How is decontamination performed after occupational exposure to HIV?

Updated: Jul 27, 2020
  • Author: Ana Elizabeth Markelz, MD, FACP, FIDSA; Chief Editor: John Bartlett, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

If not already performed by the healthcare worker, immediate decontamination should be done. In the case of a needlestick injury, the area should be washed with soap and water. The wound should not be squeezed or milked or exposed to caustic agents such as bleach. For a cutaneous exposure, the area should be treated similarly with soap and water. In the mucous membrane exposure to blood or body fluids, the area should be copiously irrigated with water or sterile saline.


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