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Article
July 14, 1989

The Isolation of HIV- Positive Patients

Author Affiliations

University of South Dakota School of Medicine Yankton
South Dakota Human Services Center Yankton

University of South Dakota School of Medicine Yankton
South Dakota Human Services Center Yankton

JAMA. 1989;262(2):208. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03430020050018
Abstract

To the Editor.—  We read with interest the March 17 JAMA article by Dr Gostin1 entitled "Public Health Strategies for Confronting AIDS [acquired immunodeficiency syndrome]" and felt a need to share with you a problem related to quarantining AIDS patients in state mental hospitals.The prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus seropositivity (enzymelinked immunosorbent assay and Western blot test positivity) among hospitalized patients in a study of sentinel hospitals throughout the country was 0.3%.2 The prevalence of positivity among all patients tested through the South Dakota Health Department's laboratory during 1988 was 0.32% (R. Louchart, RN, personal communication, February 1989).The South Dakota Human Services Center, with a census of nearly 430 patients, is the sole general psychiatric hospital in the state. Staff physicians there did no routine testing for AIDS during 1988, but rather performed enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays on patients deemed to be at high risk. High-risk status

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