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Restrictions and policy for HIV + nursing graduate
May 11, 2005

I am an HIV+ 2005 nursing graduate in Tennessee. I find that different institutions have varied regulations on HIV+ nurses. Is there a government regulation or document on the of safe delivery of patient care, disclosure of HIV+ nurses, and what are my rights regarding reasonable and fair treatment from employers regarding my HIV status?

Response from Ms. Breuer

Every hospital board sets its own policy regarding employees who have bloodborne pathogens--thank heavens! Imagine what it would look like if legislators wrote it. Could be a train wreck.

There are OSHA standards on safe delivery of patient care. Try their website, searching specifically for HIV-related standards, or bloodborne pathogen policies.

Your rights are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act. In short, you cannot be treated differently by your employer because of your HIV status in hiring, compensating, benefits, promotions, firing--any aspect of employment. You can be restricted from certain kinds of procedures. Often those restrictions are for your own health, interestingly.

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