Assessment of attitude and practice toward post-exposure prophylaxis for HIV among healthcare workers at a tertiary care hospital

Punya Suvarna, G. Shivaprakash, L. C. Pallavi


Background: Prevention and control of AIDS are now a major problem as there is no vaccine or effective-curative treatment for this disease. Health care workers (HCWs) are at increased risk for HIV infection. There were inadequate studies about post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) of HIV among HCWs in southern India. Hence, we are conducting this study to assess the attitude and practice of PEP toward HIV among HCWs.

Methods: The cross-sectional study was done among HCWs (doctors, surgeons, nurses, and dentists). Pre-tested questionnaire was given and requested to fill it after explaining the purpose of the study. About 65% and above correct answers was considered as adequate response. Values expressed as mean, proportions and analyzed by SPSS version 17.

Results: Overall 6 (66%) of the total 9 questions in attitude were answered satisfactorily, and thus can be said to have good attitude regarding PEP in HIV. Only 16 people (10%) of the participants had taken PEP regimen. Among those who took PEP, the responses for the questions about the time of initiation of regimen, completion of prescribed duration of therapy and checking of HIV status after completion of regimen were unsatisfactory. Among the professions, surgeons were exposed more compared to other professions.

Conclusion: Overall attitude toward PEP was positive among all the HCWs. The practice of PEP was not satisfactory even after exposure to risks. Informing HCWs about completing treatment course and post-treatment testing is important to prevent HIV transmission. Awareness of PEP should be improved among health professionals, by regular training meetings and introducing the guidelines of the safe practices in the academic syllabus of all the professions.


Post-exposure prophylaxis, Attitude, Practice, Profession

Full Text:



Antiretroviral Therapy Guidelines for HIV-Infected Adults and AdolescentsIncluding Post-exposure Prophylaxis. New Delhi: NACO, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India; 2007. Available at: http://www. Accessed 05 April 2015

Annual Report 2013-14. New Delhi: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Indian Government Department of AIDS Control; 2014. Available at: mslns/NACO_English 2013-14.pdf. Accessed 05 April 2015.

Ashat M, Bhatia V, Puri S, Thakare M, Koushal V. Needle stick injury and HIV risk among health care workers in North India. Indian J Med Sci. 2011;65(9):371-8.

Mathewos B, Birhan W, Kinfe S, Boru M, Tiruneh G, Addis Z, et al. Assessment of knowledge, attitude and practice towards post exposure prophylaxis for HIV among health care workers in Gondar, North West Ethiopia. BMC Public Health. 2013;13:508.

Owolabi RS, Alabi P, Ajayi S, Daniel O, Ogundiran A, Akande TM, et al. Knowledge and practice of post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) against HIV infection among health care providers in a tertiary hospital in Nigeria. J Int Assoc Physicians AIDS Care (Chic). 2012;11(3):179-83.

Tebeje B, Hailu C. Assessment of hiv post-exposure prophylaxis use among Health workers of governmental health institutions in Jimma zone, oromiya region, southwest Ethiopia. Ethiop J Health Sci. 2010;20(1):55-64.

Shevkani M, Kavina B, Kumar P, Purohit H, Nihalani U, Shah A. An overview of post exposure prophylaxis for HIV in health care personals: Gujarat scenario. Indian J Sex Transm Dis. 2011;32(1):9-13.

Mukherjee S, Bhattacharyya A; Biswanath SharmaSarkar, Goswami DN, Ghosh S, Samanta A. Knowledge and practice of standard precautions and awareness regarding post-exposure prophylaxis for HIV among interns of a medical college in West Bengal, India. Oman Med J. 2013;28(2):141-5.