n Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine - Post-exposure prophylaxis in the occupational setting : conference highlights

Volume 3, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1608-9693
  • E-ISSN: 2078-6751



Prophylaxis can be defined as a means to prevent an event occurring and is often applied as a specific mode of intervention. Within the health care context, it is most frequently used to prevent or abort infection. Chemoprophylaxis appears to be the most popular concept, yet prevention and eradication programmes, public health interventions, education and awareness campaigns, chemical agents, physical barriers, vector control and finally, immunoglobulin use and vaccination complete the scope of health care prevention strategies. The successful global eradication of smallpox remains a triumphant victory for mankind against viral pathogens; however, many other viruses may not be so easily controlled. Prevention and intervention strategies must therefore still encompass the use of antiviral agents, immunoglobulins and/or vaccines. The global scourge of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) pandemic highlights continued reliance on viral prophylactic measures.

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