HIV/AIDS Precautions - Laboratories
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Consider blood and body fluids from all patients as infective. Refer to Routine Practices for preventing transmission of bloodborne infectious diseases.
Report immediately suspect fluid exposure, or a needlestick or sharp injury to a designated person or health care professional.
Please also see the OSH Answers document HIV/AIDS in the Workplace for more information.
- when processing blood or body fluid specimens
- when handling contaminated articles
- during cleaning and decontamination procedures
Change gloves after processing specimen.
Wear gowns while working with potentially infectious material.
Wear masks and protective eye wear:
- if mucous membrane contact is likely
- if there is potential for splashing
Remove protective clothing before leaving laboratory.
- after processing specimens
- after completing laboratory activities
- after removing protective clothing
- after a glove tear or suspected glove leak
- before leaving laboratory
Do not pipette by mouth.
- Use needles only when there is no alternative. Consider needles and sharp instruments as being infected.
- Use puncture-resistant containers. Label containers – for example "CAUTION: WASTE SHARPS".
- Clean and sterilize reusable syringes before reusing.
- Do not recap, bend, break or remove needles by hand from disposable syringes or otherwise handle after use.
Laboratory surfaces should be decontaminated:
- After a spill of blood or body fluid. Disinfect with a medical grade disinfectant.
- Before reprocessing contaminated material used in lab tests.
- When work activities have been completed.
- Place contaminated laboratory test material in bags and dispose according to policy for infectious waste.
- Put specimen into a sturdy container with secure lid to prevent leaking.
- Avoid contaminating outside of container and accompanying laboratory form.
- Place container in a clear, impervious plastic bag.
- Fact sheet last revised: 2017-03-01