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Jimbo

Tandem Masters and HIV

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>Bill, in the case of a contagious, and terminal disease, the risk is not
> imaginary. The risk of transmission may be low, but it's not imaginary.

If the risk of transmission of HIV between skydivers is real, can you point to a single case where it happened? Or are you just figuring it might?

Lots of things can happen in this sport. Killer bees could target us under canopy, thinking we were predators, and kill us by the dozen. It doesn't happen so we don't consider that a real threat (although it certainly could - killer bees have killed people.)

>Why should my right to evaluate the -additional- risk be
> compromised? To spare someone's feelings?

Because it is reasonable to communicate the reasonable risks and unreasonable to communciate the unreasonable risks. There has NEVER been a case of an HIV positive skydiver infecting another in the course of skydiving. There have been several drug and alcohol related deaths, a great many old-gear related problems, and a lot of problems with packing. It is reasonable to communicate those risks to students. HIV? Killer bees? They don't even make it onto the chart of reasonable risk.

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He's saying that there are times when the risk is so teeny tiny...that there are larger issues we shoudl focus on if we want to be effective at establishing risk factors.



I understand that the risk of transmission is small, I've mentioned that in a number of my posts on this topic.

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Instead of asking a person who is selling a car whether they ever had anyone with HIV bleed in their car...you should probably focus on when the brakes were last done, if the car has been in any serious crashes, if the air bags work properly, how the steering is...all of the things that post a true and imminent risk to yourself.



Why would I mind if someone with HIV had bled into the car? I know that HIV doesn't survive long in the atmosphere.

I'm not suggesting that TMs go out and get tested; however, if you know that you have a contagious, and life altering disease, then I believe that it's your obligation to inform me of those facts so that I can evaluate the additional risk. As I've said a number of times, I realize that the risk of transmission is small, but I think that that risk is for me to evaluate, not you.

For what it's worth, Elfanie, I understand what Bill is saying, I just happen to disagree with him.

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Jim
"Like" - The modern day comma
Good bye, my friends. You are missed.

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If the risk of transmission of HIV between skydivers is real, can you point to a single case where it happened? Or are you just figuring it might?



I'm figuring it might. That is all.

With HIV gaining more and more ground on the world population, I don't think that it's unreasonable to suspect that it might happen someday. Why not take steps now to allow me to evaluate the risk on my own? As has already been mentioned, other sports (I think that boxing is one) require disclosure when there is the chance that transmission could occur. Why is ours different?

By the way, I'm not suggesting that it be required under law, only that I think disclosure is the right thing to do.

Anyhow, you're not going to change my mind, and I'm not going to change yours. It's probably time for this thread to die quietly. :)
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Jim
"Like" - The modern day comma
Good bye, my friends. You are missed.

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Okay, maybe the thread should die quietly, but never let it be said that I am a quiet person.

If somebody, a TM, knows that s/he is HIV positive, the responsible thing is to disclose. This (disclosure) has been a controversy for as long as HIV has been somewhat understood. My opinion is disclose, and let others weigh their risk.

In the past I worked with many folks living with HIV or full blown AIDS. This was many years ago, and LOTS more prejudice hit them. People saw HIV as a curse, a punishment, whatever. Ignorance is an amazing thing. But with only one exception, even back then, the buddies I had disclosed when there was a situation where they were putting another person at risk.

Because it was the responsible and fair thing to do.


There's not a cure yet. Yes, the medical world has found ways to extend and improve upon the life of people with HIV/AIDS with its amazing cocktails . But it is still a 100% terminal disease. Maybe some people don't like to hear that, but it is a fact.

Folks with HIV/AIDS still worry about their T-cell counts and other such things on a daily basis. And are aware that they can transmit the disease. Not as easily as Hep. But it can be spread...rather efficiently, in cases of blood-to-blood.

If I were to do a tandem and bust a bone, I can tell you I would be bummed. But if I were to do a tandem, bust a bone, and contract HIV from my TM's bleeding nose or whatever mingling with my bodily fluids as my bone jutted from my flesh, and I DIDN'T KNOW that I had been at that risk, I'd be more than bummed.

If I knew, then it's on me. It was a 'calculated risk'. If I didn't, but the TM did...well, that's just wrong.


In my opinion.


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I do not think the student should know. It might stop people from coming in. That is something for the instructor and the DZO need to discuss.

On the other hand. I would have been pissed if I found out I was put in that situation without my sayso.

So my final answer would be. Yes they should know. If something happens and they weren't told. I could see a big law suit.
Bottomless Beers and Blue Skies!

* Brother_Brian *
D.S.W.F.S.B. #2

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Universal precautions have nothing to do with medical confidentiality ...and yes, universal precautions would mean that we wear protective gear against eachother at the DZ.

The origin of universal precautions had only a little to do with preventing disease transmission. The main reasons they were implemented was to calm the mass hysteria and set a standard to protect employers from being sued by health care workers (we warned you to be careful, it's not our fault).

Michael

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The best course of action to use is what we call in the medical profession as "Universal Precautions". It is protected by law for a person not to reveal their medical status if they are HIV+ if they don't want to.

So, we treat everyone the same and protect ourselves from bodily fluid transfer.

If they have an open sore, we do not touch it with an ungloved hand. If -we- have an open area, we protect them from us.

That's not to say we have to wear protective gear against each other at the DZ, but that we should be aware and informed on how to be smart.

Yes, accidents do happen, and if they do I would hope that the parties involved would be candid and inform those of the risk. If not, they have the right to their privacy.

If there wasn't such a phobia about these diseases, and people were accepted as humans just like the rest of us, this personal protective privacy wouldn't be such a big need. They would share, we would accept, and we would all live without prejudice.

It's just too bad we have to live like this.

btw, did you know that hepatitis is -alot- easier to catch than HIV?

ltdiver

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And that's a wonderful practice for those who deal with the wounded or perform open surgery on a regular basis. The Universal protection is there to save you from having to decipher the risk yourself. It is there to save you having to ask. It is there because the person you are helping may not be coherrant or even able to answer. It is there because the person you are helping may not even know if they are infected with something contagious.




This is incorrect.



The only thing different between what I said and your 'correction' was the "Two-way" thing... I did not include (and should have) that Universal protection is also there to prevent YOU from infecting the one you are helping.... but incorrect? Is it? Are the precautions not in place to save you having to decipher the risk yourself?

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It makes NO assumption about the person you are working on



I understand... where did I say that it does? I said nothing about making assumptions.

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Please cite one case of a casual transmission of HIV.... [snip]



Why? How would I know anyway? all I said was:
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Doing a tandem is not performing surgery or tending to an open wound... but the possiblility of there being an injury to both parties and of the blood mixing is there.


Is this statement incorrect? You'll note I'm not speaking strickly about HIV... at least I hope. Why should I have to find where something has happened in the past before we all decide to help prevent it happening in the futur?



My Karma ran over my Dogma!!!

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It makes NO assumption about the person you are working on



I understand... where did I say that it does? I said nothing about making assumptions.



Let me clarify (looking back I see where it looks like I'm saying you are making a moral judgment, this was not my intent and I apologize if it seemed so). When we make a patient contact, in fact when I deal with anyone, I start from the point of view that they are all infected. I had the unfortunate opportunity to work on my daughter in the back of an ambulance when she was 18 months old (she ended up being fine by the way). It wasn't until later that I realized that I was wearing gloves the whole time, I even changed them between procedures (It was really no fun I'll tell ya). This was my daughter, I changed her diapers on a regular basis. There is no possibility of cross contamination in either direction that hasn't already occurred. As stupid as it seems this was a reflex reaction, because I make no assumption or distinction about the possible status of ANY patient, because I treat every patient as if the have Ebola. This is a difference only in degrees from what you said, I think it's an important distinction. Precautions have nothing to do with the actual patient rather they have to do with how it is safe to operate.

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Please cite one case of a casual transmission of HIV.... [snip]



Why? How would I know anyway? all I said was:
***Doing a tandem is not performing surgery or tending to an open wound... but the possiblility of there being an injury to both parties and of the blood mixing is there.


Is this statement incorrect? You'll note I'm not speaking strickly about HIV... at least I hope. Why should I have to find where something has happened in the past before we all decide to help prevent it happening in the futur?



You are absolutely correct about the dangers. My point is that the only way to truly minimize the risk is to treat everyone like they are contagious and take appropriate measures to minimize exposure. Do you point an unloaded gun at your head? Why not? You take the appropriate precautions always so when the damn thing goes off, it's not pointed at your head. As for the significance of whether transmission has occurred in the manner described above, without this information a VALID risk assessment can't be made. I think we should explore the likelihood of the scenarios people are describing before we suggest a course of action.
Faith in a holy cause is to a considerable extent a substitute for lost faith in ourselves.
-Eric Hoffer -
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In the United States, and I'm sure there are similar abroad, there are laws put in place that protect the confidentiality of ill people, rather that illness is cancer, hepatitis, or AIDS. Something like hepatitis or HIV is not easily spread anyway. HIV dies almost instantly once in the air and cannot be transmitted unless the TI is either having sex with the student or bleeding directly into their open wound. I'd be more concerned if the TI had a cold or the flu or tuberculosis, but any of those three would certainly keep even the most headstrong people out of the sky.

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The instant we start collecting this information, we run afoul of HIPPA, at least in the US. Technically, we may already be across that line asking about disabilities and other medical issues on the waiver, but asking about things like HIV are a whole new can of worms.

(>o|-<

If you don't believe me, ask me.

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This is a really stupid poll that perpetuates stigmas associated with the disease. It's not like you're having unprotected sex in free fall or there is a high likelihood of exposure to blood.

How about having to tell people you're standing next to on a bus, just in case there's an accident.

How about we go back to making people wear scarlet letters?

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hchunter614

This is a really stupid poll that perpetuates stigmas associated with the disease. It's not like you're having unprotected sex in free fall or there is a high likelihood of exposure to blood.

How about having to tell people you're standing next to on a bus, just in case there's an accident.

How about we go back to making people wear scarlet letters?



+1


21. century and we still got a poll result of close to 50/50. Crazy world (USA?!)
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To absent friends

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This thread went maximum zombie. It was created in 2004, and resurrected yesterday.

The issue is simple. We cannot by law (generic, pretty much every civilized country has such laws) require people to divulge what illness they have. Only doctors can give you a medical, and doctors must (also by law) keep the information you give them confidential. There are extremely good reasons for these laws and zero reasons to make an exception for this sport. Full Stop.

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hchunter614

This is a really stupid poll that perpetuates stigmas associated with the disease. It's not like you're having unprotected sex in free fall or there is a high likelihood of exposure to blood.

How about having to tell people you're standing next to on a bus, just in case there's an accident.

How about we go back to making people wear scarlet letters?



+2

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No. I don't think a tandem master should have to disclose HIV. How often, really, is there a blood or body fluid exchange during a tandem jump? And of those, how many have a student survived? I think that's likes asking every licensed driver on the road to do an HIV/AIDS test and putting a gps system on their car so we can track them and stay very clear of their vehicle so we don't get in an accident and our blood is exposed. It just sounds far fetched. Isn't there more risky things to worry about in skydiving? This NEVER crossed my mind when I did my tandem jump 4 years ago. And there are many more contagious diseases than HIV anyways. Honestly, I would be more concerned with getting the flu. That kills also. So should we ask anyone we get in the plane with if they had flu symptoms in the last week or so? I'm not about to...I have enough to worry about. I like to live sometimes. :)
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