Jul 13, 2004
What is the legal right for a Dentist office in making a patient get an HIV test if the Dental assistant gets stabbed with a needle?
| Response from Ms. Breuer
Laws vary from state to state, but this is not a typical response. Whatever the HIV status of the patient, the dental assistant needs to decide very soon whether to take the preventive antiretroviral cocktail against HIV if indeed there was an exposure to the patient's blood. I say "whatever the HIV status of the patient" because the patient could be in the window period, test negative, and give the health care worker a false sense of confidence.
Someone is getting poor advice here, in my opinion. In addition, my understanding is that the patient has the right to refuse the test. If you are the patient, please call your public health department right away and ask to speak to a specialist in HIV. Your health department person will know more about your own state's regulations.
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