Knowledge of Health Care Workers in a Nigerian Tertiary Health Facility on Post-Exposure Prophylaxis for HIV Infection
Percutaneous transmission of HIV is a significant occupational risk among health workers. Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for HIV is an intervention that is recommended for people at risk of accidental exposure to HIV. The objective of this study was to determine the knowledge of health care workers in OOUTH, Sagamu on PEP therapy for HIV. A cross-sectional survey of clinical health workers was carried out between March and April, 2012. Purposive sampling method was used. The research tools were questionnaire, case records and laboratory records. The 100 respondents were made up of doctors (19%), nurses (55%), laboratory scientists (5%), cleaners (9%) and others (12%). Eighty-seven percent were aware of PEP. Most of the respondents knew the purpose of PEP (86.2%); 79.3% knew that PEP is best commenced within 24 hours of exposure to HIV and 86.3% knew that only anti-retroviral drugs are used for PEP. Most (91.9%) of the respondents belived in the efficacy of PEP but only 54% would recommend it. Only 21% of the respondents have had exposure to HIV-infected body fluids and 95% of these were exposed to blood. All the respondents with exposure to HIV tested negative to HIV after PEP. The awareness of health workers in OOUTH concerning PEP was high but in-depth knowledge needs to be further enhanced through frequent in-service trainings. It is recommended that further action should be taken about counselling and education of health workers on prevention of exposure to HIV as well as improved utilization of PEP.
Keywords: Antiretroviral therapy, health workforce, universal precautions, post-exposure prophylaxis