Medical staff is trained in universal precautions. We SHOULD treat every person or sample as if it is potentially contagious. Every single one. That means equality. I can't lie: the first time I handled a known positive blood sample my hands shook. Looking back, it was just fear of the unknown. 14 years in the field and now it is just routine. I asked my co-workers how they felt about HIV positive patients and the risk they felt. A few scoffed and said it doesn't matter, they know chances of transmission are slim to none. And a few said they are still scared, even though they know the low risk. One said as long as they know, they feel in control and safe. One said they couldn't care less about what the patient's status is, as long as the status is on file. For me, I still get a quick jump in my chest, but then logic and knowledge kick in. When staff have forgotten to tell me a patient's positive status I still feel a little annoyed with them: knowledge is power.

labgirljaime