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British Surgeons Demand Right to Test Their Patients for HIV Infection

July 30, 2002

Responding to calls for compulsory HIV testing of doctors and nurses, British surgeons have said it is only "fairness" that if doctors are tested, patients should be tested also. The Royal College of Surgeons said that doctors were far more likely to get HIV from patients than the other way around. The National Health Service is recruiting thousands of nurses from Africa, where AIDS is epidemic. The Department of Health set up a special committee on the issue; it recommended HIV tests for all medical workers, but did not suggest that those who tested positive should be barred automatically from working in the NHS. There have only been two cases in the world where a medical worker infected a patient with HIV -- neither in Britain -- but several medical staff have been infected from patients. At present surgeons cannot test for HIV without a patient's consent.

Back to other CDC news for July 30, 2002

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Adapted from:
Times (London)
07.29.02; Anthony Browne

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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