This guidance replaces the previous version published in 1998, and includes updated advice on patient notification exercises.
The document explains the new policy on patient notification exercises when a Health Care Worker (HCW) is found to be infected with HIV, which was announced in November 2001. It follows expert advice from the Expert Advisory Group on AIDS (EAGA) and UK Advisory Panel for Health Care Workers Infected with Blood-borne Viruses (UKAP).
EAGA and UKAP advise that it is no longer necessary to notify every patient who has undergone an exposure prone procedure by an infected HCW, because of the low risk of transmission and the anxiety caused to patients and the wider public.
It is recommended that the decision on whether a patient notification exercise should be undertaken should be assessed on a case-by-case basis, using a criteria-based framework.
The long-standing restriction on HIV infected HCWs carrying out exposure prone procedures remains.