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CDC Statement For The National AIDS Hotline: Prophylactic Antiretroviral Therapy After Non-occupational Exposures to HIV

Date: February 21, 1997
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has not made specific recommendations on the use of antiretroviral drugs following possible sexual or other non-occupational exposures to HIV because current data on the efficacy and toxicity of the drugs in these situations are insufficient. CDC has recommended the use of antiretroviral drugs after certain occupational exposures to HIV (1). However, these recommendations were not developed to address sexual or other non-occupational exposures. Health care providers may receive requests to provide similar measures for patients who are believed to have been exposed to HIV sexually or by other potential routes of transmission. Because antiretroviral drugs are potentially toxic and their efficacy after non-occupational sexual or other exposures is unknown, CDC recommends that a physician expert in antitretroviral therapy be consulted in situations where such therapy is being considered.

CDC's recommendations for the use of antiretroviral drugs after occupational exposures to HIV (1) are available from the CDC National AIDS Clearinghouse (800-458-5231) or by calling the CDC National AIDS Hotline (800-342-2437).

Since a possible sexual exposure to HIV may also involve exposures to other sexually transmitted diseases (STD), clinicians should consult CDC guidelines for STD treatments (2). Copies can be ordered by calling CDC at 404-639-8064. [These are due to be revised in 1997 and the newer version will be available from the CDC National AIDS Clearinghouse.]


  1. CDC. Update: provisional Public Health Service recommendations for chemoprophylaxis after occupational exposure to HIV. MMWR 1996;45(22):468-72 [CDC National AIDS Clearinghouse pub #D039].
  2. CDC. 1993 sexually transmitted diseases treatment guidelines. MMWR 1993;42(RR-14):1-102.
    Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention National Center for HIV, STD, & TB Prevention Atlanta, GA February 21, 1997.

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