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I work over nights in a home to care for 2 residents. One is HIV positive. They told me not to wear latex gloves when I am working with him or helping him in the bathroom. Is that true?

What are the precautions I should be using with this client?


We’re glad to offer some clarification. HIV is not transmitted during casual contact or skin to skin contact. Helping someone use the bathroom is notmode of HIV transmission. The two main ways that HIV is transmitted is through sex or shared needles (or other injection equipment.)

Your workplace likely has routine practices (or universal precautions) to prevent of transmission of pathogens and infections while working with clients. These will include practices such as thorough hand washing, appropriate use of disposable gloves, or safe disposal of sharps (needles). Gloves are generally advised when in contact with blood, other body fluids, excrement or non-intact skin.

Routine practices are just that, routine. They are developed for the routine care of all patients, at all times, in all settings. Your supervisor should be able to explain to you the routine practices that are relevant to the tasks involved in the support you offer to clients.

By supporting this client in the exact same way you support any other client, you also avoid enacting HIV related stigma.