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Discrimination against HIV+ medical student
Oct 12, 2006

Hello Dr Bob,

I am a third year medical student who recently found out I was HIV+. I stupidly disclosed this to the school who is now considering throwing me out of the program. That's almost 7 years down the drain. I read that you were HIV+ and still practising until you retired to focus more on charity work and awareness.

I became postive in my wilder college days through heterosexual sex, however I do not see this as relevant in any case. Do you?

I am seeking legal advice and intend to pursue to the end. I was wondering if you know of any laws regarding practice for HIV+ physicians? I actually want to go into a less blood contact procedure based speciality like psychiatry or diagnostic radiology since I am not that dextrous.

Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Chase.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

If you are writing from the United States, you cannot be thrown out of medical school solely because you tested HIV positive. I'm confident your lawyers have told you this already.

Universal precautions were established long ago to prevent the spread of bloodborne pathogens from patient to health care worker and vice versa. Yes, there are a number of HIV-positive health care workers at all levels who continue to work. The same laws apply for HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and other bloodborne illnesses.

Good luck in your career!

Dr. Bob



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