Advertisement
The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
  
  • Email Email
  • Printable Single-Page Print-Friendly
  • Glossary Glossary

International News

Canada: Survey Suggests High Rate of HIV Exposure for Health Care Workers

August 21, 2006

Hundreds of Canadian health care workers may have contracted HIV on the job, "greatly" exceeding government estimates, according to a University of Western Ontario report presented at the 16th International AIDS Conference. The Public Health Agency has records of just three HIV-positive health care workers, an agency spokesperson said.

"The main importance of this study is basically that there is a large underestimate of occupationally acquired HIV infection," said Gillian McCarthy, the lead researcher and an epidemiology professor at the university's school of dentistry. She speculated that workers exposed to HIV on the job did not report the exposures, fearing their licensing boards' reactions if they later test HIV-positive.

Most occupational HIV infections can be prevented in the first place with good infection-control practices, McCarthy said, but protective measures are often ignored. There are almost no data on how many health care workers may have HIV, said McCarthy. She presented results from a confidential mail-in survey of 22,000 dentists, dental hygienists, surgeons and nurses conducted over several years.

Advertisement
Among nurses, more than 8 percent said they had been exposed to a patient's HIV-contaminated blood, either through a cut, needle stick or blood splashing into their eyes, nose or mouth. Close to 1 percent of surgeons, and about 0.5 percent of dental hygienists and dentists, respectively, reported they had been exposed to HIV within the previous year. The chance of infection from such exposures is 0.3 percent, previous research suggests.

Back to other news for August 21, 2006

Adapted from:
Halifax Daily News
08.17.2006; Tom Blackwell


  
  • Email Email
  • Printable Single-Page Print-Friendly
  • Glossary Glossary

This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
 
See Also
Quiz: Are You at Risk for HIV?
10 Common Fears About HIV Transmission

Tools
 

Advertisement