Because human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection often is detected through prenatal and sexually transmitted disease testing, an obstetrician-gynecologist may be the first health professional to provide care for a woman infected with HIV. Universal testing with patient notification and right of refusal ("opt-out" testing) is recommended by most national organizations and federal agencies . Although opt-out and opt-in testing (but not mandatory testing) are both ethically acceptable, the former approach may identify more women who are eligible for therapy and may have public health advantages . It is unethical for an obstetrician-gynecologist to refuse to continue providing health care for a patient solely because she is , or is thought to be, seropositive for HIV. Health care professionals who are infected with HIV should adhere to the fundamental professional obligation to avoid harm to patients. Physicians who believe that they have been at significant risk of being infected should be tested voluntarily for HIV.
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