Author(s): Ippolito G, Sagliocca L, DUbaldo C, Ruggiero A, Fabozzi OC,
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Abstract The risk of occupational infection by blood-borne pathogens has been well evaluated. However, a low perception of this risk among health care workers (HCWs) and a low compliance to infection control measures has been documented by several studies. During a meeting of gynecologists of Southern Italy, a survey of knowledge, attitudes and practices (K.A.P.) on HIV and other blood-borne viral infections was conducted among 143 obstetricians-gynecologists. 133 (93\%) HCWs answered the questionnaire. 81\% of them recalled almost one occupational exposure during their career and 54\% almost two in the past year. Our data suggest a low knowledge about HIV and the other blood-borne viral infections and Universal Precautions (UP): only 16\% of HCWs knew the rate of vertical transmission of HIV, less than 15\% knew the rate of seroconversion after occupational exposure to HBV and HCV, and finally only 33\% knew to which body fluids apply UP. Moreover, 93.7\% of HCWs believed that HIV antibody screening of all patients is an effective strategy to reduce the risk of occupation HIV infection. More than 90\% of gynecologists used to request HIV-antibodies to pregnant women, 21\% after the first trimester. Although HCWs interviewed can not be considered representative of Italian gynecologists, our data suggest the need of an intensive training to increase gynecologists' knowledge about HIV, other blood-borne pathogens and the risk of occupational infections also in order to modify attitudes and practices.
This article was published in Epidemiol Prev
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy