ASHM Report Back
Clinical posts from members and guests of the Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM) from various international medical and scientific conferences on HIV, AIDS, viral hepatitis, and sexual health.
HIV disclosure and the law for clinicians: what you need to know
This was an interactive session and panel discussion based on various case studies that may be met within the clinical area of working with people living with HIV.
The backdrop to various discussions was some information indicating indicating the link between HIV, discrimination and legal issues. This is further complicated by recent changes in legislation in NSW as well as the disparity in legislation throughout Australia, with potential for further confusion due to lack of uniformity across the states.
currently, it appears to be abundantly clear for example that sexual transmission of HIV with an undetectable viral load does not occur. Not as clear however is what precautions a person must take when having a sexual relationship with a person who does not have ZhIV, even in the e end of an undetectable viral load.
various case presentations highlighted some of the ethical issues around transmission of HIV and overall, supported the clinicians need to support their patients by engaging well with them, using research evidence to provide up to date information but also being aware that medical advice is not the same as legal advice. Various situations may occur therefore that medical advice requires back up with advice and input from agencies such as those that care for refugees or legal organisations for people living with HIV.
The session provided plenty of 'food for thought' for conversations within the clinical setting.