Jefferson Journal of Psychiatry


The resident physician who is infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) faces unique problems. In addition to the difficulties caused by a chronic and lethal disease, HIV-infected physicians-in-training face ethical, educational and practical problems that are unique to the interplay between residency training and the infection.

To date, physicians who have been found to be infected with HIV have faced public discrimination, many with devastating results. Dr. Hacib Aoun, a Venezulean-born cardiologist who contracted AIDS from a boy with leukemia while he was a resident at Johns Hopkins, overcame rumors about how he had contracted the disease only to be faced with possible deportation. Despite being married to a U.S. citizen , Dr. Aoun was confronted with an immigration law that stated that foreign citizens who have AIDS cannot become U.S. residents (1). Dr. Robert J. Huse was forced to close his Texas pediatrics practice when irate parents learned he had tested positive for HIV (2). Newspaper headlines from the November 16th issue of Today, an English newspaper, proclaimed "AIDS Doctor Who Died"; the paper provided a photograph of the doctor and a one-page report, noting that his wife and children were " in hiding" (3).

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