The following stories appear in full on Today's Vidyya Medical News Service Web site.
Health-care workers are at risk for occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens, including hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Exposures occur through needlesticks or cuts from other sharp instruments contaminated with an infected patient's blood or through contact of the eye, nose, mouth, or skin with a patient's blood. Important factors that may determine the overall risk for occupational transmission of a bloodborne pathogen include the number of infected individuals in the patient population, the chance of becoming infected after a single blood contact from an infected patient, and the type and number of blood contacts. Employers should have programs in place to assist workers. Read the facts in today's issue.
For more information: Exposure To Blood: What Health Care Workers Need To Know
If organizations and providers, public health staff, and prevention planners are to succeed in effectively reducing the transmission of HIV and other blood-borne infections, they must consider a comprehensive approach to working with intravenous drug users (IDUs). Such a comprehensive approach incorporates a range of pragmatic strategies that take into account IDUs’ various life circumstances, cultures and languages, behaviors, and readiness to change. It also incorporates several basic principles that serve as a framework for action. Vidyya readers can examine an approach developed by the CDC in today's issue.
For more information: New Attitudes And Strategies: A Comprehensive Approach To Preventing Blood-Borne Infections Among IDUs
There are clear benefits to early medical attention for infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). If a patient is infected with HIV, the virus will slowly weakens his ability to fight illness. But medical treatments, including medicines and earlier use of medications, can help the body resist the virus. This patient education brochure discusses the importance of early testing and treatment of HIV infection. The brochure is in the public domain and may be freely copied and distributed by Vidyya readers.
For more information: Voluntary HIV Counseling And Testing: Facts, Issues And Answers
Many people think that young people don’t get AIDS. AIDS can affect any-one—of any age, of any ethnic or racial background—who engages in behavior with an infected person that can transmit HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. As of December 1993, nearly 68,000 people aged 20-29 have been diagnosed with AIDS. Because a person can be infected with the virus that causes AIDS for as long as 10 or more years before the signs of AIDS appear, many of these young people were likely infected when they were teenagers. Adults seeking ways to communicate with young people regarding the risks of drug use and sexual behavior may find this brochure helpful.
For more information: AIDS Prevention Guide: The Facts About HIV Infection And AIDS
The CDC estimates that approximately 40,000 people per year in America become infected with HIV, a number that has remained relatively stable – but unacceptably high – for much of the past decade. The face of the epidemic has not been static, however – in addition to the groups who have been at highest risk since the beginning of the epidemic, MSM and injection drug users, other populations are also at risk. At this point in the epidemic, a new strategic plan for HIV prevention is essential. Vidyya can read the US Centers For Disease Control's plan in today's issue.
For more information: The CDC's HIV Prevention Strategic Plan Through 2005
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As always, we hope you enjoy the issue.