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Prevention of HIV Infection

Donald R. Hopkins, MD
JAMA. 1987;257(8):1046. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03390080036008.
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To the Editor.—  It has been asserted repeatedly1,2 that asymptomatic persons whose activities put them at increased risk for infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) should not volunteer for serological testing as recommended by the Public Health Service.3,4 It is argued that risks of any breach in confidentiality related to their employment, housing, and insurance, for example, outweigh any potential medical benefits. Another argument is that since all persons in high-risk groups should follow "safe sex" guidelines anyway, regardless of their antibody status, the value of testing to the individual is negligible in the absence of a drug or vaccine. Clearly, persons at increased risk must make their own decisions on this important issue, based on their own circumstances. However, they should be aware, in making their decision, of all appropriate medical facts.Some changes in the behavior of persons at increased risk (eg, reduction of the


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