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Restrictions on pre- and practicing health professionals w/ viral diseases?
Sep 15, 2003

Here's a policy question. I was curious if there are currently any restrictions in the united states regarding the eligibility of pre-health (medical/dental/nursing students) and praticing health professionals (medical/dental/nursing/etc.) who are positive for viral diseases (i.e. hep b, hep c, hiv, etc.) I've recently read that Britain actually prohibits some students from entering health profession if they're positive for some viral conditions. what's the policy in the usa?

Response from Ms. Breuer

As far as I know, the only HIV-related limitations on medical practice concern people who plan to become surgeons, or who already are practicing as surgeons. The issue is not viral diseases per se; the issue is bloodborne viruses. Similar restrictions would probably govern the practice of people with hepatitis B or C. But in this country, those restrictions are imposed by the board of the hospital where the medical professional has privileges, not by the legislature. Please check with the American Dental Association for restrictions on that profession. I'm not sure of their limitations.

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