MedStuAdventures
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#1
Report Thread starter 8 years ago
#1
Hi folks,

to cut a long story short i started med school today and as part of my occupational health meeting i had blood drawn. i received a call tonight asking me to meet with a consultant on Wednesday because of an issue with my blood test. the doctor was refusing to tell me what was wrong over the phone.. so i basically forced it out of her. My HIV test came back positive.

I'd like to know what the implications are for my medical studies? Are there any other students out there in the same situation?

Obviously I'll be having a sit down with my personal tutor and the powers that be at med school. i just wanted to know what I should expect them to say?

Thanks in advance


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Philosoraptor
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#2
Report 8 years ago
#2
(Original post by MedStuAdventures)
Hi folks,

to cut a long story short i started med school today and as part of my occupational health meeting i had blood drawn. i received a call tonight asking me to meet with a consultant on Wednesday because of an issue with my blood test. the doctor was refusing to tell me what was wrong over the phone.. so i basically forced it out of her. My HIV test came back positive.

I'd like to know what the implications are for my medical studies? Are there any other students out there in the same situation?

Obviously I'll be having a sit down with my personal tutor and the powers that be at med school. i just wanted to know what I should expect them to say?

Thanks in advance


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That's a big thing to hear.

In terms of your question - as far as I'm aware it means you need a card to say you can't do exposure prone procedures (or some similar name) and basically you can't put your hands where you can't see them e.g. imagine your hand deep in an abdomen, or obstetric type things. But it shouldn't mean you can't do general medicine stuff and where you can see your hands (I think ) is still fine - e.g. I think you can still take blood etc.
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Captain Crash
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#3
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#3
(Original post by Philosoraptor)
That's a big thing to hear.

In terms of your question - as far as I'm aware it means you need a card to say you can't do exposure prone procedures (or some similar name) and basically you can't put your hands where you can't see them e.g. imagine your hand deep in an abdomen, or obstetric type things. But it shouldn't mean you can't do general medicine stuff and where you can see your hands (I think ) is still fine - e.g. I think you can still take blood etc.
The situation with HIV positive has now changed (or will be soon). Treated HIV medical staff with suppressed viral load will be able to do exposure prone procedures, provided they provide regular blood tests to prove suppression.

To the OP, essentially this should mean some additional occupational health precautions, but it's not as restrictive on your career as it was even one year ago.

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345rty
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#4
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#4
So long as your viral load can be kept suitably low (and you haven't had a false positive) I'd wager that given a few years it will be of no consequence.
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username872427
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#5
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#5
Yeah, like everyone said, it shouldn't really make a difference if you are on the right medication for it. That's a big thing to hear, I hope you are OK!
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MedStuAdventures
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#6
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#6
thanks for the replies folks.

to be honest I've been feeling numb all day. i guess it takes time to process it?

as for the EPP's.. i did read that the government is removing the ban on HIV positive health workers, but not until April 2014. i guess until then I'll be made to watch?

again, thanks for the replies. as if progressing through med school wasn't hard enough, i now have to contend with this also


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Spicychilli
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#7
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#7
http://bma.org.uk/news-views-analysi...tising-surgery

I'm pretty sure the ban was lifted last month. I've posted a link to the article above. So you should be able to complete your training and work with no problems as long as you get all the correct treatment.

I'm sure you will get re tested to make sure it wasn't a false positive too.

Good Luck with first year, it's a very exciting time of year! I start next week, can't wait.
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345rty
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#8
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#8
(Original post by MedStuAdventures)
thanks for the replies folks.

to be honest I've been feeling numb all day. i guess it takes time to process it?

as for the EPP's.. i did read that the government is removing the ban on HIV positive health workers, but not until April 2014. i guess until then I'll be made to watch?

again, thanks for the replies. as if progressing through med school wasn't hard enough, i now have to contend with this also


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I'm in my final year and I'm not entirely sure I've ever done anything strictly classed as EPP, despite spending a decent amount of time in theatre. As long as your fingers should always be in view whilst around sharp things you should be fine.

To be frank I'll wager this shouldn't be much of an issue at all for you, assuming you tolerate the medication well (if the test isn't a false positive) it should be less of speed bump than dyslexia or family meltdown during medical school.
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MedStuAdventures
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#9
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#9
being a first year newbie I'll admit i don't know what this "false positive" situation is that several of you have mentioned?

I'm guessing its something the consultant will cover when we meet


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Helenia
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#10
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#10
(Original post by MedStuAdventures)
being a first year newbie I'll admit i don't know what this "false positive" situation is that several of you have mentioned?

I'm guessing its something the consultant will cover when we meet


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No test is 100% perfect. Occasionally a test will fail to pick up someone who really does have a disease (this is a false negative) and sometimes someone who does not have a disease will test positive (this is a false positive).

Depending on your risk profile, and the particular type(s) of test that they have done will affect the chances that your result really is accurate. Good luck with it all, anyway!
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Philosoraptor
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#11
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#11
(Original post by Captain Crash)
The situation with HIV positive has now changed (or will be soon). Treated HIV medical staff with suppressed viral load will be able to do exposure prone procedures, provided they provide regular blood tests to prove suppression.

To the OP, essentially this should mean some additional occupational health precautions, but it's not as restrictive on your career as it was even one year ago.

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Ah thanks dude - didn't know this was changing - interesting to know.

Good luck to the OP and hopefully it has as small effect on you as possible.
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fallenangel
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#12
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#12
Wish you all the best with it OP
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SilverArch
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#13
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#13
I wish you all the best OP

It was also my understanding that even before the ban was lifted, you wouldn't have had many problems at medical school, because you don't really do many or any proper EPP's. You certainly shouldn't be made to sit and watch everything, you have to learn all the clinical skills you're going to need in your job. But since the ban lifted if you are fine on medication and have a low viral load you will be fine do to EPP's as well, and you really shouldn't have any significant problems at medical school in that case
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MedStuAdventures
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#14
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#14
thanks for all the well wishes folks. I'm not gonna lie, I'm feeling pretty scared/lost/confused.

my immediate thought was how was this going to affect my career, but now I'm just concerned about my health and scared about the future


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Medicine Man
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#15
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#15
(Original post by MedStuAdventures)
thanks for all the well wishes folks. I'm not gonna lie, I'm feeling pretty scared/lost/confused.

my immediate thought was how was this going to affect my career, but now I'm just concerned about my health and scared about the future


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I don't have anything else to contribute to this (people seem to have given you accurate and up to date information). I'm genuinely very sorry to hear your story. :console:

Feel free to PM me even if you just want a chat with someone! Wishing you all the best for the talk with the consultant tomorrow!
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Sarky
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#16
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#16
(Original post by MedStuAdventures)
thanks for all the well wishes folks. I'm not gonna lie, I'm feeling pretty scared/lost/confused.

my immediate thought was how was this going to affect my career, but now I'm just concerned about my health and scared about the future


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Things are so different in HIV medicine compared to a decade ago, but of course you're scared. I really hope the consultant is able to answer your questions and ive you some more options for support.

All the best
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Antzlck
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#17
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#17
I volunteered at a HIV charity in London for a year and worked with young people either infected or affected (i.e. parent or a sibling is positive) by it (many of them are now good friends of mine) so I know quite a bit about HIV but obviously anyone who hasn't had that positive result can only understand to a degree. What I do know though is that health wise you're going to be absolutely fine. You'll die with HIV not because of HIV or AIDS or anything like that- normal life expectancy ... I even read a paper which was saying there is some evidence that for some groups of patients their life expectancy is above average and the argument was that because the health is monitored a lot more than the general population so all the other illness that we get as we age is picked up!

The situation in the UK today is that it's very easy to treat- it's a very serious disease but it's not going to kill you or restrict your life options if you take your medications when the time comes.
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Bex W
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#18
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#18
I'm sorry you've had this news.

As others have mentioned you'll be restricted on EPPs - I expect even with the ban lifted, some occupational health departments will want you to hold back on them. On the plus side, I managed to get through med school and my F1 without ever doing an EPP (the closest I ever got was holding a retractor for a carpal tunnel surgery and I could easily have declined to do that.)

I hope your appointment goes well and that you have a good consultant. I'd get in touch with your occupational health department rather than waiting for them to get the result from the hospital, it makes you sound pro-active. I've done a lot of OH hoop-jumping, so if you want to hit me with a PM go for it. Or if you just want someone to talk to - this isn't just a big thing for your career, it's a big thing for your life. Make sure you've got people to listen to, have you spoken to friends and family?
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SilverArch
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#19
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#19
(Original post by MedStuAdventures)
thanks for all the well wishes folks. I'm not gonna lie, I'm feeling pretty scared/lost/confused.

my immediate thought was how was this going to affect my career, but now I'm just concerned about my health and scared about the future


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I don't know anyone that wouldn't be scared, lost and confused in your position :hugs:

Have you spoken to your family or anyone else? Also the Terence Higgins Trust have a lot of information on their website, support and advice, and a helpline if you want to talk to someone about it

HIV treatment has come a long way in a short time. People recently diagnosed can live a normal life with a normal life expectancy.

I hope your meeting tomorrow is helpful for you
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seaholme
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#20
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#20
What everybody else said - scary news to hear for sure! But all I ever hear in the HIV clinics is how manageable it is and how everybody has a normal life expectancy nowadays, or at least that's what all of the data is indicating. Provided you stick to the regime, which I'm sure you will. I really feel for you my friend, but hang on in there. I think the important thing is to seek out the facts and try not to panic in the meantime. There's so much rubbish out there about HIV and misinformation based on how things were in the 'good old days', don't let anybody freak you out.

I hope you get all the support you need - all the best!
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