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“The only thing necessary for these diseases to the triumph is for good people and governments to do nothing.”



Doctors' and Nurses' Knowledge and Attitudes

From a social perspective, AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) revives longstanding issues about the relationships between health care professionals and their patients. A particular issue is the willingness of physicians and nurses to treat people with a contagious, fatal, and stigmatized disease.

Colombotos, J., Messeri, P., McConnell, M.B., et al.: Physicians, Nurses, and AIDS: Findings From a National Study. Grant No. 5 R01 HS06359.

This report presents responses to AIDS-related questions from a national sample of 958 physicians and 1,520 registered nurses in 1990-91. Questions included willingness to treat AIDS patients and whether they believe that they were professionally obligated and should be legally required to do so, attitudes toward homosexual men and intravenous drug users, knowledge about HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) transmission, perceptions of the risk of HIV contagion, precautionary practices, trust in HIV authorities, career plans, and attitudes toward mandatory testing and mandatory reporting. Physicians' and nurses' responses were compared nationally. Comparisons were also made based on the AIDS prevalence in different parts of the country.


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