Article

HIV/AIDS and the surgeon.

Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria.
African journal of medicine and medical sciences 01/2007; 35 Suppl:77-83.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immunodeficiency Disease (HIV/AIDS) are one of the most difficult challenges facing practicing surgeons worldwide. The challenge is more acute in sub-Saharan Africa as it currently has the highest prevalence of HIV infection in the world. Surgeons are at risk of occupationally acquired infection as a result of intimate contact with the blood and other body fluids of HIV patients requiring surgery. Patients also risk being infected by surgeons and other health care workers during surgical or dental procedures. The seropositive status of the majority of HIV positive patients may be unsuspected by the attending medical personnel who may not practice universal precautions against infection. The non-availability of relevant devices is however the most important factor militating against the use of universal precautions, especially in developing countries. There is therefore a need to increase the awareness about universal precautions and to provide the necessary devices to promote constant adherence to these procedures in order to reduce the risk of nosocomial HIV infection.

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