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Assessment of Knowledge, Attitude, Practice and Associated Factors Towards Post-Exposure Prophylaxis for HIV/AIDS among Health Professionals in Health Centers Found in Harari Region, Eastern Ethiopia

Authors Shamil M, Legese N, Tadiwos Y

Received 21 August 2020

Accepted for publication 29 December 2020

Published 14 January 2021 Volume 2021:13 Pages 41—51


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Bassel Sawaya

Mohammed Shamil, Nanati Legese, Yohannes Tadiwos

School of Pharmacy, College of Health and Medical Sciences, Haramaya University, Harar, Ethiopia

Correspondence: Yohannes Tadiwos
School of Pharmacy, College of Health and Medical Sciences, Haramaya University, P.O. Box 235, Harar, Ethiopia

Background: Healthcare workers are at risk of acquiring human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections, because of occupational exposure to blood and other body fluids. Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is a short-term antiretroviral treatment used to reduce the likelihood of viral infection after exposure to the blood or body fluids of an infected person. Timely PEP after exposure to high-risk body fluids in the working area can reduce the rate of transmission of HIV significantly.
Objective: To assess the knowledge, attitude, practice, and associated factors towards PEP for HIV/AIDS among health professionals in health centers in the Harari region, Eastern Ethiopia.
Methodology: A retrospective cross-sectional study was conducted using structured questionnaires from March to April 2019. The collected data were analyzed by using SPSS version 20, and the result was presented in the form of tables and figures.
Results: Of 217 participants, 51.6% were male and 75.2% were in the age group of 20– 30 years. One hundred thirty (59.9%) respondents had a year of service less than 5 years, and nearly half (45.2%) of the participants had a Diploma. The study revealed that 35.02% of the participants had inadequate knowledge of PEP. About 32.26% had an unfavorable attitude towards PEP. Of 124 (57.1%) exposed respondents, 54 (68.4%) tried to get PEP service and 49 (90.7%) started to use PEP. Twenty-six (48.1%) respondents started to use PEP within 6 to 24 hours after exposure. Sex, qualification, and attitude status were found to have a significant association with knowledge regarding PEP.
Conclusion: The findings of this study indicated that a significant number of health professionals had poor knowledge and poor attitude towards PEP. Occupational exposures were common among health professionals. However, the practice of using PEP was low among health professionals. As a result, health facilities should strengthen and integrate routine PEP services by providing training to all health professionals.

Keywords: knowledge, attitude, practice, post-exposure prophylaxis, HIV/AIDS, health professionals, Harari region

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