Ethical dilemmas in HIV infection

B Lo Division of General Internal Medicine, University of California, San Francisco.

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As the AIDS epidemic continues to claim lives, the issues of testing, confidentiality, and refusal to care for seropositive patients generate increasing debate and concern among health care workers, legislators, and the general public. Protecting the uninfected from exposure to HIV, providing adequate medical care and counseling to HIV-positive persons, and preventing discrimination are necessary and immediate goals. Adherence by practitioners to both the current legislation on AIDS and the ethical imperatives of the health professions will facilitate adequate access to health care for all persons with AIDS. It will also provide necessary guidelines for issues of confidentiality.