East London HIV charity welcomes lifting of “outdated” medical ban

A charity helping East Enders affected by HIV said the decision to allow sufferers to perform medical procedures will help get rid of long-held prejudices.

Positive East, a Stepney Green organisation that provides support and services across five east London boroughs, welcomed the Government’s lifting of a ban introduced in the early 90’s that stopped people living with HIV carrying out treatments or surgery inside a patient’s body where their fingertips or hands were not visible at any point.

This meant some surgeons had to change their practice and many dentists had to give up their careers but England’s Chief Medical Officer, Prof Sally Davies said it was time to scrap “the outdated rules” last Thursday (Aug 15).

Mark Santos, Positive East’s chief executive, said: “We believe that this change keeps up to date with the science, the fact and the evidence.

“Importantly it helps to challenge the stigma and discrimination that blights the lives of so many people living with HIV.”

He added: “We are glad the ban has been lifted, we just wonder why it took the authorities so long.”