It has been decided that the NHS will no longer ban HIV positive health care professionals from undertaking medical activities on patients.
The 20 year old rule banning them from being employed has been described as “outdated” and the risk they carry as “negligible”. This change will now allow HIV positive Health care professionals to carry out a range of practices from dentistry to surgery.
This turn around has been based on evidence that only four cases have been reported of patients being infected by workers since 1992 and none of these have come from the UK.
From next April, when the changes come into force, all health workers with HIV – (there are thought to be about 110) will be listed on a confidential register. They won’t automatically be able to treat patients. They must also be on an effective combination of antiretroviral drug therapy, have an undetectable viral load, and be tested every three months to ensure they are still taking treatment.