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Health Care Professionals and Aids

            Health Care Workers and HIV Testing .
             The consequences of HIV infection are very serious, if not fatal. Statistics show health care providers with AIDS make up 4.8% of the total reported AIDS cases (Kent). Some health care workers have an especially high risk of contracting AIDS from their patients. If a health care provider is unaware that they have contracted the disease they run the risk of infecting other patients. Because of the many laws that protect health care providers from discrimination, employees have no reason be fearful of coming forth and informing their employer that they have contracted AIDS. In order to protect both the patient and health care provider it is vital that health care workers be tested regularly and report the results to their employer or the medical board. When health care employees follow the HIV testing guidelines they help to prevent the spread of this deadly virus. .
             AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, a disease in which the body's immune system breaks down. Normally, the immune system fights off infections and certain other diseases. When the system fails, a person with AIDS can develop a variety of life-threatening illnesses. The virus called the human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV causes AIDS. Specific blood tests can show evidence of HIV infection. AIDS is a fatal disease that remains without a cure.
             Kimberly B. contracted HIV from her dentist and died of AIDS at age 23. She was the first reported case of doctor-to-patient transmission of HIV. Her dentist, Dr. David A., Florida kept practicing dentistry many years after knowing he was HIV-positive. There was no law prohibiting him from doing so or requiring him to disclose his status. This case stirred a national debate of whether health-care workers .
             should be tested for HIV because she claimed she was a virgin and never used IV drugs. Before her death Kimberly had made an impassioned plea on television for new laws to protect patients, beginning a public campaign for mandatory HIV testing for all health workers (Tanner).

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