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HIV Testing
Dec 18, 2001

Hi. I had recently had minor surgery, and they took a lot of samples of my blood. I was wondering: Do they test your blood for HIV? Or if you had the HIV virus, would they let you know it? Don't they need to know if you are HIV+ before they operate you?

Response from Ms. Breuer

Because of the window period before a newly-infected person would test positive, and because surgeons often operate on people who need emergency treatment and there's no time for an HIV test, they simply treat every patient as if that patient has HIV, for their own protection.

To be tested for HIV, you must sign a consent form. If you didn't, then the blood was drawn for other purposes.

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