Expert Panel on HIV Infection of Health Care Workers

About Us > Expert Panel on HIV Infection of Health Care Workers

The Expert Panel on HIV Infection of Health Care Workers (Expert Panel) is appointed by the Director of Health to assess anonymous referrals from the attending doctors of infected health care workers, and provide advice on the need of job modification and lookback investigation on a case-by-case basis.

Officers from the Special Preventive Programme, Public Health Services Branch, Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health staff the Expert Panel Secretariat. The contact information of the Secretariat and the Secretary is as follows:

  • Address: 3rd Floor, Wang Tau Hom Jockey Club Clinic, 200 Junction Road East, Kowloon,
  • Hong Kong, China
  • Tel No. : (852) 3143 7289
  • Fax No. : (852) 2780 9580

About Expert Panel

The Expert Panel on HIV Infection of Health Care Workers (Panel) was formed in 1994 by appointment of the Director of Health, under the recommendations of the document HIV Infection and Health Care Workers ‐ Recommended Guidelines published by the Hong Kong Advisory Council on AIDS. The Panel serves to assess anonymous referrals from the attending doctors of infected health care workers, and provide advice on the need of job modification and lookback investigation on a case‐by‐case basis. The Panel, by its nature of providing expert advice, does not have the legal or administrative authority to execute the recommendations but would monitor compliance with the recommended conditions in cases of assessed health care workers who will perform exposure prone procedures.

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Membership (2018-2020)

Chairman Dr LAI Sik-to
Members Dr HO Mang-yee, Mandy, JP
Dr LO Yee-chi, Janice, JP
Dr LUK Hung-to
Dr MAK Sin-ping, BBS
Dr TSANG Ho-fai, Thomas
Ms WONG Wai-kwan, Loretta
Secretary Dr CHAN Chi-wai, Kenny, Consultant (Special Preventive Programme)

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Terms of reference

  • (a)
    • To assess and advise on job modification of HIV-infected health care worker on a referral basis,
  • (b)
    • To relay case recommendations to the referring doctor, the respective professional body and the Director of Health,
  • (c)
    • To advise Director of Health on the need of conducting lookback and other public health intervention for cases assessed,
  • (d)
    • To keep under review international development on the management of HIV infection in health care workers, and to update professional bodies of the development as appropriate.

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Statistics on the referrals to Expert Panel

Year Number
1994-1999 3
2000-2005 9
2006-2011 7
2012 8
2013 5
2014 6
2015 13
2016 6
2017 7

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Mode of operation

Over the years, infected health care workers who were assessed by the Panel belong to a variety of categories, including medical, nursing, dental and allied health. The Panel has been taking reference of guidelines from mainly the United Kingdom (UK) and also other overseas authorities in its assessment approach. All information handled by the Panel is treated in strict confidence, as the Panel acknowledges the importance of upholding confidentiality in encouraging health care workers to seek appropriate HIV counseling, testing, care and assistance.

In Hong Kong, there has been no report of HIV infection as a consequence of provider-to-patient transmission in the healthcare setting. According to global experience and international guidelines, the risk of health care worker-to-patient HIV transmission is extremely rare. Based on the latest international guidelines, an HIV infected healthcare worker may be allowed to perform a variety of medical procedures (including exposure prone procedures) if certain conditions are met.

So far, the Panel has recommended one lookback investigation in 2012. This investigation was conducted by the Hospital Authority. The outcome was that out of 132 patients tested, none was detected to be HIV positive.

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Workflow of the Expert Panel

Workflow of the Expert Panel

* The need for lookback investigation of past patients will also be assessed. The approach should be risk-based, taking into consideration multiple factors including scientific data, past experiences and relevant case information. Other local and overseas experts might be engaged. Confidentiality of the infected worker has to be safeguarded.

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