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HIV acquisition figures in US healthcare

Only a single healthcare worker in the US was confirmed to have acquired HIV on the job between 2000 and 2013, according to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). AidsMeds reports that the CDC published statistics in the 9 January edition of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report about possible and confirmed cases of HIV acquisition among health care workers between 1985 and 2013.

A case is categorised as a possible occupational acquisition of the virus when the health care worker has contracted HIV and may have done so through work duties, but documentation to prove the workplace acquisition is lacking.

Between 1985 and 2013 there were 58 confirmed and 150 possible cases of occupational acquisition of the virus among health care workers. There have been only three confirmed cases since 1995, including one in 1998 and two in 1999. The last case, in 2008, involved a laboratory technician who was punctured by a needle while working with a live HIV culture. The bulk of the acquisitions took place between 1986 and 1991.

The CDC acknowledges that the lack of confirmed cases in recent years may be the result of under-reporting. Otherwise, the apparent success in preventing workplace acquisition of the virus may be the result of treating people with HIV earlier and reducing their infectiousness, as well as post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) protocol to prevent HIV acquisition after a potential exposure, and improved technologies and training to prevent injuries with sharp materials and other exposures.

The World Health Organisation has released guidelines on post-exposure prophylaxis for HIV and the use of co-trimoxazole prophylaxis for HIV-related infections among adults, adolescents and children. Recommendations for a public health approach – December 2014 supplement to the 2013 consolidated ARV guidelines

[link url=""]Full AidsMeds report[/link]
[link url=""]CDC report[/link]
[link url=""]World Health Organisation guidelines[/link]

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