Post-occupational exposure HIV infection in health workers: an update and preventive measures.

J L Boaventura


The author reviews the worldwide references concerning the problem of HIV infection in health care workers (HCW) after occupational exposure in its different aspects: infection risk rate (0.36-0.4%); common types of exposure (percutaneous, contact, and mucomembranous); main risk factors related to the lesion, the patient (donor) and HCW (receptor); and preventive attitude to be adopted. In what concerns prevention, the author emphasises the universal precautions (nosocomial infection prevention) and drug prophylaxis with anti retroviral drugs-reasons for administration, inclusion and exclusion criteria, and the doubts and certainties regarding the risk-benefit, dosage, duration of treatment, and follow-up. Based on current facts, a management guideline, that is in practice in Santa Maria Hospital, is proposed to challenge this controversial condition, including post-exposure drug use and its effect on hospital policy. The future perspective is described, bearing in mind all the facilities available.

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