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Vindictive Staff with HIV
Aug 29, 2003

I have a member of my factory staff, who is now known as HIV positive, and sufferring from AIDS. We recently discovered that this guy, has been leaving his own seamen secretions and blood fluids in places where other members of staff, may come into contact with door handles, bathroom taps etc.

Since discovering this several of my staff are concerned about having picked up the virus through cuts and personal activities such as toilet routines and in some cases masturbation.

My local VCT organisation is unable to answer these concerns, and I would like your opinion on this if possible.


Response from Ms. Gabriel

The most urgent issues you have here are behavioral. This is inappropriate conduct in the workplace and should be addressed as such. The first is the employee who is (alledgedly) exposing others to a potentially hazardous substance -- blood and/or semen. These body fluids are defined as potentially hazardous regardless of whose they are. His HIV status, at work, is irrelevant. The second instance of inappropriate workplace conduct is masturbation at work -- unless this is the job description (if it is, you should already have proper safety procedures in place). An employee's risk of infection here is more likely hepatitis B or C and, in the case of fecal matter, hepatitis A. HIV begins to die immediately on contact with heat, light, or air. In 20+ years of studying HIV there has never been a case transmitted through the means you describe. The best thing you can do for all of your employees is to provide workplace HIV education. If you'll let me know where you live I'd be happy to help find you a resoure.

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