Current Affairs

Gay health group seeks HIV support

Marc Shoffman November 27, 2006
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Health care professionals with blood viruses such as HIV and Hepatitis are given insufficient support in their career, a report from the Gay and Lesbian Association of Doctors and Dentist (GLADD) has revealed.

The document, released today, shows an absence of resources and information to support individuals in the service living with the infections.

In December 2005 GLADD, in partnership with UK Coalition of People Living with HIV and AIDS, UNISON LGBT Healthcare Professionals, Royal College of Nurses OUT Group and the Department of Health LGBT Staff Group PRISM, organised a panel discussion of the issues affecting HIV positive healthcare professionals.

One of the strong messages from that seminar was that there was confusion over the information available for HIV positive healthcare professionals and a lack of clarity over the roles of different organisations and regulatory bodies in providing support and advice for this group.

The survey of 35 national organisations, including the Royal Medical Colleges, Unions representing healthcare professionals and regulatory bodies, made several recommendations including establishing a single web portal for information for health care professionals affected by and infected with blood borne infections, as well as policy statements as well as better education and awareness programmes for medical students and employers.

A GLADD spokesman told that there needs to be more guidance and support on what HIV+ healthcare professionals can and cannot do.

“There are a large number of lesbian and gay staff in the health service. In some areas, from the moment individuals are diagnosed they are supposed to stop practising, it is a huge waste of money to be losing these individuals when there is still other stuff they can do.

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