If you are experiencing a medical emergency please dial 911 immediately
Health professionals are not considered at high risk for HIV infection, because they use protection (such as gloves, masks, and goggles) when dealing with blood or body fluids.
There probably isn't much risk of getting HIV if contaminated blood comes into contact with intact skin. But the risk may be higher if contaminated blood touches cut, scraped, or broken skin.
The degree of risk depends on:
If you are exposed to HIV on the job, talk with someone who specializes in treating HIV. He or she can help you weigh the pros and cons of treatment to reduce your chances of getting HIV. Treatment recommendations depend on how you were exposed and what you were exposed to. If you do have treatment, your treatment should start as soon as possible after exposure and no later than 72 hours after exposure.
Protect yourself from accidental exposure by disposing of sharp objects properly and wearing protective gloves, gowns, and eye and face protection. It is likely that work guidelines are available that will tell you what to do if you are exposed to HIV. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following precautions:
For more information about testing and treatment after a job-related exposure to HIV, contact the CDC National Prevention Information Network at 1-800-458-5231 or National Institutes of Health (NIH) AIDSinfo at 1-800-HIV-0440 (1-800-448-0440).
Last Revised: April 5, 2012
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