HIV, AIDS and the Law: Legal Issues for Social Work Practice and Policy

The HIV/AIDS epidemic remains a major social problem in the United States. While the number of individuals dying of the disease has dropped dramatically, the rate of new HIV infections has remained relatively steady for several years. As a result many more infected individuals are living with the disease in various stages - perhaps as many as one million today. While the incidence of perinatal HIV has decreased, there has been a significant growth in HIV/AIDS among minorities and adolescents. At the same time, the laws governing aspects of the milieu and consequences of the disease have expanded, in the process becoming even more complex and varied. In this book, Dr Dickson presents this complex and changing field for social work students, practitioners, and educators, who will be working with an increasing population of clients infected or at risk of becoming infected with the disease, and who therefore must be knowledgeable about its legal aspects. Drawing upon statutes and court decisions from across the country, Dickson has produced a comprehensive, up-to-date picture of the many facets of HIV/AIDS law today. Along with a discussion of the disease, testing and transmission, topics include health policy; confidentiality, privacy, and the duty to protect others from harm; HIV/AIDS as a disability; bioethics; HIV/AIDS as it relates to children and families; HIV/AIDS in the workplace; criminal law and corrections. The ever-important liability issues in HIV/AIDS are given a special emphasis, as they raise particular concern for the human services in dealing with this client constituency.