Thursday, April 11, 2013

Exposture to Blood: Follow-up After An Exposure

What precautions should be taken during the follow-up period?

HBV

If you are exposed to HBV and receive postexposure treatment, it is unlikely that you will become infected and pass the infection on to others. No precautions are recommended.

HCV

Because the risk of becoming infected and passing the infection on to others after an exposure to HCV is low, no precautions are recommended.

HIV

During the follow-up period, especially the first 6-12 weeks when most infected persons are expected to show signs of infection, you should follow recommendations for preventing transmission of HIV. These include not donating blood, semen, or organs and not having sexual intercourse. If you choose to have sexual intercourse, using a condom consistently and correctly may reduce the risk of HIV transmission. In addition, women should consider not breast-feeding infants during the follow-up period to prevent the possibility of exposing their infants to HIV that may be in breast milk.

PREVENTION OF OCCUPATIONAL INFECTIONS WITH HBV, HCV, OR HIV

Hepatitis B virus is largely preventable through vaccination. For HBV, HCV, and HIV, however, preventing occupational exposures to blood can prevent occupational infections with HBV, HCV, and HIV. This includes using appropriate barriers such as gown, gloves and eye protection as appropriate, safely handling needles and other sharp instruments, and using devices with safety features.

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