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



 November 1999

                                              DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2000-108


The rate of HBV transmission to susceptible health care workers ranges from 6% to 30% after a single needlestick exposure to an HBV-infected patient [CDC 1997b].

Prospective studies of health care workers exposed to Hepatitis C Virus through a needlestick or other percutaneous injury have found that the incidence of anti-Hepatitis C Virus seroconversion (indicating infection) averages 1.8% (range, 0% to 7%) per injury [Alter 1997; CDC 1998b].

To estimate the rate of HIV transmission, data were combined from more than 20 worldwide prospective studies of health care workers exposed to HIV-infected blood through a percutanous injury. In all, 21 infections followed 6,498 exposures for an average transmission rate of 0.3% per injury [Gerberding 1994; Ippolito et al. 1999].