The Medical Board of Australia is encouraging practitioners and students to review the new Guidelines for registered health practitioners and students in relation to blood-borne viruses before they take effect on 6 July 2020.
The Board’s guidelines are for practitioners and students who perform exposure-prone procedures and registered health practitioners who are treating registered health practitioners or students living with a blood-borne virus who perform exposure-prone procedures.
Deciding to disclose your HIV or viral hepatitis (hepatitis B or hepatitis C) status is a personal choice. There are few situations where you are legally required to disclose your HIV or viral hepatitis status, however, there may be times when it’s in your best interests to disclose your status even if you are not legally required to do so.
The ‘Australian National Guidelines for 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’ have been updated. They can be viewed on the Commonwealth Department of Health website.
The guidelines are in two parts:
Part A provides information and recommendations for all healthcare workers, in particular:
healthcare workers who perform exposure prone procedures
healthcare workers living with a blood borne virus, and
doctors treating healthcare workers with a blood borne virus.
Part B provides information and recommendations for public health authorities including, but not limited to, hospitals and jurisdictional health departments, when managing or investigating a situation where a healthcare worker with a blood borne virus was not compliant with these guidelines and/or may have placed a patient(s) at risk of infection.