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Appendix to the IRB Policy on Hygiene, Infection Control and Prevention of Infection: IRB Statement on HIV

IRB Statement on HIV

The IRB does not discriminate and does not have any policy which prevents HIV positive Players from playing the Game.

“Transmission of HIV is estimated to be 1:43 million games based on the estimated prevalence of HIV infection amongst athletes, the risk of percutaneous HIV transmission in health care and the risk of bleeding injury in American football. Individuals and sports medicine physicians should be aware of the principles of post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for HIV infection.”

The full policy is available


Despite these low risks, the IRB emphasises strong preventative measures for the spread of blood borne diseases:

  • Law 3.11(a) requires that Players with open or bleeding wounds must leave the field to have the bleeding controlled and the wound covered.
  • Law 4.4(a) prohibits Players from wearing any item that is contaminated by blood.
  • IRB Regulations 15.2.1(c) and 15.3.1 set out the Match doctor’s role in relation to monitoring blood injuries in International Matches. In brief, the Match doctor’s role is to supervise the appropriate treatment of any blood injury and to ensure that the bleeding is stemmed, the wound is covered and all blood-stained apparel removed prior to the Player returning to the field. The IRB recommends that where possible this best practice is implemented at non-International Matches also.

The Laws of the Game and the IRB Regulations Relating to the Game are available on

under the Laws and Regulations tab.

The IRB recommends that any Players who are or may be HIV positive consult with their physician to ensure that their own health and welfare are considered prior to participating or continuing to participate in the Game.

Appropriate consideration should also be given to confidentiality with respect to a Player’s HIV positive status. This may require applicable local laws and regulations to be taken into account.

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