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nanny was a call girl
Sep 19, 2005

I just found out the my children's nanny had been arrested last year for being in a call girl ring. She was in a bad situation--new to this country, young, all alone, and desperate for money. She is an excellent nanny and a good person. I'd like to keep her employed, but I fear for the safety of my children. I don't know whether she is HIV-positive, but she was obviously engaged in high-risk behavior. Is it legal to ask her to take an HIV test? What are the nonsexual transmission risks?

Response from Ms. Breuer

If we're going to keep the focus on your children's safety, then this employee poses very little risk. No, you can't ask her to take an HIV test, but you need to consider that her high risk behavior may have exposed her to a range of bloodborne pathogens: HIV, hep B, and hep C primarily. So if I were you, I'd encourage her to get a complete STD checkup at Planned Parenthood or a similar agency. (Encouraging is not the same thing as requiring.) She poses a risk to your children only if she bleeds and they come into immediate contact with the blood through a cut of their own or contact with their mucous membranes.

It's time for a heart-to-heart talk with your nanny about her health, her values, her first aid practices and her commitment to providing excellent care to your children. If she's your nanny, she is helping to raise your children. You have good reason to have this conversation with her and make your decisions based on how she has responded to her arrest. In particular, ask what she would do if they were in a situation where both she and one of your children sustained a bleeding injury.

You'll know whether to keep her as the children's nanny by how she responds to this conversation.



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