First job - HIV unit

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Specializes in Reproductive & Public Health. Has 10 years experience.

If my Pts pants are falling down and their crack is showing while she's waking down the hall or outside on the patio, I pull it up as long as the scene looks safe. I don't get gloves 1st. Or when a lady's arm got stuck on her coat, I reached in and pulled it out. I don't get gloves in those situations.

But in an HIV + unit, you would need to unless you could see for sure that no body fluids were present.

You absolutely do not have to put on gloves to help an HIV + patient with their clothes or whatever. The only exception would be if you have open wounds on your hand, and in that case you'd wear gloves for all patient contact, HIV or no. In the event that you help an HIV+ patient get their arm through their sleeve and you discover they were actually oozing some sort of body fluid out of said arm, then I would certainly recommend a good hand washing. But unless you are having sex or sharing needles with your patients, your risk is no higher than working with the general population, most of whom will have an unknown status.

Don't let fear guide your care. Follow the evidence.

Specializes in Reproductive & Public Health. Has 10 years experience.

Just love them and handle them like any other pt.

Yes, yes, yes. And if you care for patients who are in a higher risk group for HIV, talk to them about Prep and get them set up with a provider if they are interested.

We can turn this thing around in our generation, with mainstream embrace of PreP/PeP and compassionate HIV care. The biggest barrier to this goal are the stigma and fear that have persisted from the initial panic.