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Any Reason To Be Fearful?
Jun 15, 2005

Hello, I am an office supervisor in a purchasing department of a medium-sized company. I have several candidates I've interviewed for a recently-opened position, one of whom I know to be HIV+ (he disclosed this information to me during our interview). He has all the right qualifications and all things being equal is the person who could best do the job I feel and the person whom I'd very much like to hire. Is there any reason I need to be wary of hiring him? I understand his HIV status would not interfere with his ability to do the job and he has told me so. What precautions should we take in our office to prevent his transmitting HIV? I would very much like to give him a chance. Any advice you could offer would be helpful. Thanks in advance. Carl.

Response from Ms. Breuer

Dear Carl, Congratulations. You're focusing on his qualifications instead of on his diagnosis. May your tribe increase!

There are no special precautions. HIV infection's primary transmission routes are unprotected sex and needle-sharing. But there is one situation that does arise in office work sometimes that does require your attention: blood spills. People can have nosebleeds, even in cubicle land. Make sure that everyone has current first aid training. Sloppy first aid puts first aiders and injury victims at risk of transmitting a variety of bloodborne diseases. Everyone should have access to latex gloves and proper technique.

As I'll bet you know, no one else has the right to his diagnosis, and you are hugely liable if you disclose it. That's it.

risk to immune compromised HIV+ clinic worker

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