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May 5, 2008

Scotland’s Ban on HIV-Positive Health Workers Under Review

Health ministers in Scotland have ordered research into a federal ban on HIV-positive health care workers, which has been in place since the early 1990s, Scotland on Sunday reports (scotlandonsunday.com, 5/4).

Under this restriction, health professionals living with HIV are forbidden from any work—including dentistry—that brings them into contact with a patient’s blood. However, according to Susie Sanderson, chair of the British Dental Association (BDA) executive board, the ban is unnecessary and warrants revision.

“The BDA believes that the evidence does not justify the requirement that dentists found to be HIV positive must cease practicing,” Sanderson told Scotland on Sunday. “As long as the appropriate infection-control procedures are followed and careful monitoring is in place, the risk of transmission to a patient is negligible.”

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