Journal Article

Occupational Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection in Health Care Workers: Worldwide Cases Through September 1997

Giuseppe Ippolito, Vincenzo Puro, Julia Heptonstall, Janine Jagger, Gabriella De Carli and Nicola Petrosillo

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 28, issue 2, pages 365-383
Published in print February 1999 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online February 1999 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/515101
Occupational Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection in Health Care Workers: Worldwide Cases Through September 1997

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The average estimated risk of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection for health care workers following a percutaneous or mucous exposure is <0.5% in incidence studies, although a case-control study suggests it is much higher for highest-risk percutaneous exposure. To characterize exposures resulting in HIV transmission, we reviewed available data on occupational cases reported worldwide, identifying 94 documented and 170 possible cases. The majority of documented infections occurred in nurses, after contact with the blood of a patient with AIDS by means of percutaneous exposure, with a device placed in an artery or vein. High-exposure job categories, e.g., midwives and surgeons, are represented mostly among possible cases. Transmission occurred also through splashes, cuts, and skin contaminations, and in some cases despite postexposure prophylaxis with zidovudine. Health care workers could benefit if these data were incorporated in educational programs designed to prevent occupational bloodborne infections.

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Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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