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In case youve been hiding under rock for the past ten years or so and missed the epidemic of HIVAIDS there are new discoveries that may be of interest to you HIVAIDS is on the rise and is just as popular today as ten years ago HIV Plus magazine indicates that the disease is spreading at alarming rates among women minorities and the poor Many people are unaware that they have been exposed to HIV and may continue to pass it on to other individuals through sexual contact or IV drug use This leads to the necessity for advanced systems of reporting and tracking HIV and AIDS cases This also opens the door to serious issues such as discrimination and confidentiality Current methods of tracking patients include anonymous coding in which individuals are coded to prevent identification and maintain confidentiality Systems that provide identifiable data allows the individual to be tracked offered services such as partner notification and medical services The issue of confidentiality penetrates the HIVAIDS community HIVAIDS infected persons have the right to prevent others from releasing information pertaining to their status without written permission Those maintaining information relating to an individuals HIVAIDS status are required to keep it to themselves and confidential State and federal laws requires that anyone who has access to another persons records or reports pertaining to the persons HIVAIDS status must keep the information confidential Michigan HIV Laws 1995 p 4 What does this mean for the Licensed Professional Counselor or mental health professional The following presents a scenerio addressing the practicing therapists obligation to disclose confidential information about a patient when there is a threat or danger When Janie age 17 became a patient she was six months pregnant with her second child During a recent session Janie revealed that she was HIV as were her two children Janie indicated that she became infected at age
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