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Open Access Open Badges Research article

Exploration of healthcare workers’ perceptions on occupational risk of HIV transmission at the University of Gondar Hospital, Northwest Ethiopia

Getahun Asres Alemie

Author Affiliations

College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Gondar, Gonder, Ethiopia

BMC Research Notes 2012, 5:704  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-704

Published: 29 December 2012



HIV/AIDS has several means of transmission. Exposure to blood and other body fluids is a very important means of transmission. Healthcare workers are exposed to this disease mainly due to the nature of their work. This is an exploration of the perceptions of healthcare workers of the University of Gondar Hospital.


Based on purposive sampling seven healthcare workers were selected from different departments in the hospital so that they could reflect on their perceptions. The selected healthcare workers were asked about the risks related to their work, their experience of HIV related hazards and their general views on the transmission of HIV. The main themes were identified for analysis and the views were summarized under the themes.


All the respondents were aware of the risk of acquiring HIV in healthcare settings. Some had experienced accidents that made them take post-exposure prophylaxis, and most witnessed accidents like needle-stick injuries to their colleagues. They also expressed their feelings that their workplace was not the best place to work at.


Health professionals are well aware of the possibility of HIV transmission associated with their practice. Accidents like needle stick injuries are apparently common; and at the same time, the practice of healthcare workers towards using universal precautions looks poor.

Healthcare workers’ perception; HIV/AIDS; Occupational risk