To present the essential elements of an infection control/exposure control plan in the oral healthcare setting with emphasis on HIV infection.
Methods and Materials
A comprehensive review of the literature was conducted with special emphasis on HIV-related infection control issues in the oral healthcare setting.
Currently available knowledge related to HIV-related infection control issues is supported by data derived from well-conducted trials or extensive, controlled observations, or, in the absence of such data, by best-informed, most authoritative opinion available.
Essential elements of an effective HIV-related infection control plan include: (1) education and training related to the etiology and epidemiology of HIV infection and exposure prevention; (2) plans for the management of oral healthcare personnel potentially exposed to HIV and for the follow-up of oral healthcare personnel exposed to HIV; and (3) a policy for work restriction of HIV-positive oral healthcare personnel.
While exposure prevention remains the primary strategy for reducing occupational exposure to HIV, knowledge about potential risks and concise written procedures that promote a seamless response following occupational exposure can greatly reduce the emotional impact of an accidental needlestick injury.
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