The following is a true story, with names changed. Bridgett met
Albert when she was 17 and he was 24. He was very clean and good-looking,
and when they became sexually active he refused the use of condoms,
saying that he knew he was HIV free. After living together for a
year, they went to donate blood and were informed that the test
showed that both of them were HIV positive. Later, Albert's brother
told Bridgett that Albert had known that he carried HIV for two
years before she met him, and that he had previously infected another
- Should Albert be punished in any way for his actions since he
knew he was HIV positive?
- Should Albert be quarantined? Should his other known sexual
partners be informed?
- Should Bridgett be quarantined? What about her possible future
- If Albert had not known in advance that he was HIV positive
but did live a high risk lifestyle would he still be held liable
for infecting Bridgett with HIV?
A physician in Tucson had a young couple as patients who were experiencing
marital problems. The wife left for another man and the couple divorced.
This new man was HIV+, and the woman also became infected. After
his death, she returned to Tucson and her physician began treating
her for HIV infection. Her ex-husband came to the same physician
for a physical and mentioned that he had begun dating his ex-wife
again. The physician was unable to warn the man that his ex-wife
was now HIV+ since they were not married and any communication about
the woman would have violated right-to-privacy laws. What do you
think the physician should have done?
In 1986, Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni has spearheaded an
aggressive anti-AIDS policy. Every government department issues
anti-AIDS warnings; sex is discussed openly in explicit terms; roadside
billboards promote safe sex; and foreign-financed non-government
organizations are given virtually free reign to educate people about
the disease. Since 1992, the level of infection among young pregnant
women has been in decline (Nature Medicine. 5, 963. 1999). Compared
to Uganda, do you think our society does an adequate job of educating
its citizens about HIV and AIDS? If not, what improvements do you
think are needed?
Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: "When you
share fluid with someone, you are also sharing fluid with everyone
they have previously shared with." Explain your answer.
Do individuals who test positive for HIV have an obligation to
notify any of the following people?
- People with whom they share living space
- Current sexual partners
- Former sexual partners
You and your partner have been practicing safe sex for since the
beginning of your sexual relationship two months ago. You both agree
to an HIV test, and the results are negative for both of you. How
will this influence your behavior? The ELISA that you received detects
the presence or absence of antibodies against HIV. Antibodies can
take one to six months to develop after exposure to HIV. During
this time between exposure and antibody production the virus can
reproduce rapidly and the amount of virus present in body fluids
is high. How does this information influence your behavior?
More than 90% of HIV infected people live in developing countries
and do not have access to anti-HIV medications. Drug companies spend
$10 -100 million to develop current anti-HIV drugs, and must recoup
that money, making it difficult for them to provide the drugs at
low cost. Which of the following actions should be taken to increase
access to treatment for most of the world's HIV+ individuals?
- Governments join to provide tax breaks to multi-national corporations
which develop and manufacture anti-HIV drugs.
- The World Bank provides loans to developing countries to purchase
drugs to treat HIV.
- The US Government purchases drugs and distributes them to developing
- What other alternatives might increase access to HIV treatment?
Drug treatments now allow many HIV+ individuals to live longer
and maintain a higher quality of life. Current anti-HIV drugs must
be taken multiple times daily on a careful schedule and often cause
severe side effects in people who otherwise may feel completely
healthy. If patients don't adhere to their drug regimens, they increase
the rate at which drug resistant strains of HIV develop. Should
patients be monitored for adherence to drug regimens and/or whether
they are developing drug resistant virus?
Should HIV infected individuals have the right to the same type
of medical insurance as others who do not have HIV? Should society
be made to help pay their costs? What if some HIV patients continue
high-risk behavior that exposes them to more infectious agents,
increasing the costs of their treatments?
Assuming that the online fluid exchange activity mimics the transfer
of HIV through a population, why might we want to identify the original
HIV carriers? In the online exercise, fluid exchange with an HIV+
individual automatically infects the other partner, although in
real life this is not necessarily true. Different behaviors carry
varying risks of HIV transmission. How might knowledge of rates
of HIV transmission through specific activities change your approach
to determining original HIV carriers within a population?
Education about HIV and AIDS is the first step in prevention. What
role should public schools in the US play in educating children
about HIV and AIDS? At what age should this education begin?
||What is a false negative test result? Name one factor that would
result in a false negative ELISA for HIV. What is a false positive
test result? Name one factor that could result in a false positive
ELISA for HIV.