3 Occupational Risk Assessment
Prevalence and epidemiological studies indicate that occupational HIV infection seldom occurs. Documented HIV seroconversion due to exposures demonstrate that an occupational risk of HIV transmission exists. Factors that may contribute to the magnitude of that risk include the type and extent of injury, the body fluid involved, the "dose" of inoculum, environmental factors, and recipient susceptibility. The interactions and additive effect of these factors on the individual laboratory worker are complex and unknown. However, some data are available that can help further define risks associated with several procedures or circumstances. The type, extent, and frequency of occupational HIV-1 exposure are summarized in Table 20.2.
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