Discrimination on the Basis of HIV/AIDS in Health Care

An initial lack of understanding about HIV/AIDS contributed to the birth of HIV-related stigma, and laws, policies, and practices based on irrational fears and misconceptions about the disease. This has given rise to targeted discrimination against people living with HIV (PLWH), such as discrimination on the basis of HIV/AIDS in health care. This entry reviews such discrimination, particularly discrimination in dental care, and summarizes legal and ethical rules prohibiting discrimination.

Studies have found that health care providers have denied service to HIV-positive patients due to fear, homophobia and prejudice, and a mistaken belief or understanding of scientific facts or the law. Discrimination against PLWH is often masked by providers’ justifications such as lack of proper training and expertise, or lack of proper equipment. This leads to ...

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