Occupational exposure to bloodborne viruses in the Amsterdam police force, 2000-2003

Am J Prev Med. 2005 Feb;28(2):169-74. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2004.10.003.


Objectives: To assess and evaluate the rate and outcome of occupational exposure to hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in the Amsterdam police force.

Methods: Retrospectively, all accidents with risk for viral transmission reported to the Municipal Health Service between January 1, 2000 and December 31, 2003 were described and analyzed in 2004.

Results: Over a 4-year period, 112 exposures with a viral transmission risk were reported (the estimated exposure rate was 68/10,000/year). Of these exposures, 89 (79%) sources were tested, finding 4% HBV-positive, 4% HIV-positive, and 18% HCV-positive. Immunoglobulin for HBV infection was given 44 times; HIV post-exposure prophylaxis was prescribed 16 times and 13 of 16 discontinued the course within a few days because the transmission source tested HIV-negative. No seroconversions were seen in persons exposed.

Conclusions: The rate of exposure is low. The majority of the sources could be traced and tested. However, a comprehensive and effective protocol is essential in minimizing the risk of occupational HBV, HCV, and HIV infection in police officers, even if HBV vaccination is provided.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents / statistics & numerical data
  • Bites, Human / epidemiology
  • Blood-Borne Pathogens*
  • Disease Transmission, Infectious / statistics & numerical data*
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control
  • HIV Infections / transmission
  • Hepatitis B / epidemiology
  • Hepatitis B / prevention & control
  • Hepatitis B / transmission
  • Hepatitis C / epidemiology
  • Hepatitis C / prevention & control
  • Hepatitis C / transmission
  • Humans
  • Needlestick Injuries / epidemiology
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Occupational Exposure / statistics & numerical data*
  • Police / statistics & numerical data*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Virus Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Virus Diseases / transmission*