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Mirror columnist Carole Malone: ‘Patients should know if their doctor is HIV positive’

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  1. It was only a matter of time before someone in the press made these kinds of comments.

    I have to admit, I am split on this issue.

    1. D McCabe, has it worried you before now that you have not had the medical records and medical history of every doctor or nurse whom you’ve seen throughout your life? No?

      Make your mind up, and take a stand against this ignorant and prejudiced Carole Malone. She’s stuck her neck out without thinking. Help shove it back in again.

      1. Willy Wontee 19 Aug 2013, 12:52pm

        Any doctor or nurse in the NHS who performs invasive procedures, known as “EPP” (exposure prone procedures) has blood borne virus checks prior to undertaking these prodecures; so in effect, you don’t have to check the medical records of these people, the NHS has done it for you. The only ‘loop hole’ has always been that there is no regular re-checking after the worker commences in the role; merely it is up to the conscious of that practitioner to alert the relevant authorities if they suspect that they have contracted a blood bourne virus. In truth, would a surgeon with a whole livelihood at stake do so?

    2. why split – no one can get HIV from an encounter other than unprotected sex – Does your Doctor force you to have sex?? NO! so why would you be at risk!


      1. please research; you don’t want to be like Malone. HIV can be spread through exchange of bodily fluids – which can happen in a medical setting, for example if a surgeon cuts herself whilst operating. That said, like many have pointed out, it is now firmly established that if someone who has HIV is well treated on ARVs and their viral load low enough (which would be checked) there is virtually no risk of transmission. Malone is the worst kind of journalist – an ignorant scaremonger. i want to believe in freedom of speech but people like her really make me reconsider.

        1. Raymond Whitham 19 Aug 2013, 12:52pm

          I am a medical epidemiologist of communicable diseases. Neither HIV nor any viral hepatitis (A, B, C, or E) are transmitted by physical contact that is used in a clinical exam or taking a medical history so no, you need not know your doctor’s status on any of these or for many other communicable diseases.
          If you are talking about something that can happen to anybody doing anything, at any time such as cutting yourself, then you should test everybody you come in contact with throughout the day. I don’t know of any physician that would examine a patient while the physician is bleeding. So, there is no special reason why physicians should be specifically targeted for testing any more than another person.

          1. thank you

        2. Surgeons who repeatedly cut themselves and bleed all over their patients won’t get very far in the field I imagine!

          I wouldn’t give a toss if my doctor was HIV positive. I’m not planning on sharing any fluids with them any time soon, and I trust they’re professional enough to you know, not spit in my mouth or bleed all over me.

        3. You use the word spread like a jam is so easily spread across bread – and you use body fluids like you know what you are talking about – What other body fluids lets see – piss – no – saliva – no – tears – No. oh right blood & semen Yes and vaginal fluids Yes Both of which would mean the Dr was either raping you or having sex with you – That enough research for you – Dick!

          It’s because of this woeful lack of knowledge in fools like you that these misconception still exist.

          So only HIV positive Surgeons should Disclose their status? – The Law states that it is unlawful to disclose an individuals HIV – and besides if a surgeon cuts themselves they stop immediately – say ‘ouch’ and dress said cut not continue to delve into a patients body infecting them as they go – plus HIV meds make the ability of the virus so weak it is very unlikely to be able to transmit. anything else you ignorant fool

          1. Are you talking to me? I’m actually a GUM doctor.

          2. Are you talking to me? I have worked in theatre and I am now a GUM doctor. I think I would know.

          3. I don’t plan on having sex with my doctor… and I don’t think he has any intention of raping me either? Why are you being so aggressive? Are you HIV+ and somehow got the impression I was insulting you??

      2. I am trying to play devils advocate here and seeing both sides.

        I personally don’t have an issue whether my Dr is HIV or not as I know that all safeguards will be in place so that an infection would not occur.

        Do I think that I have a right to know? Yes, I do
        Does that make me a bad person for wanting to know? Not at all.
        Would that make me feel any different about my Dr? No, it wouldn’t. As long as the Dr has all the relevant skills, I would want the best care I can possibly get.

        Her writing is sloppy, scaremongering and clearly prejudicial.

        JD I suggest you read up on how HIV can also be spread, it is not just through unprotected sex.

        1. You patronizing a hole – I work as a sexual health advisor – tell me ‘Mr D advocate’ how else is HIV transmitted that would be a direct risk to a patient – sat in a consulting room talking to a Dr? perhaps – or shaking hands with a doctor or hugging a Dr – If not through unprotected sex – then You and other fools seriously believe that HIV can be transmitted through a surgeons cut
          Out side the body HIV is rendered useless – a bit like you! FOOL

          Don’t tell me to read up on a subject I have been advising the public about for nearly a decade!

          1. JD – I would suggest that you continue reading as the spread of the HIV virus can be in more ways than just via unprotected sex e.g. shared use of needles by drug addicts, dirty needles used by tattooist and through a surgeon cutting themselves whilst operating inside your body – why the ban existed in the first place.

            Whilst you may be able to advise on “sexual” health matters by reading up on the subject, I doubt your credibility to clinically advise on anything outside of that. Your ignorance to the fact that HIV can only be spread via unprotected sex is as bad as the ignorance of this reporter!!

          2. Laughing at you 19 Aug 2013, 2:11pm

            Wow, what do you do, the filing?

          3. There is nothing patronizing, stating a fact. You imply that HIV infection can only be caused through sexual contact. You say you work as a sexual health advisor if you do then you should know that HIV can be spread through other means. And I am fully aware that it CAN’T be transmitted via touch. But can be spread by blood.

            Finally, to resort to juvenile name calling tells me all I need to know.

            We all have opinions on these matters. You don’t like mine, that’s fine but do you really have to be all playground and resort to name calling? Grow up!

          4. Blood generally cannot transmit HIV you utter Morons – Your knowledge or lack of is devastating!

            The ban existed in the first place because morons like you had no understanding of HIV transmission – So you believe that a needle that had blood on it from a previous client could infect the next? – MORON!

          5. Do you also call the public fools and scream the facts at them with unecessary aggresson when you give them your advice too?

  2. What is the position if they have something else, such as hepatitis ?

    The rules, whatever they may be, should be the same for all infectious diseases .

    1. No, they shouldn’t. The rules be made on scientific evidence of risk of transmission.

      1. Of course, but diseases with the same risk, or lack of it, should be treated alike, not according to some public stigma.

      2. Actually, rereading your comment, I disagree, the rules should be the same, but whether a ban applies or not should be in accordance with the scientifically assessed risk. I.e. The decision is made according to the risk, not the rules.

        1. That’s pretty much what the new rules do. The risk has been reassessed, in the light of new treatments, and it’s clear that in some cases HIV-positive doctors pose a negligable risk to their patients.

    2. Raymond Whitham 19 Aug 2013, 12:30pm

      I am a medical epidemiologist of communicable diseases. Neither HIV nor any viral hepatitis (A, B, C, or E) are transmitted by physical contact that is used in a clinical exam or taking a medical history so no, you need not know your doctor’s status on any of these or for many other communicable diseases.

      1. Willy Wontee 19 Aug 2013, 12:59pm

        The issue is whether or not a HIV+ practitioner should be able to place their fingers inside a body cavity if there is a theoretical risk during the procedure that the practitioner could cut themselves and bleed into the patient’s body cavity. If the practitioner has a low viral load, they are being given the opportunity to practice in this way. The REAL issue is, should the patient be informed that the practitioner is HIV+ (or has Hepatitis B, C etc.) prior to them undertaking the procedure.

        1. Christopher in Canada 20 Aug 2013, 2:42am

          Aren’t latex gloves used in Britain????? What is this, the Stone Age?

    3. And How you silly cow do you imagine Hep A B or C is going to be transmitted to a patient

  3. I’d be far more concerned to discover my doctor read the Daily Mirror (or any of the other red-tops), than if he or she had HIV that was responding effectively to treatment and was being regularly monitored.

  4. “Why, for two decades, hasn’t it been safe for HIV-infected medics to perform blood-linked procedures? Now suddenly it is.”

    Because the scientific knowledge concerning HIV and AIDS has changed dramatically in the last two decades.

    Perhaps Malone should be directing these questions to a doctor, who could then explain the leaps and bounds made in HIV medicine, rather than using them to scaremonger.

  5. Carole Malone, the so-called “journalist”, is an Ignorant individual. Has she so far required to have a copy of the medical history and medical records of every doctor she has seen in the course of her life?

    All she has proven is that with regard to HIV she is ignorant and bigoted.

    And would I be seen dead sitting beside her in a pub? No way.

    1. If all else fails, and in the absence of a pertinent point, it’s always fun to make an ad hominem attack ;)

      1. Mayery mutha of gawd 19 Aug 2013, 12:40pm

        Exactly, when one reads merde like the orginal article, to engage like with like is my art.

    2. Stephen Mole 16 Sep 2013, 6:54pm

      Why is it that all these right wing extremists have tarty bottle blond hair?

  6. Jock S. Trap 19 Aug 2013, 11:22am

    Why? So they can be taken back to the 1980s/90s witchhunt and picking out of some perfectly able people.

    This is 2013. Let’s not return or indeed make worse the stigma, the discrimination this illness creates amongst those who wish to scaremonger with unfounded assumptions not full facts.

    Fact is a patient who is on anti-retrovirals is no more risk than anyone else.

    All we need is one person to start the bigoted scaremongering and it seems with Carole Malone we have it.

  7. The women is an idiot. Never let the evidence based science get in the way of a good rant eh Carol?

    This is another argument from personal incredulity.

    1. “The women is an idiot.”

    2. 2. If all else fails, and in the absence of a pertinent point, it’s always fun to make an ad hominem attack ;)

      1. Mayery mutha of gawd 19 Aug 2013, 12:48pm

        Which woman is an idiot? To reflect like with like is an art. Be original.

  8. The current rules are a disincentive to medical professionals being tested for HIV, representing a perverse incentive. If you think you may be HIV+ then you don’t have a test, for fear of losing your livelihood, so you (and your patients) are at greater risk because your viral load is unmonitored. But because you don’t have a diagnosis, you’re free to practise without restriction.

    The current rules don’t ban HIV+ medics, they ban HIV+ medics who know their status. But then that’s probably too logical for Carole Malone.

  9. Yes, because a crap sunday mirror journalist would know much better on this issue than a Professor who is the Chief Medical Officer.

    she should get back to big fat gypsy wedding.

    1. 3. If all else fails, and in the absence of a pertinent point, it’s always fun to make an ad hominem attack ;)

      1. Mayery mutha of gawd 19 Aug 2013, 12:50pm

        It’s a right to be ignorant. Just as good as you.

  10. Mayery mutha of gawd 19 Aug 2013, 11:44am

    And here’s me wondering where Carole Malone gets her lips injected. That fake bake does wonders for her also. Am in awe at her physical and intellectual powers. Also wondering would she be smart enough to post here what with adding numbers etc

    1. 5. If all else fails, and in the absence of a pertinent point, it’s always fun to make an ad hominem attack ;)

      1. Mayery mutha of gawd 19 Aug 2013, 12:39pm

        Exactly, when one reads merde like the orginal article, the point I make is as high falutin’ and as stupid has hers. To engage like with like is my art.

  11. i’m sorry but all i can say is what a stupid bitch

    1. 4. If all else fails, and in the absence of a pertinent point, it’s always fun to make an ad hominem attack ;)

      1. mayery mutha of gawd 19 Aug 2013, 12:41pm

        To engage like with like is an art.

      2. Raymond Whitham 19 Aug 2013, 12:44pm

        The pertinent point is that an idiot like her is writing trash without bothering with the facts. By the way, your comment adds nothing to the conversation either.

  12. Robert in S. Kensington 19 Aug 2013, 12:02pm

    I think the bleach in her hair has sunk into her pea-sized brain. What can one expect from a rag such as the Sunday Mirror! Fodder for the ignorant and ill educated masses.

    1. 6. If all else fails, and in the absence of a pertinent point, it’s always fun to make an ad hominem attack ;)

      1. Mayery mutha of gawd 19 Aug 2013, 12:47pm

        Exactly, to engage like with like is my art and to make it original each telling.

      2. Mary, are you Carole?

        1. Possibly, Wingby.

  13. And all patients should be tested for HIV before any doctor performs surgery. Whether or not the need is urgent. How about that?

  14. Ignorant woman given platform to make ignorant comments shock!

    1. 7. If all else fails, and in the absence of a pertinent point, it’s always fun to make an ad hominem attack ;)

      1. Mary, you’re sounding like a stuck record now cutting & pasting the same line.

        Time for a change

        1. Yes boring isn’t it. Just as boring as people logging on just to make an infantile insult without engaging in debate or discussion.

          1. Sweet, sweet irony

  15. The author is a journalist? Certainly NOT a good one, one that does a fact check before writing anything. She obviously has done NO research of any kind before spouting off her total ignorance on the subject of HIV transmission.

  16. Someone explain to this ignorant B I T C H that unless her doctor (with HIV) is going have sex with her – unprotected sex (and looking at the photo I don’t imagine anyone in their right mind would want to) then they is simply NO risk to her at all – HIV is transmitted inside the body not outside – What’s changed tell her, is knowledge of HIV and that is clearly something this vile human has little of,… ‘Journalist’ my fat ass!

    1. HIV is a blood borne virus. If a surgeon who is operating on you, who has HIV slips and cuts them self on the scalpel and drops blood into you, then the infection is then also passed on. I think that is the point that she is trying to make.

      That isn’t sex.

      I personally do not agree with her. She is doing nothing but stirring up fear and hate, she really belongs with the Daily Mail lot

      1. then you know nothing! How do you imagine a virus that is useless outside the body transmit in that (horror movie) scenario. Do you even know what Blood Born virus means? Firstly a surgical glove will hold the blood on an initial cut – (be my guessed try it on your own finger) hurts doesn’t it – enough to make you stop immediately and deal with said injury, before continuing or passing to a second doctor – once out side the hosts body HIV deteriorates so quickly it would be rendered useless – also the opening in the surgery by definition is outside (that is exposed to the air) you pitch is nonsense –

        All this means that the only risk anyone on here can legitimately come up with is that some surgeons with HIV and incompetents would need to disclose their status to protect patients – That would be an infringement of their Human Rights – It is unlawful to disclose a persons HIV status.

        1. You are SO wrong its embarrassing. Dripping blood is still alive and viable, the virus isnt killed instantaneously just because the blood is outside the body for a few seconds.

          Stop spreading these lies because you are quite simple totally wrong and dangerous.


        2. For someone who is meant to be an advisor, you seem to know very little. The HIV virus can live outside the body for up to 24hrs before it eventually dies. That is why if you were unlucky enough to prick yourself on a discarded needle somewhere you would need to get yourself some PEP and also a full check after the 3 month hibernation period

          I was informed of this by a friend of mine who is a Doctor in HIV care and treatment across several London hospitals and who regularly attends and speaks in seminars across the world

          1. The small amount of blood contained in a needle is much more likely to be a hepatitis B & C risk than that of HIV transmission, & whilst I am not fully up to speed with the Occupational Exposure & PEP guidelines, I think you may be somewhat overstating the case for a needle stick exposure & the risk of HIV transmission. In addition I would also suggest that you are quoting older guidelines relating to post exposure testing as there are now tests that can indicate the presence of HIV antibodies & P24 antigens 4 to 6 weeks after exposure.

            HIV science moves very quickly & perhaps you are quoting your Dr friend who gave you this information several yrs back – if this was a recent conversation I would not be entirly sure that perhaps something wasn’t lost in translation / understanding – sorry if this sounds patronising, not my intention. It is important to be very accurate about risk, transmission routes & current up to date guidance as often this is how myths are perpetuated.

          2. W6 is correct and your info is woefully outdated MORON!!!!

      2. “If a surgeon who is operating on you, who has HIV slips and cuts them self on the scalpel and drops blood into you, then the infection is then also passed on”

        This is not not factually correct – what you have described here is possible exposure to HIV. Exposure & transmission of the virus are very different, which is often mistaken. For transmission to take place HIV has to be present in the blood (or bodily fluid) at a high concentration & be of good quality for transmission to occur. Not all virus particles are capable of causing infection & at levels of less than 40 copies per ml of blood there is no risk of transmission occurring. There has to be an effective route of transmission present which is usually mucosal tissue cells which are susceptible to HIV, as they facilitate the process.

        Also bear in mind that the HIV virus is very delicate & contact with any surface such as an instrument, scalpel, latex glove & air, this quickly renders the virus incapable of causing infection.

        1. I should add that not all mucosal tissue are equally susceptible to HIV – a recent study has identified that rectal tissue is much more susceptible to HIV gaining entry into the CD4 cell than colon tissue as an example. Successful transmission is dependent on high levels of denritic cells & macrophages being present that also express the CD4 protein on their surface also being present in the exposed tissues – it really is difficult for HIV to gain entry into the host, survive & be able to replicate – the problem is that one infected immune cell becomes a factory spewing out millions of copies of the virus, which then easily infects neighboring immune cells. Most of the susceptible cells are located in the gut & rectum, hence the high risk of anal sex as compared to oral sex or vaginal sex.

          Intravenous exposure is high risk because of a different set of factors that influence effective transmssion.

        2. Thank you W6 – Vindicated – maybe its you morons who need to do more reading – or better still call THTDirect – and ask them – their information resources are up to date!!!

          1. I wouldn’t bank on being vindicated, I’m usually the one who usually gets heavily marked down & criticised for my views on HIV, seems neither you not I can win really!

  17. Am I the only person in this country who has never, not once, thought of this in my time visiting doctors, the ER and so on?

    What does she think, that doctors are opening a vein every other day?

    She seems to be very uneducated on this issue, and her suggestion that nothing has changed in he last twenty years displays her complete and utter ignorance.

    For example, she obviously doesn’t know that HIV/AIDS is now extremely treatable, that medicine has moved on to such an extent that those with HIV live full and healthy lives.

    She also doesn’t seem to know that there are breakthroughs going on right now which might result in a complete cure within a couple of years.

    It’s interesting to me that someone so vocal about medicine and the NHS seems less educated on these issues than the average informed man or woman in the street.

    She should be embarrassed for herself.

  18. Patients should be allowed to know whether their doctor holds views (for example those of fundamentalist religious orign) that might interfere with us getting the treatment we need

  19. Stupid, ignorant woman. I need say no more!!

    1. Mayery Mutha of Gawd 19 Aug 2013, 4:21pm

      Very true. That would require actual thought and engaging in the discussion.


    Have you forgotten their transphobic adverts already? Pink News values money more than their readers clearly! For shame! I’m absolutely disgusted!

  21. I’m a “Healthcare worker” (HCW ) with HIV. & have undetectable viral load. I ceased “normal” practice immediately on diagnosis, am on CART& have undetectable viral load. Now I perform only what guidelines allow. I’ve been keen to return to “normal” practice. Such articles and public responses indicate so much ignorance and stigma I fear “the public” don’t want me anyway.

    I fear and oppose the new register. Would the HIV+ HCW still practising ( against current guidelines) choose to join this list ? HIV is not a notifiable disease, yet it seems I’ll now be added to a government-operated list of HIV+ individuals. The HIV+ HCW still practising could continue, those of us honest under a system that decimated our lives and careers will be “registered”. I have no confidence that my “patient confidentiality” will be respected if challenged by “Freedom of information” requests or security breaches. HIV+ HCW’s under hospital care already have career activity monitored by their consultants.

    1. I would happily have you as my health care worker :)

      I like to think most people have the common sense to know that HIV+ people are nothing to be scared of. Outside of the bedroom it doesn’t matter in the slightest, it’s just totally irrelivent unless you inject drugs and share needles, which I’m assuming most people don’t !

    2. Bless you HCW we are not all prejudice and ignorant fortunately .

  22. carl onwochei 19 Aug 2013, 4:18pm

    I disagree entirely, people with HIV should be protected and as it stands there are procedures in place for healthcare workers with his prohibiting the practice of exposure prone procedures. The risk of passing on hiv is minimal and reduced further by the use of universal precautions. thank you please

  23. As there is no law forcing doctors to get HIV tests, your doctor could easily have had HIV. The only people who have any standing in arguing against this are the people who asked for proof that their doctors did not have infectious diseases before being treated. Many of you? Didn’t think so

  24. Craig Smith 19 Aug 2013, 7:49pm

    The bottom line is that HIV is a very manageable illness. It is not a death sentence, and frankly what about if a doctor has diabeties, syphilis, blood poisoning or some other blood bourne infection they may or may not no about. Why the stigma on HIV alone?

  25. Christopher in Canada 20 Aug 2013, 2:46am

    Aren’t universal precautions used in Britain?? Latex gloves are a matter of course in Canada, even for just palpating the abdomen. No doctor here would dream of inserting a finger without a glove on.

    And is it just me, or does she do her makeup like a bad drag queen??

    1. Universal precautions are used in Britain. However ( many years ago now ) I was taught by an A&E consultant who laughed when universal precautions were mentioned, and re-advised students to “double glove” when an HIV+, or LGBT patient was treated.

      Many consider the current precautions are because gloves ( nitrile now more common than latex, due to allergies) of course only allow the flow of fluids from clinician to patient, not the other way round. (sic)

  26. This ignorant woman’s opinion is based on an emotional response which would have been understandable in 1986 but is now completely outdated. Does she really believe that she knows better than the Chief Medical Officer? She should inform herself of the facts before she opens her mouth and spreads her misinformed views, which only serve to stigmatise people living with HIV who, when under medication, pose no threat to anyone. That is proven medical fact, Carole Malone. Inform yourself of these facts or keep your ignorant mouth shut.

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