Post-Exposure Prophylaxis against HBV and HIV Infection in Health Care Workers


Healthcare Workers (HCWs) are constantly at risk of exposure to viral infections such as hepatitis B virus (HBV), human immune deficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV). We aim at demonstrating the results of a three-year period of a surveillance program in Iran with the prospective follow-up of HCWs exposed to blood-borne viruses. HCWs who had experienced an occupational exposure to HBV, HCV or HIV from September 2005 to 2008 were enrolled in the study. Age, gender, route of exposure, type of fluid, type of virus, job, department, working shift, work experience, wearing gloves when exposed, history of HBV vaccination and the serum level of anti HBs antibody were recorded for all participants through an individual interview. Serum samples were taken from both HCWs and the sources of exposure and were tested by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The data were gathered through questionnaires completed by a nurse under the supervision of a specialist of infectious diseases. In this study, 100 HCWs who were occupationally exposed to HIV, HCV or HBV were included. Most exposures had occurred among nurses (35%), followed by residents (29%), interns (18%), housekeepers (7%), the lab staff (6%), and specialists (5%). Most of the exposures had occurred in emergency (21%) and surgical (20%) wards. The most common route of exposure was percutaneous injuries (77%) and the most common cases had contacted with needles and angiocaths (71.1%) during injection or opening vein routes (21%). Establishing a surveillance system for registering the occurrence of occupational hazardous exposures, performing prophylactic measures and following up the exposed is a necessity in hospitals so that the number of exposures and occupational diseases among the HCWs can be decreased.

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A. Hadadi, M. Karbakhsh, M. Rasoolinejad, M. Abdolbaghi, N. Hadadi, S. Afhami and N. Esmaeelpour-Bazzaz, "Post-Exposure Prophylaxis against HBV and HIV Infection in Health Care Workers," Advances in Infectious Diseases, Vol. 3 No. 3, 2013, pp. 193-199. doi: 10.4236/aid.2013.33028.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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