Saltzman et al1 state that following advances in antiretroviral therapy, AIDS-related surgical emergencies became rare. However, these advances also resulted in increased survival, which means that other non–AIDS-related elective or emergency surgery may be needed for infected patients.
In our database, which contains reports on a total of 2286 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) exposures since 1994, 26% were reported in surgery as occurring in the operating room (n = 324), as well as in other surgical settings (n = 266), both percutaneous (n = 293) and mucocutaneous (n = 297), and resulting in 186 courses of postexposure prophylaxis (PEP). No decrease over time was observed (Studio Italiano Rischio Occupazionale da HIV, unpublished data, 1994-2004).
Puro V, De Carli G, Italian Registry of Antiretroviral Post-Exposure Prophylaxis and the Studio Italiano Rischio Occupazionale da HIV. Prevention of Occupational Human Immunodeficiency Virus Transmission in Surgeons in the Era of Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy. Arch Surg. 2006;141(6):611. doi:10.1001/archsurg.141.6.611-a