If, on balance, a breach of confidence is deemed necessary, practitioners should work in advance to anticipate and manage potentially negative consequences (ie, reactions of intimate partners, family). As well, practitioners should consider whether the goal of maintaining patient privacy would be better served by personal communication with the individual placed at risk by the patient’s seropositivity or by notification of local public health authorities. In some areas, anonymous notification of sexual contacts is possible through local or state departments of health. As a practical matter, because disclosure is only possible when the index case freely identifies at-risk partners, superseding an individual’s refusal to disclose should be a rare occurrence.
Opt-out testing removes the requirement for pretest counseling and detailed, testing-related informed consent. Under the opt-out strategy, physicians must inform patients that routine blood work will include HIV testing and that they have the right to refuse this test. The goal of this strategy is to make HIV testing less cumbersome and more likely to be performed by incorporating it into the routine battery of tests (eg, the first-trimester prenatal panel or blood counts and cholesterol screening for annual examinations). In theory, if testing barriers are reduced, more physicians may offer testing, which may lead to the identification and treatment of more women who are infected with HIV and, if pregnant, to the prevention of mother-to-infant transmission of HIV. This testing strategy aims to balance competing ethical considerations. On the one hand, personal freedom (autonomy) is diminished. On the other hand, there are medical and social benefits for the woman and, if she is pregnant, her newborn from identifying HIV infection. Although many welcome the now widely endorsed opt-out testing policy for the potential benefits it confers, others have raised concerns about the possibility that the requirement for notification before testing will be ignored, particularly in today’s busy practice environment. Indeed, the opt-out strategy is an ethically acceptable testing strategy only if the patient is given the option to refuse testing. In the absence of that notification, this approach is merely mandatory testing in disguise. If opt-out testing is elected as a testing strategy, a clinician must notify the patient that HIV testing is to be performed. Refusal of testing should not have an adverse effect on the care the patient receives or lead to denial of health care. This guarantee of a right to refuse testing ensures that respect for a woman’s autonomy is not completely abridged in the quest to achieve a difficult-to-reach public health goal.
Although there were some early concerns of liver inflammation for drugs in this class, MVC appeared to be well tolerated in clinical trials without any specific toxicities attributable to the drug. However, it is a new drug in a new class and the first to actually target the cell. For these reasons, longer follow-up from clinical trials and those followed in the clinic will be very important for assessing the overall safety of the drug. There are important drug-drug interactions with MVC, so it too must be used with caution in patients on other medications.
Creswell JD, Myers HF, Cole SW, Irwin MR. Mindfulness meditation training effects on CD4+ T lymphocytes in HIV-1 infected adults: a small randomized controlled trial. Brain Behav Immun. 2009 Feb. 23(2):184-8. [Medline]. [Full Text].
Most of the fear surrounding AIDS has to do with its most common form of transmission: sexual behavior. The virus can be passed through any behavior that involves the exchange of blood, semen, or vaginal secretions. Anal intercourse is the highest-risk activity, but oral or vaginal intercourse is dangerous too. Thus, federal health authorities recommend using a condom—yet they caution that condoms are not 100 percent effective; condoms can leak, and they can break. Highly accurate HIV testing is widely available, and often advisable, since infected people can feel perfectly healthy. Although the virus can be contracted immediately upon exposure to it, symptoms of full-blown AIDS may take up to ten years to appear.
Practising safer sex – use condoms and water based lubricants for penetrative sex. These reduce the risk of getting HIV, as well as other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Having any STI increases the risk of getting HIV infection.
Analysis of reported AIDS cases shows that 51% had Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) without Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS) (with or without other “opportunistic” infections (OOI) predictive of cellular immunodeficiency); 30% had KS without PCP (with or without OOI); 7% had both PCP and KS (with or without OOI); and 12% had OOI with neither PCP nor KS. The overall mortality rate for cases of PCP without KS (47%) was more than twice that for cases of KS without PCP (21%), while the rate for cases of both PCP and KS (68%) was more than three times as great. The mortality rate for OOI with neither KS nor PCP was 48%.
In August 2013, the FDA approved Alere Determine HIV-1/2 Ag/Ab Combo test (Orgenics, Ltd) as the first rapid HIV test for the simultaneous detection HIV-1 p24 antigen as well as antibodies to both HIV-1 and HIV-2 in human serum, plasma, and venous or fingerstick whole blood specimens. [6, 7] The test does not distinguish between antibodies to HIV-1 and HIV-2, and is not intended to be used for screening of blood donors. [6, 7]
AIDS-related symptoms also includes serious weight loss, brain tumors, and other health problems. Without treatment, these opportunistic infections can kill you. The official (technical) CDC definition of AIDS is available at http://www.thebody.com/content/art14002.html
[Guideline] Panel on Antiretroviral Guidelines for Adults and Adolescents. Guidelines for the use of antiretroviral agents in HIV-1-infected adults and adolescents. Department of Health and Human Services. October 17, 2017. [Full Text].
A type of white blood cell. T-lymphocytes are part of the immune system and develop from stem cells in the bone marrow. They help protect the body from infection and may help fight cancer. Also called T cell and thymocyte.
Michael Stuart Bronze, MD is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American College of Physicians, American Medical Association, Association of Professors of Medicine, Infectious Diseases Society of America, Oklahoma State Medical Association, Southern Society for Clinical Investigation [redirect url=’http://penetratearticles.info/bump’ sec=’7′]