- As with any disease, appropriate diagnosis and follow-up must be accomplished to ensure that appropriate patient care is rendered. Documentation of patient counseling and medication risks and benefits is necessary.
- The diagnosis of HIV infection should be reported to the appropriate state and local agencies as mandated by law, while ensuring that the patient’s rights are respected. The treatment and evaluation of contacts must also be conducted without violating the patient’s right to privacy.
- If child sexual abuse is suspected, appropriate measures must be taken to allow for investigation. Preservation of medical data is important.
- Issues involving power of attorney and estate planning may be broached in an appropriate manner while the patient is still competent. The physician may be requested to carefully document the patient’s mental status if issues of a legal nature are being determined.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report: HIV Infection and AIDS in the United States and Dependent Areas. Department of Health and Human Services. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/surveillance/basic.htm.
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