Universal precautions involve the use of personal protective equipment such as gloves, gowns, aprons, masks, or protective eyewear, which can reduce the risk of exposure of the healthcare worker’s skin or mucous membranes to potentially infectious materials. In addition, under universal precautions, it is recommended that all healthcare workers take precautions to prevent injuries caused by needles, scalpels, and other sharp instruments or devices.
Pregnant healthcare worker considerations
Pregnant healthcare workers are not known to be at greater risk of contracting HIV infection than are healthcare workers who are not pregnant; however, if a healthcare worker develops HIV infection during pregnancy, the infant is at risk of infection resulting from perinatal transmission. Because of this risk, pregnant healthcare workers should be especially familiar with, and strictly adhere to, precautions to minimize the risk of HIV transmission.