Legal implications of treating patients with HIV

M Katine
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The status of a patient with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) often has significant impact on a physician's willingness and ability to provide quality medical care. A physician may face substantial penalties for refusing to treat a patient with HIV. Even the referral of a patient with HIV to a specialist in the disease may constitute a discriminatory act. The law provides certain guidelines which, if followed, may help keep the physician out of the courtroom.