Typically, massage therapists, bodyworkers, spa and salon professionals are not exposed to blood or bodily fluids that could transmit HIV or other infectious disease in their normal course of business. However, accidents do happen, especially when practitioners use sharps tools (such as scissors) close to the client’s skin.
If you are exposed to blood at work, you should contact your primary care physician, or go to an urgent care or emergency room IMMEDIATELY.
Licensed physicians can provide medical advice for the exposure, and they can also administer PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) with HIV exposure. PEP must be administered immediately, within three days of exposure, so time is of the essence.
Here is the latest information about PEP direct from the CDC (https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/pdf/library/consumer-info-sheets/cdc-hiv-consumer-info-sheet-pep-101.pdf)
Medical professionals recommend treating all blood exposures the same, whether there is known HIV infection or not.
Statistics report that 15% - 20% of HIV-positive cases did not know that they were infected. Treating ALL blood exposure the same is effective and best practices. Treating all blood exposure the same also removes any stigma or discriminatory concerns.
Another reason to treat all blood exposure the same is that those who are infected are STILL AT RISK for exposure. An HIV Superinfection is when a person with HIV gets infected with another strain of HIV. The new strain of HIV can replace the original strain or remain along with the original strain.
It is important for everyone to take proper precautions to prevent HIV and other infectious disease transmission with blood exposure.
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