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Should a patient be informed that a healthcare provider has HIV/AIDS?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/9/2018 Category: Health
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 562 times Debate No: 107792
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If a healthcare provider has HIV/AIDS, wouldn't the patient always be at risk?



I'll start of by defining what HIV and AIDS are:

1.) HIV

'the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infects cells of the immune system, destroying or impairing their function. Infection with the virus results in progressive deterioration of the immune system, leading to "immune deficiency." The immune system is considered deficient when it can no longer fulfil its role of fighting infection and disease. Infections associated with severe immunodeficiency are known as 'opportunistic infections', because they take advantage of a weakened immune system.'

2.) AIDS

'acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a term which applies to the most advanced stages of HIV infection. It is defined by the occurrence of any of more than 20 opportunistic infections or HIV-related cancers.'

So, HIV is an autoimmune virus and AIDS is a syndrome that attacks the persons body in the late stages of HIV and causes illnesses such as pneumonia and in some cases cancer. It is not AIDS that people catch if they are exposed to the illness, but rather HIV, which if left untreated will eventually develop into AIDS.

Most importantly, HIV is not easily transmitted and this is primarily why healthcare providers should not have to disclose the illness to their patients. The only physical contact that a healthcare provider has with their patient is through examining them, so the possibility of HIV being spread to the patient is essentially at zero. HIV is most commonly transmitted through sexual intercourse (semen has to enter the vagina or anal canal). The only other way it can be transmitted is through blood transfusions (I.e when someone is transfused with HIV infected blood) or through mother-to-child (an HIV infected mother can pass onto HIV if she is pregnant). Besides actually drinking the blood of someone with HIV, there is no other way to get it.

Thus, healthcare providers should not be obligated to tell their patient if they have it.
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