Efficacy of HIV postexposure prophylaxis: systematic review and meta-analysis of nonhuman primate studies

Cadi Irvine, Kieren J. Egan, Zara Shubber, Koen K.A. Van Rompay, Rachel L. Beanland, Nathan Ford

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Background. The efficacy of antiretrovirals as postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) to prevent viral acquisition was demonstrated in nonhuman primate models of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in the early 1990s. To complement the evidence base for efficacy of HIV PEP in humans, we systematically reviewed the published data on PEP efficacy across animal studies. Methods. PubMed, Web of Science, and Embase were searched from inception to 31 May 2014 for randomized and nonrandomized studies reporting seroconversions among uninfected animals exposed to HIV or simian immunodeficiency virus, irrespective of route of exposure. Seroconversion risk data were pooled using random-effects models, and associations explored through meta-regression. Results. Twenty-five studies (408 primates) were included for review. The risk of serconversion was 89% lower among animals exposed to PEP compared with those that did not receive PEP (odds ratio, 0.11 [95% confidence interval, .05-.23]). Heterogeneity was low (I2 = 0.0%). In meta-regression, a significant association was found between timing of PEP and seroconversion and the use of tenofovir compared with other drugs. Conclusions. This review provides further evidence of the protective benefit of PEP in preventing HIV acquisition, and the importance of initiating PEP as early as possible following virus exposure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S165-S169
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Issue numberSuppl 3
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2015


  • nonhuman primate
  • postexposure prophylaxis
  • transmission


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