Testing for Human Retrovirus Infections: Medical Indications and Ethical Considerations

  • John W. Ward


In 1985 the first tests became available to identify antibody to the retro-virus subsequently called the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Since that time HIV antibody testing has become the cornerstone of public health efforts to stop the epidemic of HIV infection. The tests were used initially to screen donated blood and plasma, and their use for this purpose dramatically decreased the rate of transfusion-associated (TA) HIV transmission.1’2 Soon thereafter, testing linked with counseling was recommended as a method to encourage safer sexual and drug use practices3’4 and to aid in the diagnosis of some conditions associated with HIV infection, including those in the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) surveillance case definition.


Human Immunodeficiency Virus Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection Human Immunodeficiency Virus Transmission Human Immunodeficiency Virus Antibody 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1994

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  • John W. Ward

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