Nurses and other health care providers involved in HIV testing are required to provide pre- and post-test counseling in accordance with guidelines from the Center for Disease Control (CDC, 1992). Clients who test positive are extensively counseled and educated on the nature of the virus, its modes of transmission, the need to practice "safer sex," and the obligation to advise sexual (and needle) partners (Preston, 1989). Some individuals do not inform their partners and this presents an urgent dilemma: Is a nurse bound by a client's right to privacy not to advise that client's partner of his or her HIV infection? Or does the duty to warn, and thus prevent possible harm to others, supersede confidentiality in this case?
Nursing and Health Care
National League for Nursing
In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted
O'Quinn, J.L. and Hulme, Polly A., "After HIV testing: What's Next?" (1993). College of Nursing Faculty Publications. 54.