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HIV+ working at Microbiology Lab
Feb 7, 2000

Dear Doctor,

If I am HIV+ and I am working at the Microbiology lab which is bacteriology and virology ,,is there any risk for me to get opportunistic infections if I work at this lab or not ?

do you think I shall change my job?

please can you send me the answer to my email

Thank you.

Response from Dr. Feinberg

You should share your HIV status on a confidential basis with your supervisor. If your immune system is still relatively strong and you follow appropriate technique scrupulously, then your risk of occupational exposure is small. However, if your T cells are low (less than 100-200), then you might want to restrict your work activities to bacteriology and stay away from mycology and virology in case there is a lapse in technique by you or one of your coworkers. It is pathogens such as CMV and coccidioides, for example, that would pose the greatest risk to someone who is HIV+, although even then these are usually cases of reactivation disease, not of initial infection.

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