Efficiency and relevance of post-exposure prophylaxis prescription by emergency physicians: a monocentric retrospective study


  • Xavier Eyer Assistance Publique des Hopitaux de Paris
  • Youri Yordanoff
  • Dominique Pateron
  • Patrick Plaisance
  • Anthony Chauvin



Background: Preventing infection with HIV remains a major public health challenge. Exposed persons are offered support and quick access to the post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) by hospital emergency services. To investigate the accuracy of the prescription of emergency PEP for patients with sexual fluid exposure in a French emergency department (ED) by comparing data in medical files and actual prescriptions.

Methods: We retrospectively collected data for patients consulting for sexual exposure in a single Parisian ED from 2015 to 2016. For each patient, researchers independently checked whether the emergency physician prescribed PEP according to French guidelines. Our primary outcome was the appropriateness of the emergency PEP prescription after sexual fluid exposure. We calculated the Cohen weighted kappa coefficient with its 95% confidence interval (CI) for determining the agreement in indication for PEP.

Results: We included 346 patients in the analysis. Half of the patients were men who had sex with men (n=178). The most frequent sexual exposure was anal insertive or receptive (n=177; 51%). PEP was prescribed in 94% of cases (n=328). In 33 cases (10%) the indication for PEP was not clear, but PEP was prescribed in 17 cases (52%). The Kappa value for determining the indication for PEP was 0.55 (95% confidence interval 0.36-0.74), indicating poor agreement for prescription. The agreement was lowest for men who had sex with men: 0.29 (0.05-0.53).

Conclusion: Strategies are needed to improve the relevance of the prescription of PEP in French EDs to avoid the excess secondary effects and cost.


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How to Cite

Eyer, X., Yordanoff, Y., Pateron, D., Plaisance, P., & Chauvin, A. (2023). Efficiency and relevance of post-exposure prophylaxis prescription by emergency physicians: a monocentric retrospective study. Panorama of Emergency Medicine, 1(1). Retrieved from https://panoramaoem.com/index.php/poem/article/view/12