Evidence-Responsive Health Training to HIV/TB Risks in Namibia
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Training health-care students in settings with high-prevalence HIV and tuberculosis (TB) presents a challenge to reduce the risk of infection during their clinical training while maintaining quality education. We sought to gauge the risk of exposure to HIV and TB and identify associated variables through two cross-sectional surveys of health students at the University of Namibia. In the HIV exposure survey, overall almost one-quarter of students (N = 367) reported exposure to HIV-most often needle-stick injury-with a much higher rate reported in senior years (73% in year 6). One in 10 students responding to the TB survey were found to have been exposed to TB (N = 290). Regression analyses suggested that time-related factors were a common predictor of risk of both HIV and TB in this setting. We consider that the overall exposure rate to HIV and TB was high, suggesting that training could be improved to reduce the risks of exposure.
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