Ethical Dilemma Of Partner Disclosure In Hiv/Aids

698 words - 3 pages

Currently in South Africa there are 5.26 million people living with HIV. This means that 10% of the South African population is directly affected by the virus and requires us to ensure clear guidelines are in place for the management of HIV (Statistics South Africa, 2013).
Many individuals are afraid to get tested for HIV and are afraid of the stigma associated with HIV when disclosing their status to partners. They are often subject to their own psychological and other social stress which often hinders appropriate management of the infection. This is not always without reason as disclosure of an HIV status can lead to exclusion from ones family, friend-circle or dismissal from the ...view middle of the document...

It was concluded that it is often a choice the healthcare worker has to undertake, given the circumstances. The Health Professional Counsel South Africa (HPCSA) also advises that own discretion is used. This made me wonder how I would approach this.
Trust is often in the centre of patient management and disclosing a patient’s status to their partner without their consent would break trust completely. The patient may not return to you for further treatment. Also if the partner is not present during the consult, the healthcare worker would be reliant on the patients’ will to bring him or her in for the next consult. The patient may also have very real reasons for not disclosing a status as this may result in inter-partner violence.
On the other hand non-maleficence (do not harm) is at the centre of healthcare and by failing to disclose the status, it could result in the partner becoming infected or failure of treating the patient. Also in the long term it could help the patient to not have to hide their status,...

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