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Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and health care professionals

, : Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and health care professionals. Journal of the Association of Physicians of India 42(1): 22-23

A KAP study was designed in an attempt to assess the awareness of health care professionals about the preventive measures to be applied in the hospital to minimize the risk of HIV transmission from patient to health personnel. The aims were to assess: 1) knowledge about AIDS and viral transmission modes; 2) knowledge about basic preventive measures; 3) fears, misconceptions, and prejudices about HIV/AIDS; and 4) administrative alternatives regarding hospitalized HIV-infected patients. A population of 203 health care professionals from hospitals in Pune, India, was divided into 4 groups and interviewed using a questionnaire (group A: 40 servants and ward boys; group B: 45 nurses; group C: 91 interns and residents; group D: 27 consultants). 35% of group A and 100% of groups B, C, and D knew of the existence of AIDS. 70% of nursing staff, 30% of residents, and 3.7% of consultants thought that HIV positivity and AIDS were synonymous terms. 87.5% did not wear gloves while taking blood samples, starting an iv line, or cleaning blood spills. After contact of blood with intact skin/mucus membranes, 25% would wash with water, 75% would wash with soap and water, while 19% felt an antiseptic cream was needed. After blood-to-blood contact with an HIV-positive patient, 20% would allow the bleeding to continue, 10% would apply tight pressure to the injured area, and 48% thought bleaching powder should be applied. 53% of servants felt that touching or carrying an HIV-infected patient can transmit the disease. 83% of servants, 62.5% of nursing staff, 45% of residents, and 30% of consultants would avoid attending an HIV-positive patient. 75% felt that all patients admitted to the hospital should be screened for HIV infection. 90% expressed the desire for separate wards for HIV-positive patients. On discovering that they themselves were HIV-positive, 4% would disclose their HIV status, 62.4% would continue in their medical occupation, and 31% would leave the medical profession.


PMID: 7836241

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