In the United States, all medical information generally is considered confidential and protected under the law.
Because of the sensitivity of HIV-related information, many states in the U. have adopted laws that provide additional protection to HIV-related medical records.
The ethical concerns surrounding prenatal HIV testing are different in developing countries.
To date, the cost of antiretroviral prophylaxis has been prohibitive and therefore, for the most part, pregnant women do not receive it.(33,34) Although knowing their HIV status may be helpful in guiding decisions concerning breastfeeding, in many circumstances, bottle-feeding is not a feasible option because of cost and lack of access to clean water(35).
For example, in many states, HIV information may not be disclosed based on a general release of medical information-specific authorization for release of HIV-related information must be obtained. have a duty to report HIV infections and AIDS cases to public health authorities.
These principles therefore provide an appropriate ethical framework both inside and outside the United States.
In addition, some states permit the testing of prisoners and persons accused of sex crimes.
Connecticut and New York also require mandatory HIV testing of newborns,(22,23) which indirectly reveals maternal HIV status.
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Fourth, by foregoing opportunities for education and counseling, routine testing may undermine prevention efforts.