Patients-to-healthcare workers HIV transmission risk from sharp injuries, Southern Ethiopia

  • B Desalegn
  • H Beyene
  • R Yamada
Keywords: risk of HIV transmission, healthcare workers, Hawassa City


Background: Accidental needlestick injury rate among healthcare workers in Hawassa is extremely high. Epidemiological findings proved the infectious potential of this injury contaminated with a Human  Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)-infected patient’s blood.
Objective: This study aimed at estimating the risk of HIV transmission from patients to healthcare workers in Hawassa City, Ethiopia.
Method: A probabilistic risk model was employed. Scenario-based assumptions were made for the values of parameters following a
review of published reports between 2007 and 2010.
Parameters: HIV prevalence, needlestick injury rate, exposure rate, sero-conversion rate, risk of HIV transmission and cumulative risk of HIV transmission.
Finding: Generally, healthcare workers in Hawassa are considered to be at a relatively low (0.0035%) occupational risk of contracting HIV – less than 4 in 100,000 of healthcare workers in the town (1 in 28,751 workers a year). The 30 years’ maximum cumulative risk estimate is approximately five healthcare workers per 1000 workers in the study area. Still, this small number should be considered a serious matter requiring post-exposure prophylaxis following exposure to unsafe medical practice leading to HIV infection.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1813-4424
print ISSN: 1729-0376