June 1991

Human Immunodeficiency Virus: Occupational Risk for Surgeons-Reply

Author Affiliations

Valhalla, NY

Arch Surg. 1991;126(6):789-790. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1991.01410300135025

In Reply.—Krieger and Krieger believe we have overestimated the cumulative risk of seroconversion resulting from puncture injuries among surgeons. Since our survey was conducted in the New York metropolitan area, a known epicenter of acquired immune deficiency syndrome, we estimated the prevalence of HIV infection in our patient population to be 5%, an estimate based on a survey of the prevalence of HIV infection in an East coast urban center1 and lower than the 10% prevalence rate of HIV infection observed in a recent study from an urban burn center.2

We believe our published risk estimates for acquiring HIV infection are realistic for surgeons in our region and for many other urban centers, but we recognize that surgeons in other areas might have a different risk. The Table can be used to estimate the cumulative 30-year risk of acquiring HIV infection as a function of frequency of

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