In light of the low rate of transmission and advances in treatments for hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV, the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America today released updated guidance for healthcare personnel living with these bloodborne pathogens based on the latest available science. The SHEA White Paper, “Management of Healthcare Personnel Living with Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, or Human Immunodeficiency Virus in United States Healthcare Institutions,” was published online in the journal Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology. SHEA has been at the forefront of this issue since its initial set of recommendations was issued in 1990.
“Experience and evidence accumulated over the last decade, which have made it necessary to revise the guidance. The guidance protects the privacy and health of both healthcare workers and patients,” said David K. Henderson, MD, current SHEA President, and co-chair of the multidisciplinary panel that developed the white paper. “Advances in care have reduced the risk for transmission of these bloodborne infections, making it safer for patients and healthcare personnel. Still, appropriate oversight and training remain foundational.”
The recommendations, which update SHEA’s 2010 guideline, reflect experience that underscores the low risk of transmission from healthcare personnel to patients. The updated guidance also considers interventions that reduce risk for occupational exposures and injuries, as well as advances in antiviral therapy and treatments that cure hepatitis C and reduce circulating HIV to undetectable levels in nearly all individuals living with the disease.
The document clarifies the methods of oversight for healthcare personnel living with HIV or hepatitis, especially those responsible for carrying out exposure-prone procedures. It reflects many facilities’ and schools’ existing policies, while aligning with the overall principles contained in recent guidelines from Canada and Australia.
David K. Henderson, Louise-Marie Dembry, Costi D. Sifri, Tara N. Palmore, E. Patchen Dellinger, Deborah S. Yoke, Christine Grady, Theo Heller, David Weber, Carlos del Rio, Neil O. Fishman, Tammy Lundstrom, Hilary M. Babcock. “SHEA White Paper: Management of Healthcare Personnel Living with Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, or Human Immunodeficiency Virus in United States Healthcare Institutions.” Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology. Web (October 14, 2020).
Published through a partnership between the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America and Cambridge University Press, Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology provides original, peer reviewed scientific articles for anyone involved with an infection control or epidemiology program in a hospital or healthcare facility. ICHE is ranked 41st out of 89 Infectious Disease Journals in the latest Web of Knowledge Journal Citation Reports from Thomson Reuters.
The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) is a professional society representing more than 2,000 physicians and other healthcare professionals around the world who possess expertise and passion for healthcare epidemiology, infection prevention, and antimicrobial stewardship. The society’s work improves public health by establishing infection-prevention measures and supporting antibiotic stewardship among healthcare providers, hospitals, and health systems. This is accomplished by leading research studies, translating research into clinical practice, developing evidence-based policies, optimizing antibiotic stewardship, and advancing the field of healthcare epidemiology. SHEA and its members strive to improve patient outcomes and create a safer, healthier future for all. Visit SHEA online at shea-online.org, facebook.com/SHEApreventingHAIs and twitter.com/SHEA_Epi.
About Cambridge University Press
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