POLICE Magazine

JAN 2019

Magazine for police and law enforcement

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P O L I C E M AG .C O M 73 1989 THE AIDS FACTOR Back in January 1989, it had only been eight years since the first reported cases of AIDS in the United States. Coming in contact with peo- ple who had AIDS or were HIV positive was a relatively new and growing concern. e deck reads, "As the threat of AIDS grows to potential- ly epidemic proportions, public safety workers must learn to protect themselves." e article discusses the reality that you can't know by looking at someone if they have AIDS, so it's important to wear gloves and other protection when coming into contact with any bodily fluids or rendering medical aid through resuscitation. And of course needles are to be handled with care. While certainly not the same, it's easy to draw parallels with the current opioid epidemic and the precautions that law enforcement officers must take to protect themselves from exposure through contact with these substances. Officers may not know when they arrive at a call if the people they interact with are drug users, dealers, or transporters who may have opioids on their person or in their vehicles.

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