(HealthDay News) – Management and prophylaxis recommendations have been updated for health care providers with occupational exposure to HIV, according to guidelines published in the September issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.

David T. Kuhar, MD, from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues updated the U.S. Public Health Service recommendations for the management of health care personnel who are exposed to blood and/or other bodily fluids that might contain HIV.

According to the report, when occupational exposures to HIV occur, post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is recommended. If possible, the HIV status of the exposure source patient should be determined. After exposure to HIV, PEP medication regimens should be started as soon as possible, and should be continued for four weeks. For all occupational exposures to HIV, PEP medication regimens should contain three or more antiretroviral drugs. Exposed personnel should be provided with close follow-up, which should begin within 72 hours of exposure and should include counseling, baseline and follow-up HIV testing, and monitoring for drug toxicity. HIV testing may be concluded four months after exposure if a newer generation combination HIV p24 antigen-HIV antibody test is used. Follow-up HIV testing is generally concluded six months after exposure if a newer testing platform is not available.

“As new antiretroviral agents for treatment of HIV infection and additional information concerning early HIV infection and prevention of HIV transmission become available, the interagency Public Health Service working group will assess the need to update these guidelines,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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