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August 7, 1995

Patients With Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection in the Hemodialysis Unit: How Vulnerable Are the Caregivers?

Author Affiliations

Oregon Health Sciences University 3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Rd Portland, OR 97201

Arch Intern Med. 1995;155(15):1575-1576. doi:10.1001/archinte.1995.00430150019003

NO SUBJECT in contemporary medical practice generates as much interest and controversy as the potential or perceived occupational risks to health care workers presented by the care of patients who are positive for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or those with clinical acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Workers caring for patients with renal disease, particularly those undergoing long-term dialysis, are at particular risk because of the frequent exposure to potentially contaminated blood three times weekly.

In this issue of the Archives, Kimmel et al1 indicate that among patients infected with HIV, the prevalence of detectable plasma HIV was much greater in a subgroup with elevated serum creatinine concentrations. An elevated serum creatinine concentration was defined as a value of more than 132.6 μmol/L (1.5 mg/dL); 11 of 15 patients in this category required long-term hemodialysis. The difference in detectable viremia between these 15 patients and the 33 HIV-infected patients without renal