The following amendments have been made to the guide since publication:
Page 9 – Health Care Workers (HCW) and Disclosing to an Employer
In December 2018 the Australian Government Department of Health Policy on the ‘Management of healthcare workers living with blood borne viruses and healthcare workers who perform exposure prone procedures at risk of exposure to blood borne viruses’ changed to allow HCW with HIV to perform EPPs where:
- They have a viral load below 200 copies/mL (and are on effective ART or meet the definition of elite controller); and
- Are under the care and supervision of an HIV specialist who is aware of the guidelines; and
- Undergoes HIV viral load monitoring every 3 months as part of the supervision
This exception does not apply to someone co-infected with another blood borne virus.
If you are a HCW with HIV and you wish to perform EPPs, you should seek medical advice about whether you can meet the above conditions. If you are a HCW and don’t meet the above conditions, you can request that your employer consider making reasonable adjustments to enable you to continue to work in your profession, for example. a change of duties etc. Contact HALC if your employer dismisses you or are not offered a position because of your HIV condition.
Page 10 – Australian Defence Force
If you are already a member of the ADF and you are diagnosed with HIV, you may be at risk of termination (however in practice this may not occur). Your clinician may assist you to provide a report to the ADF confirming that your health doesn’t impact upon your duties and that your HIV condition is well managed. Combat and related roles are specifically exempted from the protection of discrimination legislation, and members of the ADF are excluded from he definition of ’employee’ in the Fair Work Act. Please contact HALC for further advice if you are not allow to join, or are discharged from the ADF due to an HIV diagnosis.