Croatian Recommendations for Dialysis of HIV-Positive Patients

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Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection may be associated with renal impairment since about 0.4% of all HIV-positive patients develop end-stage renal disease. The share of patients with HIV infection in hemodialysis centers throughout the world ranges from 0.3% to as high as 38%. In Croatia, renal replacement therapy was needed by 1% of all the HIV-positive patients from 1985 until the end of 2014. Healthcare professionals (HP) should be aware of the risks of occupational exposure to blood-borne infections in their daily work. Performing dialysis in HIV-positive patients increases the risk of exposure to HIV during the extracorporeal circulation of the infected blood. However, post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) with effective antiretroviral drugs significantly reduces the risk of infection after occupational exposure. On behalf of the Croatian Society of Nephrology, Dialysis and Transplantation, the authors of this paper have proposed recommendations for the management of HIVpositive patients on dialysis, which aim to prevent the transmission of HIV among patients and HPs. The important recommendations include the following: 1. when the need arises, it is necessary to provide HIV-positive patients with dialysis in the vicinity of their place of residence. 2. HIV-positive patients should be dialyzed with a separate hemodialysis machine in an isolated area. Alternatively, they can be dialyzed in an area for the hemodialysis of HCV-positive and/or HBVpositive patients. 3. Specialized and trained personnel should be provided during the hemodialysis procedure, together with strict compliance with the standard precautions for the prevention of blood-borne infections. 4. There should be a good and prompt cooperation with the National Referral Center for HIV infection.

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