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BALANCING THE RISKS OF HIV IN THE WORKPLACE

HIV poses real risks in the workplace. It is difficult to determine their magnitude because HIV is a new disease. In 25 years we will have a good idea how to balance the risks of HIV in the workplace. The difficult problem is deciding who should bear the risk of loss during this interval. In analogous situations, state and federal laws allow the employer to manage the risks posed by impaired workers. An employer is not compelled to hire a person with a bad back for manual labor; this protects the worker from injury and the employer from loss. Employers are under enormous pressure to protect the public by screening employees for drug use. Yet it matters little to the injured third party whether the worker was impaired by drugs or disease.



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