Are patients concerned about going to a physician who is infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or one who is treating HIV-infected patients? To answer these questions, we surveyed a nationwide sample of 2000 interviews (response rate, 75%). Forty-five percent of all respondents believed that physicians who were HIV infected should not be allowed to continue to practice. More than half of those who had seen a physician in the past 5 years said they would change physicians if they knew their physician were HIV infected, while one fourth said they would seek care elsewhere if their physician were treating people with HIV disease. These data suggest that patients are concerned about HIV in their physicians' offices. The American Medical Association recommends that HIV-infected physicians continue to practice as long as there is no risk to their patients. Physicians and the public need to be educated about this policy and its appropriateness.
Gerbert B, Maguire BT, Hulley SB, Coates TJ. Physicians and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome: What Patients Think About Human Immunodeficiency Virus in Medical Practice. JAMA. 1989;262(14):1969–1972. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03430140087030
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