Assessment of the Knowledge, Utilisation and Opinions of Healthcare Workers Regarding HIV Post Prophylaxis
Peu, Mmapheko Doriccah
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Session presented on Sunday, July 24, 2016: ASSESSMENT OF THE KNOWLEDGE, UTILISATION AND OPINIONS OF HEALTHCARE WORKERS REGARDING HIV POST-EXPOSURE PROPHYLAXIS AT A SELECTED HOSPITAL IN GAUTENG PROVINCE, SOUTH AFRICA Purpose: The purpose was to assess the knowledge, utilisation and opinions of healthcare workers regarding HIV post-exposure prophylaxis at a selected hospital in Gauteng, one of the provinces in South Africa. Healthcare workers work in an environment where there is a constant risk of occupational exposure to HIV infection and it is extremely important for nurses to be knowledgeable about the risk of HIV infection at work. Various strategies, such as Universal precautions (UPs) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) are in place to protect them from contracting blood-borne infections while performing their day-to-day activities in a medical setup. However, nurses remain at risk of being exposed to blood-borne pathogens and are reluctant to seek PEP services. Methods: This study used a quantitative approach with a non-experimental, descriptive design to gather data from 94 nurses working in the casualty ward, Maternaly ward, intensive care unit (ICU) and operating theatre (OT) in the selected hospital. Population included healthcare workers working in different high care wards. The respondents were systematically selected. A self-administered questionnaire was used as the data collection instrument. Data was captured and analysed by the statistician. Quantitative data analysis methods were followed. Results: Findings show sub-optimal knowledge and underutilisation of the PEP services. Respondents suggested how the utilisation can be improved and the findings revealed a dire need for education and continuous training regarding HIV post-exposure prophylaxis that will provide more in-depth knowledge about HIV/AIDS and the role of PEP among the healthcare workers. Conclusion: It was concluded that there was an overall lack of knowledge as well as poor utilisation of HIV post-exposure prophylaxis services among the majority of nurses despite being informed about the programme. The healthcare workers were encouraged to utilise the services available at work.