Revista de Saúde Pública
Print version ISSN 0034-8910
MACHADO, Alcyone Artioli et al. Risk of infection by the human immune deficiency virus (HIV) among health professionals. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 1992, vol.26, n.1, pp. 54-56. ISSN 0034-8910. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89101992000100010.
To investigate the occupational risk of infection by HIV among health professionals, 36 cases of occupational accidents involving exposure to material potentially infected with HIV, reported at a Brazilian General Hospital (HCFMRP), were studied. Of the injured workers 75% were female and 25% male (ranging from 23 to 49 years old) and just one of them had high-risk behavior of HIV infection. Of these health professionals, 52.8% were nursing auxiliaries, 19.4%, nurses, 13.9%, nursing attendants, 5.5%, laboratory technicians, 2.8% surgery instrumentalist, 2.8% accountants and 2.8% nursing technicians. In 47.2% of cases the workers had a parenteral exposure to blood (needlestick injuries). The right hand and fingers were the body areas most effected. The serologic test to detect HIV antibodies by the ELISA method was required of all the workers. The results were negative and no seroconversion was registered during the one year follow-up period. The professionals were retested one month, 2 months, 6 months and one year after the exposure. In conclusion, the risk of infection by HIV among health professionals of HCFMRP seems to be very low. Continuing education should be provided for health care workers with a view to reinforcing the use of universal precaution, especially those to prevent injuries cause by needles or other sharp instruments
Keywords : HIV; Working risks; Health occupations.