Topics: AIDS, HIV, Immune system Pages: 4 (1194 words) Published: May 9, 2013
According to Legal Aspects of Health Care Administration by George D. Pozgar, the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is a fatal disease that destroys the body’s ability to fight bacteria and viruses. AIDS is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). It is considered to be the deadliest epidemic in human history with the first case being reported in 1981. It has been estimated that more than 21 million people have died from AIDS. (Pozgar, 2012, p. 353 & 364) AIDS is a collection of specific, life-threatening, opportunistic infections and manifestations that are the result of an underlying immune deficiency. AIDS is caused by a highly contagious blood-borne virus as is the most severe form of the HIV infection. This is a deadly disease and breaks down the body’s immune system which prevents the ability to ward off bacteria and viruses that a typical functioning immune system could fight. (Pozgar, 2012, p. 353) AIDS is contracted by direct contact with infected blood or bodily fluids. The AIDS virus cannot be transmitted through food, water or casual body contact. (Pozgar, 2012, p. 353) Each state has laws that protect the confidentiality of the patient and any HIV related information. The unauthorized disclosure of confidential information can subject an individual to civil or criminal charges. This information needs to be kept confidential and only shared with other healthcare professional on a need-to-know basis. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urges hospitals to adopt universal precautions in the handling of body fluids to protect their workers from exposure to patients’ blood and body fluids. The CDC encourages healthcare workers who perform “exposure prone” procedures to undergo tests voluntarily to determine whether they are infected. However, healthcare workers and patients claim that HIV testing violates their Fourth Amendment right to privacy. (Pozgar, 2012, p. 356 & 363) The Fourth Amendment of the U.S....

References: Pozgar, George, (2012), eleventh edition, Legal Aspects of Health Care Administration, Chapter 15, pgs 353-364
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