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HIV/AIDS Precautions - Correctional Institutions

What precautions should I take when employed in correctional services?

Correctional service workers are at risk of infectious diseases including HIV infection and AIDS as people incarcerated in correctional facilities make up one of the highest risk populations groups for HIV infections and AIDS.

Identify high risk activities and procedures. Eliminate "blind" searches where you cannot see what your hands are touching. Use mirrors and other devices.

Follow Routine Practices where workers may become exposed to infectious microorganisms through contact with blood and body fluids.

Please also see the OSH Answers document HIV/AIDS in the Workplace for more information.


What personal protection should I use?

Wear gloves:

  • if your hands have open sores
  • when in contact with non-intact skin of inmates (i.e., the inmates have open sores)
  • when in direct contact with blood, blood specimens, semen, tissue, body fluids, or blood soiled items
  • when in contact with any surface or object visibly soiled with blood or body fluids
  • when disposing of contaminated items

When an inmate becomes combative or threatening, gloves should be put on as soon as possible.

Wash your hands:

  • after contacting blood or body fluids
  • after cleaning up spills
  • after handling contaminated items
  • immediately after removing gloves and gown

What precautions should I take when performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation?

  • Use disposable mouthpieces or other resuscitation devices for CPR.

NOTE: Correctional service workers do not routinely wear masks and protective eye wear. This equipment should be available when needed.

Document last updated on March 1, 2017

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Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy, currency and completeness of the information, CCOHS does not guarantee, warrant, represent or undertake that the information provided is correct, accurate or current. CCOHS is not liable for any loss, claim, or demand arising directly or indirectly from any use or reliance upon the information.