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Working with HIV and Aids Children
May 1, 2003

Hello. I direct an Arts Outreach organization and we have recently sent artists to work with AIDS and HIV children. Our last artist did a Cabaret for kids with Aids and HIV. He had a wonderful time, but the children were very physical with him, hugging him climbing on him and while singing with him, a few children spit in his face unintentionally. Though I have, of course, always learned saliva and physical contact is not a risk for spreading the virus, I wanted to ask an expert so that the artists we send can rest assure. It is very new to us to reach out to this type of hospital, and I don't want myself or my artists to have any misconceptions or unneeded concerns. Also, aside from this, are there any other precautions I should let my artists know when working with HIV and Aids Children, or should the same safty precautions be taken as at any other type of hosptial? Thank you very much!

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Congratulations on your Arts Outreach Program. Hugging, climbing, singing, and spitting HIV-positive kids pose absolutely no risk to your artists! No special precautions are needed. Just continue to teach and play with the kids hold them, kiss them, touch them, and love them. Certainly common sense measures, such as avoiding contact with their blood if someone gets cut, are obvious, but casual contact (sweat, spit, tears, etc.) carries absolutely no risk.

Keep up the good work. Hug the kids for me.

Dr. Bob



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