Knowledge of human immunodeficiency virus post-exposure prophylaxis among doctors in a Nigerian tertiary hospital

  • IA Esin
  • S Alabi
  • E Ojo
  • AA Ajape
Keywords: HIV infection, post exposure prophylaxis, universal precautions, workplace safety


Background: The mainstay of prevention of occupationally-acquired HIV infection is compliance with universal precautions. Appropriate post-exposure prophylaxis is an integral part of prevention, control and workplace safety. This study was undertaken to assess the level of knowledge of post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) among doctors in Federal Medical Centre, Gombe, Nigeria.
Materials and Methods: Ethical committee approval for the conduct of the study was obtained. Questionnaires were served to all cadres of doctors from house officers to consultants; it was completed and returned on anonymous basis.
Results: Sixty six (88.0%) of the 75 distributed questionnaires were returned completed and formed the basis of further analysis. The overall knowledge level of post-exposure prophylaxis against human immunodeficiency virus infection was very low. About 62.1% are aware of the existence of PEP policy in the hospital. The level of knowledge concerning the high-risk fluid and three drugs used in PEP is high. Over 90% are not aware of the risk of sero-conversion following significant needle-sticks injury and mucous membrane exposure. The study also revealed poor knowledge concerning actions to be taken, how soon to commence the PEP treatment and the duration of medication following needle stick injury. More than 50% of the surveyed doctors had experienced significant exposure to potentially infective materials and none reported or sought PEP advice.
Conclusion: There is the need to educate the doctors and other health workers about the PEP guideline policy, what to do in the event of injury, whom to contact and the importance of seeking urgent advice following injury or exposure.

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eISSN: 1119-3077