Skip to Content
Home > Wellness Resources > Health Library > HIV Infection in Health Professionals
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.
degree of risk depends on:
Health care workers who are at risk for HIV because of an accidental needle stick or other exposure to body fluids should get medicine to prevent infection.footnote 2 Treatment works best when it is started 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
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).
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2005). Updated U.S. Public Health Services guidelines for the management of occupational exposures to HIV and recommendations for postexposure prophylaxis. MMWR, 50(RR-09): 1–17. Available online: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5409a1.htm.
Kuhar DT, et al. (2013). Updated U.S. Public Health Service Guidelines for the management of occupational exposures to human immunodeficiency virus and recommendations for postexposure prophylaxis. Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, 34(9): 875–892.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerPeter Shalit, MD, PhD - Internal Medicine
Current as ofMay 22, 2015
Current as of:
May 22, 2015
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Peter Shalit, MD, PhD - Internal Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.