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Blood-Borne Pathogens and Athletics

Content Summary

Content Summary

With the HIV/AIDS epidemic affecting 33.2 million people around the world1, attention given to HIV-positive athletes and their participation status has dramatically increased over the last 20 years. Roy Simmons, Earvin “Magic” Johnson and the late Arthur Ashe are just a few of high-profile athletes who have been diagnosed with HIV. The fact that HIV is a blood-borne pathogen (an infection spread through blood contact), poses serious questions to the athletic world: Should an athlete who has contracted a blood-borne pathogen be allowed to engage in competitive athletics? More importantly, should athletes who test positive for blood-borne pathogens be allowed to participate in contact sports?

Blood-Borne Pathogens and Athletics: The Women's Sports Foundation Position (PDF)(528.80 KB)

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