DOCTORS, dentists and other health-care workers infected with HIV face disciplinary action if they do not follow new safety guidelines. The guidelines, endorsed by the Advisory Council on AIDS yesterday, say medical professionals must report to a panel of AIDS experts if they are diagnosed with HIV and must then follow its advice. Chairman of the council and Director of Health, Dr Lee Shiu-hung, said the panel, set up recently, would advise the patient's doctor what precautions would need to be taken, including possible job modifications. He said: ''If the health-care worker fails to follow the advice of the expert panel, the attending doctor should report to the patient's professional body which could take disciplinary action.'' This had been agreed on by representatives of the Hong Kong Medical Council, Medical Association and Dental Association. Asked what responsibilities an HIV-positive health-care worker would have if he failed to follow the guidelines and transmitted the virus to his patients, Dr Lee said that would have to be decided on a case-by-case basis. A health department AIDS consultant and council member, Dr Lee Shui-shan, said: ''The health-care worker has to report the case because we think this would help keep track of the situation and allow standard treatment under such circumstances.'' Dr Lee Shui-shan said the chance of a health-care worker transmitting the virus to his patient through a needle was almost zero and there had only been one such case in the world. There would be different infection control practices for different medical disciplines. He said: ''There are a few principles to follow: the principle of confidentiality, the principle of universal precaution, the principle of assessment on a case-by-case basis. ''We don't specify in great detail whether a certain person can do certain jobs.'' Dr Lee Shiu-hung said universal precautions referred to preventive measures such as handling body fluids with great care. There are now no standard HIV guidelines for health-care workers. Concerns were raised in November 1992, when Hong Kong dentist Mike Sinclair publicly revealed that he had practised for six months in the knowledge he was HIV positive. The guidelines, to be distributed to all health-care workers next week, say HIV status and information given to the expert panel would be kept secret. The two doctors declined to reveal more details until the booklet had been distributed and refused to say how many people were on the expert panel or who they were. Chairman of the AIDS Foundation, legislator Dr Leong Che-hung, said the guidelines were necessary, but that the council should consult the professions in more detail before implementation. And he said he was opposed to the compulsory reporting of a health-care worker's HIV status. The three sets of guidelines were welcomed by AIDS Concern. Spokesman Lisa Ross said not only the public, but also health-care workers would benefit as they would be given guidance and support.