OBJECTIVE. The primary purpose of this study was to estimate the risk of HIV transmission from physicians to patients during invasive radiologic procedures and to compare this estimate with those previously derived for surgical procedures so that policy on possible practice restrictions can be decided. The risk of HIV transmission from patient to physician, including cumulative career risk for interventional radiologists, was also estimated. MATERIALS AND METHODS. The risk of HIV transmission from physician to patient and vice versa was estimated with computer modeling techniques, using available data on prevalence of HIV infection, rates of injury during invasive radiologic procedures, and risk of viral transmission after an exposure. Cumulative career risk of occupational infection was estimated with a computer simulation model. RESULTS. If the physician's HIV status is unknown, the risk of transmission of HIV to a patient during a procedure is estimated to be 0.03 per million procedures (95% confidence interval, 0-3.8 per million procedures). If the physician is known to be HIV-positive, the risk of transmission to a patient is estimated to be 7.5 per million procedures (95% confidence interval, 0-15.3 per million procedures). The estimated risk of transmission from patient to physician ranges from 0.03 to 7.5 per million for a single procedure, and the cumulative risk of occupational HIV infection over 30 years is estimated to be 0.009-16%. CONCLUSION. The estimated risk of HIV transmission from physician to patient during invasive radiologic procedures is so low that global practice restrictions on HIV-infected interventional radiologists are not warranted. As recommended by the American Medical Association and the Centers for Disease Control, decisions on possible practice restrictions should be made on a case-by-case basis rather than a priori. The risk of HIV transmission from patient to physician is also low, but real. The cumulative career risk of occupational infection with HIV may vary widely based on individual circumstances and the patient population served.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging