Human Immunodeficiency Virus

The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) weakens the immune system and, if not treated, eventually causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). When the immune system is weakened, a person is more susceptible to various infections and cancers. It is transferred through the sharing of bodily fluids, most commonly by sexual intercourse without a condom.

There is currently no vaccine to prevent HIV infection, nor is there a cure. Treatments and medications are available to help people control the virus and stay healthy for much longer, but they do not work equally as well for everyone and they can have side effects.

Requirements for students

Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences students undertaking placement are required to be aware of their HIV infection status. Students must be tested for current infection within 12 months prior to course commencement and seek immediate medical advice following any possible exposure, whether or not the exposure occurs during an occupation-related activity.

Dental and oral health students are required to be tested at least once annually for HIV infection to reduce the risk of transmitting a blood-borne virus to a patient when performing exposure-prone procedures.

Students are not required to disclose any current infections to the University, however it is strongly recommended that concerned students arrange a confidential discussion with their course coordinator or other senior academic to discuss study and career implications.

Note: Health care workers, including students, must not perform exposure-prone procedures if they are infected with HIV.

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Infection and immunisation