Discrimination against hepatitis B infected medical students could end
- By: Richard Hurley
Students infected with hepatitis B, a highly infectious liver disease, may soon be allowed to train as doctors after a review by UK government and universities. Under the new plans, medical students would also be screened for HIV and hepatitis C for the first time. A positive result would not, however, mean that they could not become doctor.
The hepatitis B virus is thought to be the leading cause of liver cancer and is about 100 times more infectious than HIV. Currently students who test positive for the hepatitis B virus cannot be admitted to medical school. But the Bloodborne Virus Protocol Development Group, which is advising the government, is considering changing the rules to stop discrimination against infected students. The protocol group, which is led by the Council of Heads of Medical Schools, was set up in response to a new ruling from the General Medical Council. The ruling