The Cultural Impact of the "AIDS" Test: The American Experience
Social Science and Medicine. 1986; 23(5): 455-459.
The ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) test for serum antibodies to human T-cell leukemia/lymphotropic virus type III (HTLV-III) was licensed for use in screening commercial blood products in March 1985 as a means of controlling the spread of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) through blood transfusions. The test has also been implemented in a variety of other medical and nonmedical settings, where its use is often highly controversial and based on very loose social or epidemiological criteria. In addition, opposing strategies have been advocated for counseling high and low risk individuals with the same test results. McCombie discusses how the rapid diffusion of HTLV-III testing programs, despite questions about their appropriateness, illustrates the extent to which cultural beliefs and attitudes affect public health and medical practice. (KIE abstract)
Aids; Aids Serodiagnosis; Attitudes; Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome; Blood; Blood Donation; Blood Transfusions; Communicable Diseases; Confidentiality; Counseling; Diagnosis; Disclosure; Drug Abuse; Duty to Warn; Discrimination; Education; Employment; Epidemiology; Health; Health Education; Homosexuals; Leukemia; Mass Screening; Methods; Military Personnel; Psychological Stress; Public Health; Public Policy; Risk; Social Discrimination; Social Impact;
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