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Becoming an RN if you have HIV?
May 30, 2013

I'm asking this question on behalf of a friend.

He's been in college for years, working toward his RN. Recently, he found out he is HIV+ and, aside from being devastated at that diagnosis, he's also worried that all this work is for nothing and that he'll not be able to practice as an RN -- instead, relegated to low-end, low-paying healtcare positions.

While I realize this may be a state-by-state issue (we're talking New England, in this case), I wonder if you can elaborate here.

My hunch is that he'll be fine, provided his health is up to par (which it is), as the medical profession practices universal safety -- so to me, it sounds like a no-brainer.

Thank you!

Response from Dr. Henry

Should be no major problems. I have had the pleasure to care for many health care workers in training. In MN when license application for health application is filed health questions include HIV status. For HIV + persons thers is a review board that examines the scope of practice for that particular health care job. For 99% of cases no issues. In the rare instance where there might be a concern (ie involved with surgery in deep pelvis or abdmomen with high risk for sharp injury) then more details might be requested. KH

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