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Indian Journal of Community Medicine

Awareness regarding pre- and postexposure prophylaxis for human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome among nursing students

Author(s): Avachat S, Phalke DB, Dhumale GB

Vol. 32, No. 2 (2007-04 - 2007-06)

LETTER TO EDITOR

Year : 2007 | Volume : 32 | Issue : 2 | Page : 159

Awareness regarding pre- and postexposure prophylaxis for human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome among nursing students

Avachat S, Phalke DB, Dhumale GB
Department of Community Medicine, Rural Medical College, Pravara Rural University, Loni, Taluk Rahata, Ahmednagar, Maharashatra, India
Date of Submission 03-Jul-2006

Correspondence Address:
Avachat S
Department of Community Medicine, Rural Medical College, Pravara Rural University, Loni, Taluk Rahata, Ahmednagar, Maharashatra
India

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
How to cite this article:
Avachat S, Phalke DB, Dhumale GB. Awareness regarding pre- and postexposure prophylaxis for human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome among nursing students. Indian J Community Med 2007;32:159
How to cite this URL:
Avachat S, Phalke DB, Dhumale GB. Awareness regarding pre- and postexposure prophylaxis for human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome among nursing students. Indian J Community Med [serial online] 2007 [cited 2007 Nov 30];32:159. Available from: http://www.ijcm.org.in/text.asp?2007/32/2/159/35671

Ever since human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection was first detected in commercial sex workers in Tamil Nadu in 1986, there has been a steady increase in the number of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) cases seeking treatment in various hospitals across the country.[1] All categories of health-care personal are at risk of acquiring the infection in the course of their work. As per reported data, globally there have been 98 confirmed and 194 possible cases of health-care personal being infected occupationally.[1] The nursing staff are especially at risk since they play a major role in caring for patients and, moreover, are exposed to accidental needle-stick or sharp injuries while assisting at surgery.[2],[3]

It is important that nurses must have thorough knowledge of the measures for prevention of exposure and the procedure to be followed in case of accidental exposure; they must be aware of the investigations to be done and the postexposure chemoprophylaxis to be taken. This cross-sectional study was conducted in the Training College of Nursing, Pravara Institute of Medical Sciences, Loni. All nursing students enrolled in the first, second, and third years were administered a predesigned questionnaire.

Only 44% of the nursing students were aware of all the infectious body fluids. Only 4% of the first year, 5% of the second year, and 8% of the third year students knew all the common modes of accidental exposure, e.g., needle-stick injury or contact with damaged skin or mucous membrane. While 8% of the third year students were aware of the factors influencing the risk of exposure, e.g., type of needle, depth of injury, etc., 37% of all the nursing students had no knowledge of any of these factors.

Forty-seven percent of the nursing students knew when postexposure prophylaxis should start, but only 2% of the third year students were aware of the correct duration of postexposure prophylaxis. Fifty-six percent of the nursing students were aware of all the measures to be taken after accidental exposure.

This study indicates the need for training nursing students in standard procedures to be followed, based on the principle of universal precautions; special emphasis must be placed on the prophylactic measures for prevention of exposure and the procedures to be followed after accidental exposure. Charts on first aid in case of accidental exposure, classification of risk and type of PEP recommended based on exposure code and status code should be displayed in all the wards of the hospital. PEP should be integral part of nursing curriculum.

References

1. 'Post exposure prophylaxis' manual for management of HIV/AIDS in children, UNICEF, NACO, WHO, IAP.
2. Bhatt G, Patnaik B. Knowledge and awareness among the nursing students regarding risk of HIV infection through accidental needle stick injury. Indian J Commun Med 2004;29:3.
3. Guidelines for nursing management of people infected with HIV-WHO AIDS series 3, 1988 Geneva: WHO.

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