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HIV & CAA Class 1 Medical

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HIV & CAA Class 1 Medical

Old 22nd Mar 2010, 23:49
  #1 (permalink)  
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Location: Sheffield, UK
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HIV & CAA Class 1 Medical


I am thinking of training to become an airline pilot. However I been HIV positive for 3 years but not on any medication yet.
Is my chances of obtaining a Class 1 medication from the CAA nil?

I did email an AME he told me as far as he aware being HIV automatically disqualifies me but he did tell me to ring the CAA confirm this.

I know the FAA in the US now allow waivers for HIV positive pilots but is there anything similar in the UK?

Any info on this issue would be great
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Old 23rd Mar 2010, 00:30
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JAR–FCL 3.190
Sexually diseases infections
transmitted and other
(a) medical certificate shall have no established medical history or clinical diagnosis of any sexually transmitted disease or other infection which is likely to interfere with the safe exercise of the privileges of the applicable licence(s).
(b) Particular attention (see Appendix 7 to this Subpart) shall be paid to a history of or clinical signs indicating:
An applicant for or holder of a Class 1
(1) (2)
HIV positivity, Immune system impairment,

Appendix 7 to Subparts B and C Sexually transmitted diseases and other infections (See JAR–FCL 3.190 and 3.310)
1 HIV positivity is disqualifying.
2 [ ][At revalidation or renewal a fit assessment] of HIV positive individuals [ ][with] multi-pilot (Class 1 ‘OML’) or safety pilot (Class 2 ‘OSL’) [ ][limitation] may be considered by the AMS subject to frequent review. The occurrence of AIDS or AIDS related complex is disqualifying.
3 Acute syphilis is disqualifying. [ ][A fit assessment] may be considered by the AMS in the case of those fully treated and recovered from the primary and secondary stages.
4 The assessment of malignant conditions in this system is also explained in the Oncology Chapter of the Manual which provides information regarding [ ][assessment] and should be consulted together with the Chapter specific to this system.
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Old 23rd Mar 2010, 09:12
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Looks like its a No then

So I take it there no chance of passing the medical unless I lie then?
This is stupid. The funny thing is the flight school mentioned they have no problem with with me being HIV positive as long as pass the class one thats fine with them.

How often do the rules get reviewed? Its 2010 not 1982

Is there anything I can do?
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Old 23rd Mar 2010, 09:46
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<<So I take it there no chance of passing the medical unless I lie then?
This is stupid.>>

I trust that the second sentence refers to the first. Would you like to fly knowing that the pilot lied during his medical? Don't ever, ever, do it.
Old 23rd Mar 2010, 10:30
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Im not saying I will do that and I would never condone anyone to lie. I do believe honesty is the best policy, thats why I told my flying school about my status beforehand. To which they dont have a problem with it.

I dont understand why HIV is automatically disqualifies me becoming a pilot? I am fit and healthy and dont have any other conditions. And with current and new ARVs there is no reason why I shouldnt have a healthy life for years to come.

The FAA have changed their rules why cant the JAA? Personally the rules seems discriminatory
Is there any appeals process? If so is it worth going down?
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Old 24th Mar 2010, 11:13
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Since JAA is dead and EASA not up and running til 2012 ... 2014 ... there is lots of potential for changes to rules.

Rather than posting on an internet forum or asking an AME who would have to ask the CAA - why don't you call the CAA direct yourself 01293573700 press option 1

You might get more information from them - certainly worth asking the question.

Last edited by kui2324; 24th Mar 2010 at 11:34.
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Old 30th Mar 2010, 13:55
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Old 2nd Apr 2010, 23:12
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Thank you kui2324 for the doc

I will ring the CAA on Tuesday. Tbh im not planning to start any training year as I got to brush up on some of my maths and physics first.

But in a couple of years time hopefully I can show to peeps being HIV positive doesnt mean you cant follow my dreams.
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Old 25th May 2010, 08:31
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In the CAA document Kui posted, it mentions the class 1 applicant may attract a multi-crew limitation (or not). I am applying for a class 1 in New Zealand and am aware I am one of only five HIV positive applicants ever to have applied for this type of medical certification in the country. I also know the other four were successful and are flying with class 1s, but with a single pilot no pax restriction i.e. multi-crew limitation.

The CAA here do not publish their position on HIV in the professional flight crew environment and therefore do not give any guidelines like those given in the aforementioned document. When asked, they only offer very generic answers; and I quote "provided your condition is stable and there are no issues with your medication, there would be no reason why you wouldn't be granted a class 1" or "each individual is assessed on a case by case basis, and you will be judged on your individual merits".

Naturally my concern is that I get slapped with this restriction, given that every other HIV positive commercial pilot in NZ has, driving my career in a direction I hadn't intended due to the restrictiveness of the limitation (multi crew limitation).

My question, therefore is: does anyone know under what circumstances might a successful class 1 HIV positive applicant attract a single pilot no pax restriction?

I believe it may have something to do with the medication but can it be explained in more detail please?

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Old 27th May 2010, 01:22
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I suspect the only people able to give you the definitive answer to that question is the NZ CAA.
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Old 4th Jul 2010, 13:23
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For HIV -- The granting of Class 1 medical certification is usually a case by case basis, this is the case in Australia where the more medical information you provide for consideration the better. Generally speaking, a low viral count, CD4 above 200 and little or no symptoms. After a few years off flying, I am now wanting to complete my CPL/ATPL qualifications -- I'll be happy to share what my experiences are and professional opinions from aero-medical doctors. I suspect looking at legislation I may be approved Class 1 medical restriction, but I won't know until I bite the bullet and do it. As a pilot, one should anticipate and go further and in addition provide neuro-psych tests also (just ask your doctor for a referral). The more good news the better.
By the way, don't wait; the physics and maths isn't too bad - there was a housewife in our study group and if she can pass and acquire her PPL so can you! It's a logical progession from PPL to CPL and then onto ATPL.
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Old 4th Jul 2010, 20:10
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there was a housewife in our study group and if she can pass and acquire her PPL so can you!
Wow, they'll be letting them vote next.
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Old 13th Jul 2010, 04:24
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What is the stigma on the medical RE:HIV? with CASA, CAA NZ, FAA and JAAs?
They don't ask about other virus nor cancer.
Why the focus on HIV?
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Old 13th Jul 2010, 19:24
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Unlike other infections you can get

intracranial lesions leading to raised intracranial pressure leading to decreased consciousness, visual problems, vomiting

psychoses such that rational thought may be impaired or worse

respiratory complications with rapid onset shortness of breath

Come on guys, there are dozen of good reasons why HIV is not compatible with any flying! I am no apologist for the CAA but they do seem to be being rather sympathetic about this. Sympathy for the individual must be secondary to protection of the public!
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Old 16th Jul 2010, 22:27
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Biting the bullet

Thanks Skystar for your response. I too would be happy to share my experience with CAA once I've jumped through all the hoops they require of me. Living with HIV is quite a lot to deal with, let alone having to deal with the stress of confronting an organisation with the infection and putting your entire career on the line. I'm certain the process would be less stressful and frustrating if the CAA here were more forthcoming with information on the subject. But I tend to agree with Homonculus's comments; there are plenty of reasons why the various authorities are twitchy about seropositivity, however as we move into an age where meds are better and the health of HIV positive individuals can be as good as HIV negative candidates, they are taking a more sympathetic approach; where once it was a 'no', now it's a 'maybe'.

For those that want to know, the CAA here have already declined my Class 1 application given that one of the three meds I take was considered unacceptable in an aviation environment. They said they'd consider a reapplication if I changed my combination. So after consultation with my HIV doctor and considerable research conducted by the CAA as to the possible alternatives we came up with, I finally changed from the 'evil' efavirenze to nevirapine. My combination is now nevirapine, emtricitabine and tenofovir - all of which MAY be approved by the CAA provided the results from 3 months of fortnightly blood testing on the new combination come out ok (and so far so good).

The final hoop to jump through will be the neuro-psych assessment in just under a month's time. For those in Auckland in the same position, don't go to the CAA recommended psychologist, as he's double the market rate. (He's obviously in bed with the CAA.) There's a guy called James Webb in Greenlane who does it for half the cost and was recommended by my AME. I've just saved you $1,000!

I'll keep you posted as to how this all goes but I anticipate that in about 2 months (12 months after my initial class 1 examination) I will have the result I'm after. I'm resigned to the potential for a single pilot no pax restriction and as I have no control over this, I will just have to take whatever is delivered to me. It appears that with CASA and the FAA, this is automatic. The UK CAA are a little more lenient. As for the NZ CAA, well, let's just wait and see...
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Old 25th Jul 2010, 14:16
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Heard an interesting statistic the other day.

A 20 year old diagnosed with HIV today, can expect to live till he or she is 70.
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Old 14th Sep 2010, 08:27
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HIV and the class 1

Well, as promised, here it is...

Further to my previous post, I had the neuropsychiatric assessment where the main priority was to determine if there had been any cognitive impairment due to the HIV virus or medication. As it happens, mild impairment was found in my visual memory but certainly nothing of concern. This was likely to have been caused in the early untreated stages of infection and it is permanent damage. The good news is it won't progress.

Following this all of the results from 12 months of blood testing, specialist advice and the neuro-psych assessment were sent to the CAA and I'm pleased to say, they have now assessed me medically fit for a class 1 with a single pilot no passenger restriction and a class 2 with no restrictions.

So, for those out there wondering if their HIV status spells an end to their career as a commercial pilot, think again. Go through the process and persevere because the wait is worth it. The CAA here are notoriously difficult when you present them with even the slightest of medical complications, but I have passed which is testament to the fact that an HIV positive status need not get in your way!
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Old 5th Nov 2010, 20:42
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Thank you for the feedback ANAV8R
Its great to hear you managed to get your class one medical certificiate. Where did you managed to obtain information on what ARVs are acceptable? Do I need to ring and ask CAA or will a AME will help?
The reason Ive asked is I soon intend to start treatment I dont want to take something thats not allowed by the CAA.

skystarA32 - I do need to sort out my Maths skills Its terriable I went to a some pilot open days at some flights schools. CTC and Cabin Air. They showed a example question from an assessment question with three answers I was clueless what was the right answer.

I forgot to mention I checked with the flight schools they werent bothered about my HIV status. As long I got the class one medical then thats fine with them.

Im tempted to go down the modular route for training to be honest as I need to sort out the financing first (by remortgaing myself) and I think my suit my pace of learning. I dont think integrated training willl be suited to me.

However if anyone got any feedback on which is best let me know
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Old 6th Nov 2010, 09:30
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Blood disorders & immunity problems.

OK, so it is not HIV, but I had Leukaemia in 2008.

Fortunately, my clinical course was very smooth. I was, and am still, treated with an oral daily targetted therapy that controls the illness.

I am in complete molecular remission.

However, I had absolutley no problem getting my UK Class 1 back at all. I do have an "as and with a qualified co-pilot" restriction, so no single pilot paid stuff. However an A320 needs 2 pilots, so no problem.

I would suggest taking your case to the CAA and asking.

They are quite enligtened now. As for reduced/compromised immunity: I certainly have a slightly reduced immune system. The CAA have no problem with it. They just ask for regular Haematology reports.
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Old 6th Nov 2010, 22:40
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The various CAAs response to this infection is a clear case of closing the stable door after the horse has bolted. The real risk is with pilots with high levels of virus and/or very low immunity. I.e. Those not under monitoring/treatment. Once under treatment and when the immunity is at a safe level the health of a 'patient' is often better than a 'normal' person. The ARVs provide some protection from other viruses like colds & flu. Many 'patients' report less colds/flu or less severe symtoms when on ARVs.
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