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Can I practice medicine if HIV +
Sep 2, 2013

Hi I am just diagnosed as HIV+. I am currently a medical student in USA and will start my rotation next year. I was wondering if any hospital will take me for my rotation and after graduation, can I found a residency and practice medicine in US? I want to do internal medicine or family practice. I could not find any related information. Thank you

Response from Mr. Chambers

First, this is the response of one of The Body's physician to that question.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

Nope! Just as physicians cannot demand an HIV test before they agree to help a patient, a patient cannot demand his or her physician take an HIV test before engaging his/her help. If you think about this rationally, it makes perfect sense. The same applies to most employment situations. Someone's HIV status is only as accurate as his/her last test, right? What we've done to protect doctors from patients and patients from doctors is to institute "universal precautions" for all bloodborne pathogens. It's interesting you should single out HIV and not mention other bloodborne diseases that are even more contagious hepatitis, for example.

Dr. Bob

To add to Dr. Bob's remarks, you should check with your state's laws, but there are rarely, if any, prohibitions remaining on this issue. Some invasive work, such as surgery may still have restrictions, but it should not be an issue with Family Practice or Internist.

Obviously, you will want to be very careful using universal precautions, and may want to take extra care such as double gloving, etc.

Good luck with your work, Jacques



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