Health care/social assistance Occupational illnesses Workplace exposures

Government updates guidelines on workplace exposure to HIV

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Chicago – The U.S. Public Health Service has published new guidelines for how health care personnel should handle occupational exposure to HIV.

In the event of exposure, the new guidelines call for immediately putting the worker on a post-exposure prophylaxis regimen consisting of three or more antiretroviral drugs. These guidelines replace the previous recommendation to first assess the level of risk to determine the number of drugs for the PEP regimen.

Exposed workers should complete a four-week regimen and undergo follow-up HIV testing, monitoring for drug toxicity, and counseling, according to the guidelines.

The guidelines were developed by an interagency working group and published online Aug. 6 in the journal Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.