Original articles

Surgeons and HIV: South African Attitudes

christopher paul szabo, Ames Dhai, Martin Veller, Anita Kleinsmidt


Objectives: The HIV status of surgeons, in the context of informed consent by their patients, is a contentious issue. The current study surveyed views of practicing South African surgeons regarding aspects of this issue i.e. HIV and surgeons.
Design: A cross sectional survey of surgeons (members of the Association of Surgeons of South Africa) regarding their attitudes to relevant issues
Results: Some of the salient findings included the view that a patient- centred approach requiring HIV status disclosure to patients would be discriminatory to surgeons whilst providing no clear benefit to patients. Further, that HIV positive surgeons should determine their own scope of practice.
Conclusion: It appears that patient-centered approaches and restrictive policies, related to this issue, do not appear to accord with clinician sentiment. In the absence of any comparable data either locally or internationally, the current study provides a preliminary indication of clinician views with implications for the development of locally relevant policy and guidelines.

Authors' affiliations

christopher paul szabo, University of the Witwatersrand

Ames Dhai,

Martin Veller,

Anita Kleinsmidt,

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Surgeons; HIV; attitudes

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2009;99(2):110.

Article History

Date submitted: 2008-09-04
Date published: 2009-02-03

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