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COM-011: HIV and Special Populations

HIV and Special Populations: Certain populations are at an increased risk for HIV infection and/or would benefit from increased outreach on HIV risk factors, prevention strategies and HIV screening options.

Pregnant Women, Infants and Children: The Wisconsin Medical Society believes:

  • All pregnant women and women who may become pregnant should be provided with culturally, linguistically, educationally and age-appropriate information regarding HIV risks, prevention strategies, and potential treatment options, and that the physician is the proper conduit for this information.
  • All pregnant women should be offered and encouraged to accept voluntary HIV testing early in pregnancy so that important interventions for the woman’s health and that of the fetus/infant can be offered in the most timely and effective manner.
  • Physicians should advise their HIV-infected patients not to breastfeed, supports mandatory HIV testing of all human milk from donors, and believes that milk from HIV-infected donors should not be used for human consumption.
  • Parents or legal guardians should be able to consent to HIV testing for their children under 14 years of age, in accordance with Wisconsin State Law.

Inmates in Correctional Facilities: The Wisconsin Medical Society believes:

  • State correctional systems should provide comprehensive medical management for all entrants, which includes voluntary testing for HIV infection and appropriate treatment for those infected.
  • During incarceration, prisoners should be tested for HIV infection as medically indicated or on their request.
  • If an increase in cases of HIV infection is noted, more frequent testing may be indicated.
  • Correctional systems should ensure that all HIV testing conducted as a part of correctional health services includes informed consent, counseling and strict confidentiality.
  • HIV-infected inmates should be encouraged to confidentially notify their sexual or injection drug-using partners of their risk for HIV infection by gaining access to local health department staff skilled in providing HIV Partner Services.
  • Correctional health care must meet the current standards of care for HIV-infected persons, including access to approved therapeutic drugs and treatment strategies.

Minority Populations: The Wisconsin Medical Society:

  • Acknowledges that some racial/ethnic groups are more affected by HIV than others, and supports increased efforts to educate minority populations regarding the risk and prevention of HIV infection and the importance of HIV testing for those at risk.

Gay and Bisexual Men: The Wisconsin Medical Society:

  • Acknowledges that gay men, bisexual men, and men who have sex with men are more affected by HIV than any other group in the United States.
  • Encourages physicians and other health care professionals to advise HIV testing at least once per year among members of this group, in agreement with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations.
  • Acknowledges that while all blood and organ donations are screened for HIV, physicians should discuss the value of self-deferral from donating blood or tissue with gay and bisexual men at high risk for HIV infection.

Transgender Individuals: The Wisconsin Medical Society:

  • Acknowledges that transgender communities are among the groups at highest risk for HIV infection, and supports increased efforts to educate transgender individuals regarding the risk and prevention of HIV infection and the importance of HIV testing for those at risk.
  • Acknowledges that data for this population are not adequately collected, and therefore supports increased epidemiological data collection on HIV infection among transgender communities.

Drug Users: The Wisconsin Medical Society supports:

  • Increased funding for drug treatment so that drug users have immediate access to appropriate care and evidence-based treatment programs.
  • Expansion of educational, medical, social support and proven public health services for intravenous drug users and their sexual or needle-sharing partners to reduce the risk of HIV infection. (HOD, 0416)