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Transmission of Blood-Borne Pathogens during Sports: Risk and Prevention

Eric E. Mast, MD, MPH; Richard A. Goodman, MD, MPH; Walter W. Bond, MS; Martin S. Favero, PhD; and D. Peter Drotman, MD, MPH
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From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia. Requests for Reprints: Eric E. Mast, MD, MPH, Hepatitis Branch, Mailstop G37, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road, Atlanta, GA 30333. Acknowledgments: The authors thank David Bell, Richard Hoffman, Fred Kroger, and Craig Shapiro for helpful comments. One paragraph from an article previously published by one of the authors [2] was adapted for this paper because it addressed aspects of a previous report of sports-related HIV transmission.

Copyright ©2004 by the American College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 1995;122(4):283-285. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-122-4-199502150-00008
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Publicity about human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in athletes has focused attention on the potential for transmission of blood-borne pathogens during sports and athletic competitions. Existing information suggests that the potential risk for such transmission is extremely low and that the principal risks athletes have for acquiring HIV and hepatitis B virus are related to off-the-field activities. Therefore, efforts to prevent transmission of blood-borne pathogens among athletes should emphasize prevention in off-the-field settings. We summarize technical and other information about this issue, and provide recommendations for the education of sports participants, for infection control in athletic settings, and for training of coaches and officials.





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