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Post-exposure prophylaxis for human immunodeficiency virus: knowledge and experience of junior doctors
  1. M Y Chen,
  2. E F Fox,
  3. C A Rogers
  1. Department of Genito-Urinary Medicine, Guy's and St Thomas's NHS Trust, London, UK
  1. Dr Marcus Chen, Sydney Sexual Health Centre, Sydney Hospital, GPO Box 1614, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 2001 chenm{at}


Objective: To assess the level of knowledge and experience of post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) among junior doctors.

Methods: A questionnaire was sent to all junior doctors working in two major teaching hospitals in London.

Results: Most junior doctors had heard of PEP (93%) but fewer were aware that it reduced the rate of HIV transmission (76%). Only a minority of doctors (8%) could name the drugs recommended in recent national guidelines and a significant proportion (43%) could not name any. Almost one third (29%) did not know within what period PEP should be administered. This was despite the fact that the majority of respondents (76%) had experienced high risk exposure to potentially infective material at some stage in their careers and that a significant proportion (18%) had sought advice about PEP following potential exposures.

Conclusions: This study demonstrates that the junior hospital doctors in our survey had inadequate knowledge of PEP against HIV despite being at risk of occupational exposure.

  • HIV
  • post-exposure prophylaxis
  • needlestick injuries

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