Occupational risk of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection is a matter of concern for health care workers. We conducted a study to gauge the level of awareness amongst HCW (doctors and nurses) working in Hospital Sungai Petani regarding the post-exposure prophylaxis in case of needle stick injuries from confirmed or suspected cases of HIV. Nineteen Doctors (56%) and 13 nurses (25%) were aware of correct risk of transmission. None identified all the four risk fluids correctly. 94% of doctors and 98% of nurses correctly stated that washing the site with soap and water is the initial procedure, but only few (1/10 of doctors and 1/3 of nurses) knew whom to contact immediately after injury. Twenty three doctors (67%) and 41(78%) nurses were aware of the use of Zidovudine but only 10 participants were aware of the use of second drug. Only 6 doctors (17%) and 8 nurses (15%) knew the correct duration of post-exposure prophylaxis. Twenty-three doctors (67%) and 35 nurses (67%) knew that the drugs were available in Hospital Pharmacy and 11 doctors and 12 nurses knew the approximate cost of therapy. On the average about 50% of doctors and nurses have fair knowledge of post exposure prophylaxis against HIV. Ongoing awareness and training are necessary to improve the same.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.