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    DMAC updates HIV and AIDS guidance notes for commercial diving

    Publications // April 19, 2011

    The Diving Medical Advisory Committee (DMAC) – the independent body, comprising diving medical specialists from across Northern Europe – has revised and published ‘Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Infection and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) in Commercial Diving’ (DMAC 18 Rev. 1)
    The Guidance Note was first issued in 1989 when AIDS had become a topic of concern for divers and the offshore population. Since that time there have been major developments in the medical management of patients infected with HIV, and it has become appropriate to review the guidance in the light of these developments and to answer questions which are frequently asked.

    The subject of fitness to dive in an individual who is HIV positive is also considered. Importantly DMAC encourages divers who are aware of their positive HIV status to discuss this with their medical advisers.
    The revised Guidance Note is available for downloading on the DMAC website along with 24 other Guidance Notes and three Position Statements.
    DMAC was formed in 1974 to provide advice about medical and certain safety aspects of commercial diving. The committee comprises doctors involved in the practice of diving medicine in Northern Europe (currently France, The Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom), representatives of relevant health authorities (the UK Health & Safety Executive and Norwegian Directorate of Public Health), medical representatives from relevant navies (UK & The Netherlands) and a diving safety officer nominated by IMCA (The International Marine Contractors Association).

    Members of the committee receive no payment for their time or contributions to committee proceedings - the work of the committee is entirely voluntary.
    DMAC meets two or three times a year, with meetings held variably in the UK, Norway and The Netherlands. The committee's agenda includes business items identified by members of the committee and items referred to it by any part of the industry and/or regulatory authorities.
    In addition to being available for downloading, DMAC Guidance Notes are also distributed, as they are issued, to a large number of offshore diving contractors. In 2004 the committee also instigated a scheme for approval of courses in diving medicine, details of which, including a list of recognised courses, are published on the DMAC website.
    Further information is available at and from and from DMAC at 52 Grosvenor Gardens, London SW1W 0AU, UK. Tel: +44 (0)20 7824 5520; Fax: +44 (0)20 7824 5521.


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