Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Infection

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Abstract

Knowledge about the epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection gained since 1988 has necessitated an update of our previously published policies.Important advances have been made in the treatment of HIV infection and the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), resulting in a prolongation of the symptom-free period. Transmission of HIV infection from a dentist to several of his patients is believed to have occurred. Heterosexual transmission of HIV infection is increasing in importance.

This statement emphasizes the ethical imperative to care for all patients; the need for health care professionals to adhere scrupulously to universal precautions because of the low but definite risk for transmission of HIV in the health care setting; the expanded recommendations for HIV testing to identify infected persons as early as possible; and the need for national leadership in public education, public policy development, and health care funding.

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