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HIV and AIDS

Does The Doctor Know Before The Patient If They Are Negative Or Positive?

12/09/2003

Question:

Does the doctor know before the patient if they are negative or positive?

Answer:

Your question was asked in the HIV/AIDS section, so I assume you are referring to whether the doctor knows before the patient if the HIV test is positive or negative. The answer to this question is generally yes. Most HIV tests are sent to a lab which then contacts the doctor with the results, whether positive or negative. The doctor, or his/her assistant, would then counsel the patient as to the results and any action needing to be taken. There are home test kits which are available which do not require a doctor`s prescription. The results of this would be given directly to the patient.

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Response by:

Peter Grubbs, MD
Assistant Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati