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Archive

Autumn 2003, Vol. 11 No. 3

H.K. Dermatol. Venereol. Bull. (2003) 11, 140-143


Pearls in Dermatology

How I manage health care workers infected with human immunodeficiency virus and those with needle stick injury

KM Ho 何景文

Abstract
When managing health care workers infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), one must consider their job nature, their standards of infection control and their working environment. They should be advised to refrain from performing exposure prone procedures. While HIV infection is not notifiable in Hong Kong, physicians are encouraged to report to the Special Preventive Programme (SPP) of Department of Health. When difficulty arises in balancing public interests and the wish of the concerned worker, advice can be sorted from an expert panel coordinated by SPP. Accidental needle stick injury exposes health care workers to the risk of contracting blood borne infections. Management is determined by the nature of the injury and the risk of the source. The workers should be screened for blood borne infections and concerned immune status. Hepatitis B immunoglobulin, hepatitis B vaccination, anti-retroviral agents and specialist referral are offered if appropriate.