01:04AM, Monday 26 August 2013
A national ban on HIV positive healthcare staff performing medical procedures such as surgery is set to be lifted.
The ban, which was introduced in 1993, meant many doctors, nurses and dentists were forced out of their professions, but it will be revoked as of April 2014 by the Government.
Slough has the highest rate of HIV prevalence in Berkshire, and the sixth highest nationally outside of London.
The decision to lift the ban is based on scientific evidence, with staff required to be taking anti-retroviral treatment and to have an undetectable viral load.
Jessica Harding, funding and awareness manager at Thames Valley Positive Support, said: "There have been huge advances in the treatment of HIV and policies have not kept up.
"On a local level, the hope is these changes will break down barriers and encourage more people to get tested, HIV educated and, in the long term, lessen the HIV prevalence in Berkshire."
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