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doctors with hiv or aids
Jun 23, 1998

should doctors be made to be tested for hiv or aids?

Response from Ms. Breuer

Whether or not health care providers should be tested for HIV has been a "hot" issue in years past, especially in the early 1990's when the story broke about a Florida dentist allegedly infecting several patients. The CDC (U.S. Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control) responded by releasing guidelines for medical professionals that are designed to reduce the already low likelihood of infection from a health care provider to a patient. There is a great deal of evidence that those guidelines (universal precautions) work. When health care providers work in a hospital setting, often the hospital board sets up its own guidelines for testing, depending on the tasks each health care worker performs. It appears at this point in the history of the epidemic that hospital-based governance on this issue is far more successful than it would be to have legislators (the vast majority of whom are not physicians) making these kinds of decisions.

Nancy Breuer



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