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Jan 15, 2004

Dear the expert, I live in the country outside USA. I would like to know about if the physicain I mean doctors were infected by HIV ( either by exposure contact or from their sexual partner). Should they continue their job, such as non surgical or non operative work. Is it fair to their patients and them for the risk of transmission of HIV virus. I was one of such case that I am in such situation.( I think taht you will understand) I my country, I known that there are many physician like me that were infected by HIV and now reieved the HAART. I do not know data about the physician in US that were infetced by HIV and continued their job. The question are 1) Is it fair for the physicain to stop their job after they known their HIV status and they have no any sign of advanced HIV disease or AIDS and they are still function as specailist in the area of their job. 2) Is it fair to the patients ( for the same situation) MD

Response from Ms. Breuer

Thank you for your question. I'm going to substitute the word "safe" for your word "fair" in my answer so I can be clear.

First, in this country, every hospital sets its own policy about the practices of physicians who have HIV. Generally, physicians continue their practices unless they are doing what is referred to as "blind invasive procedures" such as surgery. If the physician prevents any of his or her blood from coming into direct contact with the bloodstream or mucous membranes of patients, then the physician's work does not put patients at risk.

In this country, we tend to use a different standard from the question about how advanced the doctor's illness is. The standard is this: can the physician still perform all aspects of the job in a satisfactory manner? If that answer is "yes," then in this country, the physician continues his or her medical practice.

Please write again if any part of this answer does not make sense or is unclear. I wish you well.

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Medical worker with HIV

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