Are Health Care Workers Tested
Jun 22, 2007
I was just curious if guidelines have been established to test doctors, nurses, and any other health care workers for HIV in the United States. Is it something required of health care workers or is it required at all?
Response from Dr. Frascino
Health care workers are not required to be HIV tested. Similarly health care workers cannot demand their patients be HIV tested prior to treating them. Instead, "universal precautions" to prevent the transmission of bloodborne diseases (HIV, hepatitis) from health care workers to patient and vice versa are used. In other words, the same precautions are taken as if each patient or health care worker could be HIV positive. This makes sense, because HIV test results are only as accurate as the last test. Someone could have tested negative last week, but then had unsafe sex the following night, resulting in HIV primary infection.
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