Health professionals are not considered at high risk for HIV infection, because they use protection (such as gloves, masks, and goggles) when dealing with blood or body fluids.
There probably isn't much risk of getting HIV if contaminated blood comes into contact with intact skin. But the risk may be higher if contaminated blood touches cut, scraped, or broken skin.
The degree of risk depends on:
If you are exposed to HIV on the job, talk with someone who specializes in treating HIV. He or she can help you weigh the pros and cons of treatment to reduce your chances of getting HIV. Treatment recommendations depend on how you were exposed and what you were exposed to. If you do have treatment, your treatment should start as soon as possible after exposure and no later than 72 hours after exposure.
Protect yourself from accidental exposure by disposing of sharp objects properly and wearing protective gloves, gowns, and eye and face protection. It is likely that work guidelines are available that will tell you what to do if you are exposed to HIV. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following precautions:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2005). Updated U.S. Public Health Services guidelines for the management of occupational exposures to HIV and recommendations for postexposure prophylaxis. MMWR, 50(RR-09): 1–17. Available online: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5409a1.htm.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineBrian O'Brien, MD, FRCPC - Internal MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerPeter Shalit, MD, PhD - Internal Medicine, Infectious Disease
Current as ofNovember 18, 2017
Current as of: November 18, 2017
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
& Brian O'Brien, MD, FRCPC - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Peter Shalit, MD, PhD - Internal Medicine, Infectious Disease
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