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radiation and HIV
Apr 15, 2004

Dear Doctor,

I have been recently diagnosed HIV positive. I am also in the Navy. The Navy has since relieved me of my duties and NEC (job rating) stating that I am no longer fit to perform my duties as a nuclear operator. The governing document they are using for this is the P117 article 15-68 table #1. This table states that if a persons blood chemistry, specifically WBC, falls out of spec then they are no longer fit to recieve ionizing radiation. My WBC is still in spec 4.9 w/o medication. Is there any information known about the effects of radiation as it pertains to HIV and the risks associated? thank you, PO2

Response from Dr. Pierone

Sorry to hear about your plight. I am not aware of any literature that would speak directly to your situation. Over the years, I have had patients with HIV infection and AIDS that have received radiation therapy for cancer, and by and large, they have done well, especially since the advent of HAART. Some patients with more advanced AIDS have decreased bone marrow reserve and would be expected to not tolerate radiation exposure as well as someone else. It does not seem logical that you have been relieved of your duties. Try to get them to reconsider, good luck!

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