The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App 
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
Ask the Experts About

Workplace and Insurance IssuesWorkplace and Insurance Issues
Rollover images to visit our other forums!
  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

Nurse with HIV
Feb 18, 2004

Greetings and thank you fo rall the wonderful advice. I am a nurse in an ICU. My health is doing very well after recovering from initial ilness with AIDS diagnosis (had pretty low counts when I found out). My concern it legal, ethical, moral for me to continue practicing as a healthcare provider, and if so...what limitations should I set. I have not told my workplace that I am poz for fear of retribution or termination. Needlesticks can only infect the other way (as I'm sure no nurse would jab themself and then stick a patient with that needle), and if I ever have any open cuts or abrasions on my arms I keep them occlusively covered. If I were ever to have any serious cuts, I would call in sick or go home (making whatever excuse necessary). I know I cannot work in surgery or colonoscopy, as the risk for transmission is greater, but am I okay working in the general field of healthcare, and what considerations should I have as an ethical nurse? Thank you for your time and energy in answering my questions.

Response from Ms. Breuer

What a great question. Thank you for your honesty and concern.

You have excellent information already. You pose no threat to the health of any patient unless you are performing a blind invasive procedure. Your care with any open cuts that you may have is certainly the appropriate response on your part.

Policies about the practice of HIV-positive health care professionals are set by the board of individual hospitals. If you don't know your hospital's policy on this, they may not be doing a great job of communicating with their employees. Or they may have no experience with this issue.

This is an issue that the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care deals with all the time. I strongly recommend that you visit their Web site and perhaps schedule a phone conversation with someone in the organization. They are at

We need great nurses. I hope you have a long career in nursing.

Medical Status Disclosed
My Employer is questioning my meds...

  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary



This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.

Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.

Review our complete terms of use and copyright notice.

Powered by ExpertViewpoint