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Position Paper: The HIV-Infected Healthcare Worker

  • David K. Henderson, The Association for Practitioners in Infection Control and The Society of Hospital Epidemiologists of America

Extract

Consensus statements bearing on issues related to healthcare workers (HCWs) who are, or may be, infected by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) have been developed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the American Medical Association (AMA), the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Hospital Association (AHA), the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists8 and the British working groups. In general, these organizations conclude that few, if any, special procedures are required to accommodate an HIV-infected HCW. All except one oppose routine screening of HCWs for HIV infection; all except one oppose broad practice proscriptions for HIV-infected HCWs. Only one of these consensus statements focuses on the HIV-infected HCW. None address important related questions that confront hospitals and other healthcare institutions. These issues are difficult to resolve because: 1) there are insufficient data to establish a scientific basis for their solution; 2) the questions involve medicolegal, ethical or public relations issues that are beyond the usual scope of scientific consensus body recommendations; and/or 3) the situations occur infrequently. Nevertheless, in actual hospital practice, decisions about these questions, at least occasionally, must be made.

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Position Paper: The HIV-Infected Healthcare Worker

  • David K. Henderson, The Association for Practitioners in Infection Control and The Society of Hospital Epidemiologists of America

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