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HIV 101: Will Being HIV-Positive Affect My Ability to Have Surgery?

HIV 101: Will Being HIV-Positive Affect My Ability to Have Surgery?

HIV 101: Will Being HIV-Positive Affect My Ability to Have Surgery?

Everyone has questions when they find out they are positive. In this series of posts, here are several of the most common, plus straightforward answers to help you navigate this new life of yours.

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Short answer: No. There was thought to be heightened risk from surgery, but a study published in 2006 in The Journal of the American Medical Association compared surgery data for both HIV-positive and HIV-negative patients and found that the two groups had the same level of complications from surgery. Moreover, medical workers are better educated about HIV than they once were, and the fear of positive patients has eroded. But you may still have to work harder to find a surgeon who has worked with HIV-positive patients, or if you’re transgender, a doctor who can work with both your HIV specialist and your reassignment surgeon.

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Diane Anderson-Minshall

Diane Anderson-Minshall is CEO and editorial director of Pride Media, the parent company of PRIDE, Out, The Advocate, Plus, and Out Traveler.

Diane Anderson-Minshall is CEO and editorial director of Pride Media, the parent company of PRIDE, Out, The Advocate, Plus, and Out Traveler.