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“The only thing necessary for these diseases to the triumph is for good people and governments to do nothing.”


New Postexposure Protocol for Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Diseases

The OSHA report, Postexposure Evaluation and Follow-Up Requirements under OSHA's Standard for Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Diseases, includes information from a recent study showing that zidovudine prophylaxis after percutaneous exposure to HIV can reduce the risk of seroconversion by almost 80 percent, which resulted in new recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These recommendations call for postexposure prophylaxis, if indicated, within one to two hours after the exposure incident.

More information on this topic can be found at the CDC's Web site (, including questions and answers on "Occupational Exposure to HIV" (, and the "Guidelines for the Prevention of Opportunistic Infections in Persons Infected with Human Immunodeficiency Virus" , from the CDC's June 28, 1997, issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.


The ADA's Division of Scientific Affairs reports that it often receives calls from dentists who have experienced a percutaneous exposure and who are unaware of the new CDC recommendations and the efficacy of postexposure prophylaxis.