HIV post-exposure prophylaxis among police and corrections officers

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BackgroundPolice and correctional officers face the occupational hazard of blood and body fluid exposures, which carry the risk of infection with HIV.AimsTo estimate the incidence rate (IR) of emergency department (ED) visits for blood or body fluid exposures sustained by police and corrections officers in an entire state and to quantify the utilization of HIV post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) in response to these exposures.MethodsA retrospective study of police and corrections officers presenting to EDs in Rhode Island between 1995 and 2001. The investigators estimated IRs of ED visits for these exposures with 95% confidence intervals and determined factors associated with HIV PEP using bivariate Pearson's χ2 analyses.ResultsThe average annual incidence of ED visits for blood or body fluid exposures over the study period was IR 4.41 (2.31–6.51) exposures per 1000 police and corrections personnel. Only 15% of officers sustained percutaneous injuries or blood-to-mucous membrane exposures. Sixteen officers were offered HIV PEP and 10 accepted it. Offering of HIV PEP was 3.3-fold greater for officers sustaining percutaneous and blood-to-mucous membrane exposures instead of other body fluid exposures.ConclusionThe incidence of ED visits for blood or body fluid exposures by police and corrections officers was low and most exposures did not have the potential for HIV transmission. HIV PEP was infrequently used for these exposures.

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