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Government Announces Consultation into HIV+ Surgeons

December 1, 2011 12:05 AM

On World AIDS Day, the Government has announced a consultation to determine whether restrictions on NHS workers with HIV should be relaxed after a review found an "extremely low" risk of the disease being passed to patients. England's Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies announced the plan after Government advisers said UK rules were "out of step" with available evidence.

They found the risk of a patient being infected with HIV from an infected healthcare worker during the most invasive type of surgery (such as open heart surgery or hysterectomy) was about one in five million. It was negligible for less invasive procedures, such as having an injection of local anaesthetic during dental treatment.

LGBT+ Liberal Democrats chair Adrian Trett welcomed the consultation, saying "We welcome all steps to reduce unscientific stigma against HIV positive and LGBT+ people. Lib Dem party policy on blood donation shows that we put the facts first. This consultation, if successful, will mean more skilled staff able to conduct operations in the NHS, and better treatment for patients."