HIV And HIV

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HIV is an epidemic that still currently has no cure, however knowledge of the disease is much more extensive than what was known thirty years ago. Today there is much more knowledge with regard to prevention, diagnosis, and medical management. Nearly 50000 cases are newly diagnose every year, and this number has been stable for the past decade. In 1986 a study was conducted on 375 gay men in San Francisco by Dr. Sol Silverman and the clinical findings were recorded. Due to the wealth of knowledge about the disease that was not known back then there are a number of difference in the epidemiology of the disease. The proportion of gay men and women represent a far smaller number than they did when the study was initially conducted. However, the disease still disproportionately attacks nonwhites and Hispanics, who represent 62% of men and 82% of women. A key reason for the high transmission of HIV is due to the fact that most people do not know they are carrying the disease. In fact, nearly half of HIV transmission are due to these people (Abel et al, 2013). Furthermore, HIV research has led to the acquisition of a wealth of knowledge in regards to treatment of the disease. In the mid-1980s, there was no known treatment whereas today there are over 30 agents. The most effective of them is combination therapy, which is far superior to individual therapy in “achieving complete suppression of HIV replication, durability of treatment response, prevention of development of HIV drug resistance, and reduced HIV and non-HIV-associated morbidity and mortality” (Abel et al, 2013). The therapy has had such positive results that recent data has shown that people with an HIV infection who have an undetectable viral load on therapy and achieve and... ... middle of paper ... ...DS, which accounted for one third of all blanket policies to refuse treatment. Furthermore, 90% of dentists who had discriminatory responses graduated before 1988. There were only two dentists who graduated later this date who said they would refuse treatment to HIV patients. Dentists have a legal and moral obligation to accept HIV/AIDS patients into their practice. Not only can dentists help to first identify signs of HIV infection because more signs of the disease appear as oral lesions, but it is unlawful to refuse treatment to these patients. Only if treating the patient provides a direct threat to the provider or other patients can treatment be refused. Such is not the case for HIV/AIDS patients. The ADA has regulations in place to protect such patient in the Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional conduct, and dentists need to adhere to these standards.

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