Author(s): Turner SB, Kunches LM, Gordon KF, Travers PH, Mueller NE
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Abstract We performed a serosurvey of 133 embalmers in an urban area where human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is prevalent. Although we found histories of needlesticks to be common, and the seropositivity rate of hepatitis B virus (HBV) (13\%) was approximately twice that of a blood donor comparison group, HIV antibody was uniformly absent in 129 embalmers who denied HIV risk factors, and present in one of four with self-described risk behaviors. The risk of HBV infection was higher among embalmers who have worked more than 10 years, relative risk (RR) 16.2 (95\% confidence interval 2.1, 126.5), did not routinely wear gloves, RR 9.8 (CI 3.4, 28.5), or are employed in the city of Boston, RR 4.7 (CI 1.8, 12.0).
This article was published in Am J Public Health
and referenced in Anthropology