PSYCHOTHERAPY WITH HIV-INFECTED CLIENTS: FACTORS INFLUENCING NOTIFICATION OF THIRD PARTIES

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Abstract

This article investigates psychologists' reactions to a hypothetical case involving an HIV-positive client who is involved in a monogamous relationship and whose behavior places his partner at risk. Results indicate that respondents attribute more responsibility to the client to protect his partner when the relationship is heterosexual rather than homosexual. Respondents attribute greater responsibility to the client's partner for self-protection when the relationship is a short-term, homosexual relationship. Regardless of relationship type, a majority of respondents feel an ethical responsibility to protect the partner and seem willing to break confidentiality to do so if necessary. There is not, however, clear agreement about this course of action. Alternative strategies for assisting client disclosure are discussed.

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