A company wide KAP survey was conducted around HIV, but in this workplace, exposure to HIV through work exposures was also possible. In a high prevalence HIV country workers perceptions and behaviour around needlesticks play a role in the occupational health and safety
Methods This survey was nested within the larger KAP survey which was distributed to all employees of the company with their pay slips. The questions covered knowledge of correct procedures to follow, likely hood to take prophylaxis and complete the course.
Results 1497 employees participated in the KAP survey which covered all regions of South Africa and represented all occupations within the company. One third of participants were only partly aware or not al all aware of the correct procedure to follow after a needlestick, and those who were unfamiliar wit the procedure were also more likely to over estimate the ideal window for starting post exposure prophylaxis. 33% of participants would only take PEP if the injury warranted it. These findings were significantly associated with education but not job category. Age also played a significant role in the perception of risk and compliance. Only 9% of staff reported a needlestick in the past 5 years but in a high prevalence HIV country these people are at high risk.
Conclusions The training of laboratory staff needs to be undertaken with focus on those with lower education levels to ensure understanding. This will allow all employees to have the best information around needlesticks and post exposure prophylaxis.