HIV-positive NHS worker restrictions 'could be relaxed'
1 December 2011 00:00 in Medical Government/ NHS related news
A new consultation has been launched by the government into the possibility of relaxing restrictions placed on HIV-positive NHS staff.
The Department of Health is seeking to collate opinions on the matter following a review by the Expert Advisory Group on AIDS, the UK Advisory Panel of Healthcare Workers Infected with Blood-borne Viruses and the Advisory Group on Hepatitis.
Examining evidence on the risk of HIV transmission from healthcare workers to patients, it was found that there have been no reported cases of this occurring, despite investigations having been conducted for around 10,000 patients.
It was also suggested that the risk of transmission, even for the most invasive procedures, is as low as that of being struck and killed by lightning.
Chief medical officer Professor Dame Sally Davies said: "We need to ensure that the guidelines and restrictions imposed are evidence-based and achieve a fair balance between patient safety and the rights and responsibilities of healthcare workers with HIV."
This comes after the ban on blood donations from gay men was lifted last month in certain cases.
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