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Adherence to HIV post-exposure prophylaxis in victims of sexual assault: a systematic review and meta-analysis(BMJ Publishing Group, 2012-02-13)ObjectiveTo assess adherence to post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for the prevention of HIV infection in victims of sexual assault.MethodsThe authors carried out a systematic review, random effects meta-analysis and meta-regression of studies reporting adherence to PEP among victims of sexual violence. Seven electronic databases were searched. Our primary outcome was adherence; secondary outcomes included defaulting, refusal and side effects.Results2159 titles were screened, and 24 studies matching the inclusion criteria were taken through to analysis. The overall proportion of patients adhering to PEP (23 cohort studies, 2166 patients) was 40.3% (95% CI 32.5% to 48.1%), and the overall proportion of patients defaulting from care (18 cohorts, 1972 patients) was 41.2% (95% CI 31.1% to 51.4%). Adherence appeared to be higher in developing countries compared with developed countries.ConclusionsAdherence to PEP is poor in all settings. Interventions are needed to support adherence.