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Awareness and practice of post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) of HIV among health-care workers in tertiary care hospital of Haldwani, Nainital, Uttarakhand, India

Rajesh Kumar Singh, Mukesh Kumar, C M S Rawat, Vinita Rawat.

Background: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a major global public health problem. Health-care workers (HCWs) are persons working in health-care setting. They are potentially exposed to infectious materials such as blood, tissue, and specific body fluids and are very vulnerable to infections mediated by blood and blood products.

Objective: The aim and objective of this study is to assess the awareness and practice toward post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for HIV, which is an important strategy for prevention of HIV among HCWs.

Material and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted from August 2014 to January 2015 among HCWs in tertiary care hospital. Data were collected using pre-designed, semi-structured questionnaire from study participants. Data were entered in MS Excel sheet and analyzed using SPSS v 16. Results are presented in frequencies and percentages.

Results: About one-third (65.5%) of participants have heard of PEP for HIV. Ninety-nine (45%) respondents knew when to initiate PEP for HIV. Approximately, one-fourth (23.2%) of the respondents knew the maximum acceptable delay to take PEP for HIV and about half of the participants (52.7%) had knowledge regarding the duration of PEP to prevent HIV. Among all HCWs, 47 (21.4%) were ever exposed to blood or body fluids or needle stick injury and out of these only 7 (14.9%) had taken PEP.

Conclusion: Awareness as well as practice of PEP for HIV among HCWs is inadequate. A training and regular sensitization of all HCWs regarding PEP for HIV is recommended to improve their knowledge.

Key words: Post-exposure prophylaxis, HIV, health-care workers, tertiary care hospital

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The articles in Bibliomed are open access articles licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/) which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.