Federal Guidelines Update for Managing Occupational Exposure to HIV

By on 8:20 AM

The United States Public Health Service updated its recommendations for the management of healthcare personnel (HCP) with occupational exposure to HIV in new guidelines published online in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA).

CDC infographic on new federal guidelines for managing exposure to HIV
The recommendations in the guidelines are aimed at Health Care Professionals that have the potential of exposure and may include laboratory personnel, physicians, nurses,  emergency medical personnel, dental personnel, technicians, therapists and pharmacists among others.

The new guidelines are intended to make the PEP regimen better tolerated than those previously recommended and are also intended to make the PEP regimen easier to follow and increase compliance.

These new federal guidelines recommend the immediate use of postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) regimen containing three or more antiretroviral drugs following any occupational exposure to HIV.

Infographic from the Centers for Decease Control and Prevention (CDC)  on the new federal guidelines for managing occupational exposures to HIV.

“Preventing exposures should be the leading strategy to prevent occupational HIV infections; however, when an exposure occurs, it should be considered an urgent medical concern and a PEP regimen should be started right away, ideally within hours of the potential exposure,” David Kuhar, MD, one of the authors of the guidelines and medical epidemiologist with the CDC Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion.

While the guidelines recommend that an expert be consulted for any occupational exposure to HIV, treatment must not be delayed while waiting for an expert consultant. Click here to view all new recommendations.

The updated guidelines are based upon expert opinion, developed by an interagency working group of the United States Public Health Service comprising representatives from the Centers for Decease Control and Prevention (CDC)  National Institutes of Health, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Health Resources and Services Administration in consultation with an external infection control expert panel.


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