Date of Conferral
Health care workers are at risk of contracting HIV as a result of occupational exposure while treating infected patients. HIV postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) is an effective antiretroviral treatment course used in preventing potential HIV infection following an accidental occupational exposure to HIV. The objective of this cross sectional study was to identify the factors that impact the practice of HIV PEP among health care workers at the National Hospital, Abuja, Nigeria. A cross-sectional survey using self-administered, structured questionnaires was conducted on 182 health care workers at the National Hospital comprising of medical doctors, nurses, and laboratory scientists. A chi-square test of independence was used to assess the association between knowledge of PEP and PEP use. Logistic regression was used to determine the relationship between PEP use and types of occupational exposure, existing precautionary policies, and fear of stigma. The results of this study were statistically insignificant with variables PEP knowledge (p= 0.274), types of occupational exposures (p= 0.575), awareness of precautionary policies (p= 0.219), and fear of stigma (p=0.282), which could be a result of the small sample surveyed. Nonetheless, this study can lead to positive social change whereby health care workers are well-trained on the practice of PEP after sustaining an occupational injury in order to prevent HIV infection. Factors such as inadequate knowledge on HIV PEP practice, underreporting of occupational injuries, lack of awareness of precautionary guidelines on HIV PEP, and the fear of stigma after an occupational exposure to HIV affect the practice of HIV post exposure prophylaxis. Therefore, more education on PEP for HIV among health care workers is warranted.