SHEA Updates Guidance for Health Care Staff With Hepatitis, HIV

In HealthDay News
by Healthday

Career counseling recommended for those planning to conduct exposure-prone procedures

FRIDAY, Oct. 23, 2020 (HealthDay News) — In a Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America white paper, published online Oct. 14 in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, updated recommendations are presented for the management of health care personnel (HCP) living with hepatitis and HIV.

David K. Henderson, M.D., from the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, and colleagues updated guidance for HCP with HIV and hepatitis, reflecting advances in care and treatment. Evidence-based guidelines were reviewed to provide recommendations for health care practice.

The authors recommended viral load thresholds of 1,000 IU for hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA undetectable for HCV, and suppressed viral RNA for HIV for determining any restrictions on HCP practice. Professional schools should provide counseling for trainees and students to inform them of their ethical obligation to: know their HBV, HCV, and HIV infection status; be vaccinated with the HBV vaccine; seek appropriate treatment if found to be infected; and inform appropriate supervising individuals according to the institutional procedures. For those planning to conduct exposure-prone procedures who are living with a bloodborne pathogen, career counseling should be provided about the advances in suppressive treatment or cure of these infections. Career counseling should also be provided for those whose viral loads cannot be consistently suppressed.

“Advances in care have reduced the risk for transmission of these bloodborne infections, making it safer for patients and health care personnel,” Henderson said in a statement. “Still, appropriate oversight and training remain foundational.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and health care industries.

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