HIV positive soldiers

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Bravo_Bravo, Aug 20, 2007.

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  1. I recently overheard something that got my attention, namely that the MoD are aware of some hundeds of HIV positive personnel joing the Army.

    Although their situation is known to the MoD their names cannot be released as it is a medical matter and so subject ( I'm assuming here ) to the Access to Medical Records legislation.

    The MoD is an employer and as such has a duty to keep this information confidential.

    The problem here is that HIV can be spread by blood, and lets face it, in the current operational climate there is rather more blood being split that any of us would like.

    If you are giving BCD or first aid to somebody who is bleeding there is an obvious and real risk of infection. Sure, the BCDT leaflet tells you to wear protective gloves whenever dealing with casualties, but it seems to me that there should be considerably greater empahsis given to this eventuality than I currently see.

    There is also the question of an employers' duty of care to employees who are *not* HIV positive.

    Please note that this is not a homophobic issue AIUI.
     
  2. Not entirely sure that's accurate B_B. I read something a while back that addressed the issue of HIV across all three services and it totalled 5 cases. These personnel were allowed to continue with service, but not at an operational level.
     
  3. BB - HIV personnel are auto P7 (Non deployable) so operational comparisons aren't relevant.
     
  4. Go through the list from Acute Something Very Nasty to Yellow Fever and you will find that HIV is not a Notifiable Disease.

    OK harder to contract than most but seems rather odd.
     
  5. Surely it cannot be policy to accept a recruit who is already P7 through HIV? (I imagine that one could not be assessed above that level) If that is the case then conditions like diabetes should not be a bar to enlistment? Whether it is a notifiable condition or not surely it must be disclosable for enlistment purposes. As I recall the two are really quite different. I really hope this is a wind-up!
     
  6. Firstly there are a lot more than 5 servicemen & I will leave it at that.

    Secondly, its not policy to accept a recruit with HIV, however if they can make it thorough recruit training & get a P2 medical grading then once they reach their new unit they like anyone else can access local NHS services for confidential care.

    However as past deployments has shown us the NHS recommends informing their employer when work conditions may affect their access to treatment. i.e. Iraq etc.

    In these circumstances as already stated downgrade P7 HO.

    As for HIV+ joining up, yes MoD is aware but what can they do to prevent it. ….Pre test maybe!

    Pre HIV test who? …….just commonwealth recruits…..deemed non PC

    Test all, ……….when……….. bear in mind there is a long incubation period

    Test all regularly like in the US forces. Very cost prohibited, it works out cheaper to treat the odd new cases of HIV that crop up from time to time than screen all.
     
  7. Going slightly of the HIV side of things I pose a question. Other than medical personnel (police, fire service etc) how many service personnel are Hepatitis B vaccinated.

    Answer very very few. This condition is 100% more infectious (blood, sputum, tears & urine carry infection) can make an individual very ill & in some circumstances even kill & is completely preventable by vaccination.

    Areas of high hep B risk include any area of prolonged conflict.

    From my own personal experience on more than one occasion I’ve had to practically hose down some lads who have been hand to hand & covered in blood. MoD policy seems to be vaccinate after the risk not before.
     
  8. Pox Dr, I agree absolutely with your comments about Hep B. All clinical personnel IIRC recieve this vaccine. If it is too expensive to vaccinate all pers and make it part of the Big Six, perhaps all personnel deployed recieve Gamma Globulin in lieu of Hep B prior to deployment, it is effective for about 6 months. This would cover the duty of care issue as an employer as well....win win.
     
  9. Seems a good short term solution..What are the chances of the Powers that be to act upon it? It's another worry we don't need at this point..but it does need to be addressed ASAP
     
  10. Male or female?
     
  11. Testing should be mandatory prior to commencing recruit trg & I would suggest adding it to the CDT responsabilities or has CDT been 'binned' since the mid east kicked off?
     
  12. Like a lot of brits reaching their time I applied for the Australian Defence Force. HIV testing is compulsary for all applicants. I had to attach the results with my med records.
     
  13. Anyone working & using US forces medical facilities are required to under go HIV testing, there rules not ours. I once asked a senior US MO the reasoning behind this & his answer was very simple, why should we inherit someone else’s problems.

    Good to see some look after thier own.

    Twinrix is a combined Hep A & B vacinne. However its only any good if you complete the course. An example course is a rapid course which is given at:

    Day 0 - Engerix B (Hep B Vac)
    Day 7- Engerix B (Hep B Vac)
    Day 21 - Twinrix (Hep A & B Vac)
    Day 1year Twinrix (Hep A & B Vac)
     
  14. The ATRA has been looking closely at the issue of blood-bourne diseases for many years. Especially with wider recruiting policies such as from W Africa.