chapter  11
12 Pages

A Telling Tale: AIDS Workers and Confidentiality

WithRosaline S. Barbour

Due to the stigma attached to HIV/AIDS — and to particular groups of people who have been disproportionately affected (such as gay men and injecting drug users) — the issue of confidentiality has been paramount in AIDS work. This is evidenced by the attention given to the topic in counselling textbooks (see Bor, Miller and Goldman, 1992; Dilley, Pies and Helquist, 1989). As Zonana (1989: 226) states:

Confidentiality remains an integral and time-honoured feature of the therapist-client relationship. The emergence of HIV has brought many new challenges to this issue, and as long as HIV-infected individuals are stigmatised, discriminated against and refused treatment, the con­ fidentiality of such data (i.e. relating to serostatus) will remain a dilemma.