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Only one known healthcare worker has been infected with HIV on the job since 1999.
This statistic comes from a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which notes that “documented occupational acquisition of HIV infection in [healthcare workers] has become rare in the United States.” The one documented case since 1999 occurred in 2008 when a laboratory technician sustained “a needle puncture while working with a live HIV culture.”
While acknowledging that there could be underreporting of cases, the CDC says that the news “might indicate the effectiveness of more widespread and earlier treatment to reduce patient viral loads, combined with prevention strategies such as post-exposure management and prophylaxis as well as improved technologies and training to reduce sharps injuries and other exposures.”
Since 1985, the CDC has confirmed that 58 people have acquired the virus on the job, with another 150 possible cases. Of those, the CDC says the majority came from needle sticks.
The CDC states that all “cases of suspected occupationally acquired HIV infection” be immediately reported to the agency as well as the state health department HIV surveillance staff.