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HBV, HCV, and HIV infection prevalence among prison staff in the light of occupational risk factors

Maria Gańczak 1  ,  
Pomorski Uniwersytet Medyczny / Pomeranian Medical University, Szczecin, Poland (Zakład Epidemiologii i Zarządzania / Department of Epidemiology and Management)
Pomorski Uniwersytet Medyczny / Pomeranian Medical University, Szczecin, Poland (Zakład Informatyki Medycznej i Badań Jakości Kształcenia / Department of Computer Science and Education Quality Research)
Background: Objectives of the study: to assess the occupational risk for blood-borne infections (BBIs) among prison staff (number/ circumstances of blood exposures and preventive methods used), and to estimate the prevalence of hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Material and Methods: The survey, which included serological testing with the use of 3-generation enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) was completed on active staff at a correctional facility in Goleniów, Poland, between June–July 2015. Results: Response rate was 38%, 87 participants (aged 22–64 years, median: 34 years) agreed to participate. There were 88.5% males, correctional officers comprised 87.4% of the participants. Having had ≥ 1 blood exposure during professional career was reported by 28.7% respondents, 8% – sustained it in the preceding year. For correctional officers the last blood exposure was caused by a hollow-bore needle/razor blade during cell or manual searches. This was not reported by 83.3%. Participation rate in an infection control training was 85.1%. Hepatitis B virus vaccination uptake was 83.9%. Compliance with glove use was 75.9%, with protective eyewear – 28.7%. Regular use of both was reported by 9.2% of participants. The lack of their availability was the most common reason (79.7%) for non-compliance. Anti-HBc (hepatitis B core antigen) total/anti-HCV/anti-HIV prevalence was 2.3%, 1.1%, and 0%, respectively. Conclusions: Prison staff are at risk for occupational exposures to blood. Reporting of such incidents is poor, as well as compliance with personal protective equipment use, which place them at risk for acquiring BBIs. Anti-HCV prevalence is similar to that observed in the general population, anti-HBc total prevalence is lower, possibly due to high vaccination uptake, however, poor response rate limits precise prevalence estimates. Med Pr 2017;68(4)
Maria Gańczak   
Pomorski Uniwersytet Medyczny, Zakład Epidemiologii i Zarządzania, ul. Żołnierska 48, 71-210 Szczecin