open access

Vol 63, No 1 (2011)
MARITIME MEDICINE Original articles
Published online: 2011-04-29
Submitted: 2013-02-18
Get Citation

HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) testing and prevention in the cruise industry

Eilif Dahl
International Maritime Health 2011;63(1):3-7.

open access

Vol 63, No 1 (2011)
MARITIME MEDICINE Original articles
Published online: 2011-04-29
Submitted: 2013-02-18

Abstract

Background. There are no internationally recognized guidelines regarding HIV for employees on cruise ships. The aim of the study was to survey and compare current practices for crews in the cruise industry regarding HIV testing and prevention.
Material and methods. Medical representatives from cruise companies were invited to complete a questionnaire on their company’s practices regarding HIV-related issues.
Results. Fifteen of 18 invited representatives completed the questionnaire on behalf of 24 companies with a total of 155 ships. All 8 companies with a medical department had a written HIV policy, versus 4 of 16 companies that handled medical crew issues through independent medical consultant services. Thirteen companies required pre-sea HIV testing, 12 had a written HIV policy regarding HIV testing and prevention, and 18 had free condoms for the crew. A positive HIV test would result in revocation of the employment offer from 5 companies and in another 6 companies establish HIV as a pre-existing condition. Eight companies required HIV+ seafarers to demonstrate stability at regular intervals as a condition for sailing.
Conclusions. Cruise companies have different practices regarding HIV in crew. Large cruise lines with medical departments are more likely to have a written HIV policy than companies using independent medical consultants. About half the companies required pre-sea HIV testing; some to avoid hiring HIV+ seafarers, others to establish HIV as a pre-existing condition or to ensure proper follow-up of their HIV+ seafarers. This report may provide input for company discussions about present or future HIV policies.
(Int Marit Health 2011; 62, 1: 3–7)

Abstract

Background. There are no internationally recognized guidelines regarding HIV for employees on cruise ships. The aim of the study was to survey and compare current practices for crews in the cruise industry regarding HIV testing and prevention.
Material and methods. Medical representatives from cruise companies were invited to complete a questionnaire on their company’s practices regarding HIV-related issues.
Results. Fifteen of 18 invited representatives completed the questionnaire on behalf of 24 companies with a total of 155 ships. All 8 companies with a medical department had a written HIV policy, versus 4 of 16 companies that handled medical crew issues through independent medical consultant services. Thirteen companies required pre-sea HIV testing, 12 had a written HIV policy regarding HIV testing and prevention, and 18 had free condoms for the crew. A positive HIV test would result in revocation of the employment offer from 5 companies and in another 6 companies establish HIV as a pre-existing condition. Eight companies required HIV+ seafarers to demonstrate stability at regular intervals as a condition for sailing.
Conclusions. Cruise companies have different practices regarding HIV in crew. Large cruise lines with medical departments are more likely to have a written HIV policy than companies using independent medical consultants. About half the companies required pre-sea HIV testing; some to avoid hiring HIV+ seafarers, others to establish HIV as a pre-existing condition or to ensure proper follow-up of their HIV+ seafarers. This report may provide input for company discussions about present or future HIV policies.
(Int Marit Health 2011; 62, 1: 3–7)
Get Citation

Keywords

HIV; policy; prevention; maritime medicine; crew; cruise ships

About this article
Title

HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) testing and prevention in the cruise industry

Journal

International Maritime Health

Issue

Vol 63, No 1 (2011)

Pages

3-7

Published online

2011-04-29

Bibliographic record

International Maritime Health 2011;63(1):3-7.

Keywords

HIV
policy
prevention
maritime medicine
crew
cruise ships

Authors

Eilif Dahl

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