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Law enforcement risks
Aug 14, 2004

Hi Dr.,

I am a security officer currently working full time, and attending university part-time. I deal with individuals infected with Hepatitis and HIV all the time, however i was primarily worried about HIV until an associate of mine told me Hep C is easier to contract. I take universal precautions, and have tested negative for HIV, but i am concerned about HEP C. Aside from protective gloves, what else should I be doing?

Thanks for your help Doc Ray.

Response from Dr. McGovern

You can certainly request baseline testing for hepatitis C if you are extremely worried. However, as long as you have not have a blood exposure from a person with possible hepatitis C to broken skin or open wounds, then there should be no risk.

Using gloves is reasonable, if you are concerned about potential blood exposures in an altercation for example. I don't think you need to do anything further.

I would get hepatitis B vaccine which will protect you against any possible hepatitis B exposures. Dr. McGovern



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