Surgical Glove Perforation, HIV / AIDS, and Hepatitis … by Alice B. Clagett

Published on 7 October 2015; revised on 6 July 2017


Dear Ones,

Here is another community health video. The topic is surgery, the likelihood of surgical glove perforation, the possibility of blood diseases such as HIV and hepatitis being transmitted from patient to surgeon (or vice versa), and other topics along that line. The question is raised, whether findings on prevalence of surgical glove perforation, and the recommendation of surgical double gloving using latex gloves, might be helpful in making guidelines about safe condom use.

A Summary follows the video; text not in the video is in blue font.

I feel the Summary is better phrased than the video.



Hello, Dear Ones, it’s Alice. I Am of the Stars.

I remember, years ago I was working at the Jules Stein Eye Institute at UCLA … … as editor and librarian there. And one of the doctors there, Leonard Apt, MD, along with Kevin M. Miller, MD, did a very interesting scientific paper on perforation of surgical gloves during operations …

Link: “Occult Glove Perforation during Ophthalmic Surgery,” by Leonard Apt, MD, and (by invitation) Kevin M. Miller, MD, ..

In the paper, if I understand it correctly, Drs. Apt and Miller found a 15.0% incidence of surgically induced glove perforations over 7 months. 

From this I deduced the possible danger to doctors of their being infected with HIV or hepatitis while they were wearing surgical gloves while doing operations. To calculate the probability of infection, a separate study would be needed (and perhaps has been performed since then).

That article got me thinking … as the editor of scientific publications over there … about how that finding might apply to the wearing of condoms during sexual intercourse. I think that there’s some congruence there. 

I think that, after the article by Drs. Apt and Miller was put out, there was a practice, after that of surgeons double gloving, so as to mitigate the risk of surgeons contracting a blood disease during an operation. 

Whether that was helpful or not, I don’t know. But if it was helpful, then it might apply to safety from contracting blood diseases during sexual intercourse, unless a person already knows that their partner is without risk. 

At the time that I read that article, the thought came up to me, that there must be a risk factor also for patients, if the physician has contracted hepatitis or HIV. I don’t know if a study has been done on that, or what might be done in a situation where a physician has HIV or AIDS or hepatitis of any sort, or is carrying some infection that might infect a patient who is being operated on. And I can see a number of issues there.

  • Of course, the most obvious issue has to do with the patient’s health. 
  • But there’s also the loss of all the talent, and years of expertise, and experience of the physician, if he should stop doing surgeries because of his blood having been infected.

So I see that the issue of what to do about the possibility of surgeon’s blood being infected during surgery, is a very complicated one. And I don’t have a solution to offer as regards that. I don’t know what to say.

I would be more likely to talk about the difficulties faced, in the current medical milieu, when a physician has a dependence on alcohol, or recreational drugs, that interferes with sound judgment or deft manipulation of tools during surgery. 

And I remember, years ago (I don’t know about now), hearing that the medical profession took very good care of its doctors, and would look the other way, is what I had read, if they had troubles like that, until some patients had actually died because of it. And then, only at the insistence of patients or maybe a lawsuit, or something like that, would action ever be taken, and that action, the article said, was too light. (1) 

I don’t know if all that is true or not. I don’t know if doctors look the other way, or if they have a sound way of policing the efficacy; the efficiency and professionality of people that are doing surgeries and practicing medicine. It’s always something to look at, even if there are good measures in place … There are always ways to improve, don’t you think?

And when we think about it, our greatest loyalty to a group has to do with seeing to the best, the highest ideals for everyone in the group. The highest professional ideals, and the greatest good for the people that really need help, that belong to the group. Rather than blind loyalty. Don’t you think? That’s what I think, anyway.

In love, light and joy, Alice B. Clagett
I Am of the Stars


(1) The reading I did on this was in a general and somewhat speculative article; it was not written about the place where I worked at that time.


Link: “Does ‘Safe Sex’ Prevent HIV / AIDS Transmission?” by Alice B. Clagett, published on 14 June 2018, ..

Link: “Overview of Surgical Risk, HIV / AIDS, Hepatitis, and Hard Drugs,” by Alice B. Clagett, Updated on 6 July 2017; new text is in green font; originally published on 17 October 2016, ..


“Overview of Surgical Risk, HIV, AIDS, Hepatitis, and Hard Drugs,” by Alice B. Clagett *, 17 October 2016, ..

“Overview of the HIV Pandemic, and of Data Suppression by the Centers for Disease Control,” by Alice B. Clagett *, 7/10/2016, .. 


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Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


condom perforation, Dr. Kevin Miller, Dr. Leonard Apt, hepatitis risk, HIV risk, patient risk, physician addiction, safe sex, surgical glove perforation, Kevin M. Miller MD, Leonard Apt MD, community health, AIDS, surgery,


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