 15 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • HIV
  • HIV incidence
  • Lamivudine
  • Postexposure chemoprophylaxis
  • Postexposure prophylaxis
  • Zidovudine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Behavioral Impact, Acceptability, and HIV Incidence among Homosexual Men with Access to Postexposure Chemoprophylaxis for HIV'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this