Ethics in Public Health Essay

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In the last three decades HIV/ AIDS has become the one of the most notorious and widely spread diseases in the modern world. Its discovery in the late seventies prompted worldwide concern. The one thing that has become the most bothersome thing about the HIV/ AIDS epidemic is prevention. Prevention or stopping the transmission of the diseases is hindered by factors such as: denial or non-acceptance by infected persons, unsafe sex, and non-disclosure by infected persons to their at risk sexual partner(s). According to Alghazo, Upton, and Cioe (2011):
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) the precursor to Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is prevalent in the United States. The October 2008 Center for Disease Control (CDC) Morbidity
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In medicine one of the things every patient is entitled to, no matter what, is their privacy. Since ancient times the privacy between a doctor and a patient has been somewhat of sacred thing. The patient has the right to release their health information to whomever they please. Even for doctors to access a patient’s medical history there has to be consent from the patient. In Mair’s article she reports about the case PD v Harvey in which PD upon asking for her future husband’s (FH) HIV test results was denied access because of lack of consent from FH. FH because of his right to confidentiality, despite having the disease, was able to lie and forge a pathology report which reported his HIV status as negative and in turn PD was lead to believe that FH actually received a negative result. If PD had been allowed the right to view the positive result or maybe even if the doctors would have taken into consideration her well-being PD could have avoided being infected (2009). Before testing a patient for HIV/AIDS a doctor should consult the patient in this consultation the patient should be educated about the disease, the testing process, and actions to be taken upon a positive result, including disclosure to sexual
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