HIV and Occupational Exposure
Occupational HIV transmission is extremely rare.
Only 58 cases of confirmed occupational HIV transmission to health care personnel have been reported in the United States. An additional 150 possible transmissions have also been reported to CDC.*
How can I prevent occupational HIV transmission?
Follow Standard Precautions at all times. Assume that blood and other body fluids are potentially infectious.
What if an HIV exposure happens at work?
If you are exposed to HIV at work, report your exposure to the appropriate person, and see a doctor or visit an emergency room right away.
Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) can reduce your chance of getting HIV infection. It must be started within 72 hours (3 days) after you may have been exposed to HIV. But the sooner you start PEP, the better. Every hour counts!
Clinicians caring for personnel who’ve had a possible exposure can call the PEPline (1-888-448-4911) for advice on managing the exposure. Clinicians who administer PEP should tell patients about possible side effects and follow patients closely to make sure they take their medicine correctly.
* Based on the most recent data available in December 2013. Of these, only 1 confirmed case has been reported since 1999.