No time for complacency in HIV testing post needlestick injury

A report from Monash Medical Centre described three cases where HIV diagnoses were made in a low-prevalence setting as a direct result of testing healthcare workers following needlestick injury.

The cases involved patients with HIV infection that had not been previously recognised. They were in hospital for unrelated procedures.

In one case there were delays in the healthcare worker reporting the injury and in the laboratory reporting the positive test, leading to post-exposure prophylaxis not being commenced for 84 hours.

“Even in settings where HIV is unexpected... standard precautions should be followed,” the physicians said.

Int Med J 2012; 42(2):202-04