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Mental health,kids, and disclosure
Aug 28, 2013

I work in a public school program that serves kids with severe emotional/behavioral disorders. I'm a behavior specialist and find myself in situations that my blood may be exposed. For example a kid may bite me or I get stabbed with a pencil etc. while those events don't happen often, I'm not sure if I have to or should tell my boss. I'm worried of discrimination due to ignorance more so than intentional harm.

Response from Mr. Chambers

It makes no difference whether you are HIV+ or you are worried about being infected through a bite or other blood transmission from another, my advice would be the same.

I don't know how large your school district is, but they absolutely should have a written policy on this issue. If they don't, the school board should be encouraged (actually demanded) to get outside professional consultation to assist in drafting one.

What do they do now, if one child breaks the skin of another? How do they handle possible bleeding in sports programs? These things happen and the school needs to be prepared to address it.

Obviously, if you have an event which might cause transmission to you, you should see a doctor immediately. There are prophylaxis medications to help prevent any transmission.

If you are HIV+, you should personally practice universal precautions, which means being extra careful in any situation where you might bleed.

This is a major issue that requires more than what I can say here. You need to contact a local AIDS Service Organization or HIV specialist about this issue.

Good luck, Jacques



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