Re: AIDS Education
Norman J MacLeod (normac4101@AOL.COM)
Tue, 1 Feb 1994 16:16:06 EST
BLOOD-BORNE PATHOGEN TRAINING IS ESSENTIAL TO EVERY LEADER!
I am an Aerospace Medicine professional, and your posting caught my eye in a
heartbeat. I m not going to take the time to mull it over and reply later. So
here you are with part of the truckload of the can of worms you have opened
up! Leaders need a firm grounding in understanding HIV and AIDS, both for
themselves and for the children who some of them are going to encounter who
are already HIV positive. HIV POSITIVE STATUS SHOULD NEVER BE CONSIDERED AS A
REASON TO KEEP A CHILD FROM JOINING ANY SCOUTING PROGRAMME! However, you will
have a hard time supporting any HIV positive child s emotional needs unless
you learn about the illness and the problems it causes.
HIV infection is a spreading problem, and no community should consider itself
immune. We all work with children and other adults) in a programme where
injuries are an ever-present risk. DO NOT WAIT FOR YOUR LOCAL PROFESSIONAL
SCOUTER TO TELL YOU THAT YOU SHOULD HAVE TRAINING! It is very doubtful that
they will do so. HIV is a scary problem, and many people are all too willing
to turn ostrich and try to ignore that it exists.
In the USA, OSHA has issued a very tightly controlled training programme for
all medical personnel who may come into contact with the body fluids of
another person. As a result, the Infection Control Programme monitor of you
local hospital or medical centre is your best initial contact point for
training in this area.
As a Leader taking care of children, your risk of exposure to the HIV virus
is very low (even when doing first aid for an HIV positive child who has a
severe laceration, as long as you follow established blood-borne pathogen
risk reduction procedures). However, the training will teach you what the
precautions are for reducing that small risk to yourself and others even
I am not going to give the training on-line, since it is too extensive a job
to do. However, there is one thing that you should keep in mind from now on.
If, for whatever reason, you are exposed to another person s body fluids (in
terms of blood-borne pathogen possible exposure risk) as the result of
performing first aid, or being involved in an accident, you will have to go
to the local emergency room and inform them of the incident. They will then
work with you through an incident evaluation and blood-borne pathogen
laboratory testing to ensure you were not exposed to an illness as a result
of the incident.
Of particular importance to note: There are several incidents every year now
where innocent people receive inadvertent needle-sticks from contaminated
hypodermic needles or scalpel blades that somehow manage to turn upon our
beaches, or in the course of emptying waste bins.
A for myself, I have annual testing (mandatory for health care workers) for
HIV and Hepatitis-B, as well as annual and update training in blood-borne
pathogen and HIV/AIDS issues. I strongly recommend you contact your local
hospital Infection Control Program manager so that you can get receive
adequate training for your Scouting needs. My local Infection Control people
have already agreed to do this locally, and I will talk with the District
Committee about it tonight.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City