It's the 20th anniversary of World AIDS Day today. From clean needles to safe sex, the fight against AIDS has touched everyone's life. How has it affected yours?
My professional career started before the first news of the unusual disease which affected peoples immune systems came out. There is a great deal more as to how this affected my practice than this one story. A lot of things changed because of it, and since I am a Registered Nurse, it is something which affects me every time I take care of a patient.
One of those patients - I went to check her in and assess her before surgery. This back shortly after I'd transferred from the NICU to the OR, and I still wore a beard. She was blind because she'd been born premature and got caught by another of the risks premies are vulnerable to; too much oxygen will affect retina development, leads to separation and blindness. Fascinated by my beard she ran her fingers through it. She also tested HIV positive.
That she got because of another, early vulnerability, that the tests for donor blood couldn't detect the virus. She'd received transfusions as a premie.
And, her history showed her to be a Frequent Flier here at Hospital. Reviewing her record, I determined that yes, indeed, I could be the Registered Nurse who gave her that transfusion. I wouldn't of known at the time, couldn't know after the fact, and am not alone on the list of people who gave her transfusions.
Still... put that in your bag and contemplate, Oh My Children.