Incidence and risks of HIV infection, medication options, and adverse effects in accidental needle stick injuries: A narrative review


Accidental needle sticks can lead to infections, including HIV. As scientists have learned more about HIV and its replicative physiology, identification of target sites and novel medications have been developed. HIV is spread throughout the population through contact with blood, semen, and rectal or vaginal secretions of infected individuals. Therefore, it is important in general for healthcare workers to be aware of its transmission modes and ways to minimize exposure. In this regard, even with hospitals providing education, training, and safety protocols, there is a continued infection spread with HIV, especially by accidental needle sticks. There is also a wide variety of testing that can be used for HIV utilizing different methodologies, allowing for improved measurement of infection status. Any person with HIV should be tested to clarify infection status and be educated to minimize future virus spread. The current CDC recommendations for HIV infection treatment are antiretroviral therapies, such as an HIV postexposure prophylaxis regimen, which consists of a cocktail of antiretrovirals and postexposure prophylaxis immediately for occupational exposures, such as accidental needlestick exposure from an HIV infected patient. To decrease accidental HIV stick injuries, there are safety precautions in place, that if followed, would help reduce this incidence. HIV accidental needle stick injuries still happen in the hospital workplace, but with proper education and treatment, if exposed, there is hope to minimize the effects.


Abadie RB, Brown EM, Campbell JR, Alvarez IA, Allampalli V, Ahmadzadeh S, Varrassi G, Shekoohi S, Kaye AD




  • Epidemiology and Determinants of Health
    • Determinants of Health
  • Determinants of Health
    • Health services
  • Population(s)
    • General HIV- population
  • Prevention, Engagement and Care Cascade
    • Prevention
  • Prevention
    • Biomedical interventions
    • Education/media campaigns


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