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opinion on whether or not AIDS testing is necessary?
May 20, 1997

I am doing a research project on whether or not health care workers and others who deal with the public should be tested for AIDS and the results be made known. My personal standpoint is that it is confidential information and should not be released. What kind of discrimination have workers faced if they chose to reveal they had AIDS?

Response from Ms. Breuer

There is a considerable body of research literature on mandatory testing for health care workers. I recommend talking with the National AIDS Information Clearinghouse (800-458-5231) about what they have that addresses that topic, then talking with the American Medical Association about why they believe that mandatory testing of health care workers with release of that information to patients is unnecessary. The kinds of discrimination that HIV+ health care workers have faced is similar to the discrimination workers in other categories have faced: termination, suddenly receiving a string of substandard performance reviews, failure to achieve anticipated promotions, and because of the relationship of health care workers to patients, there is also the risk of loss of a practice because of fear on the part of patients.

- Nancy Breuer



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