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HIV and AIDS ansswers to finalpaper

HIV and AIDS ansswers to finalpaper - HIV and AIDS...

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HIV and AIDS: Sensitive Health Issues that cannot be Disclosed Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is the virus that causes Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)[1]. According to the CDC (2006), "This virus may be passed from one person to another when infected blood, semen, or vaginal secretions come in contact with an uninfected person's broken skin or mucous membranes." HIV/AIDS first manifested itself in the gay population in the early 1980s, leading to a stigma based on sexuality that prevented a conservative, Republican-lead United States government from even acknowledging the beginning of a serious pandemic that would grow to infect millions worldwide[2]. In the United States, HIV/AIDS is still largely identified with intravenous drug users and the gay male population. On the African continent, it infects 22.4 million people, most of who are not gay or drug users[3]. Before the discovery of anti-retroviral drugs in 1989, HIV/AIDS was a fairly quick death sentence. "Scientists at the National Institutes of Health estimate that since 1989, anti-retroviral medications have provided HIV-positive Americans with years of extended life. But none of these drugs can cure HIV/AIDS, many have side effects that can be severe, and most are expensive. What's more, after 20 years on AIDS drugs, some people develop resistance to the drugs and no longer respond to treatment. [4]" When a person is revealed to have HIV/AIDS, he or she may be immediately discriminated against. First, since the method of transmission is usually sexual or by intravenous drug use, other people may improperly make assumptions about an HIV/AIDS positive person's personal life. Second, HIV/AIDS requires lifetime treatment that is very expensive to treat. Unauthorized disclosure of a person's positive HIV/AIDS status can lead to job loss; cancellation of insurance; evictions; and loss of friends and colleagues. The United States has developed a set of standards to keep a person's HIV/AIDS status confidential - as well as their other medical conditions. This is called the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. The following information is kept private from anyone except those people a patient authorizes a doctor to disclose information to: "Information about Information your doctors, nurses, and other health care providers put in your medical record Conversations your doctor has about your care or treatment with nurses and others Information about you in your health insurer's computer system Billing information about you at your clinic Most other health information about you held by those who must follow this law[5]"
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Disclosure of a person's HIV/AIDS status is not only illegal; it is unethical for a health care professional.
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