Lets examine this further

There is an exception in the venereal disease regulations: this allows doctors to share information regarding their patients with other clinics. The regulation states that all information must remain confidential except 'for the purpose of communicating that information to a medical practitioner, or to a person employed under the direction of a medical practitioner in connection with the treatment of persons suffering from such disease or the prevention of the spread thereof, and for the purpose of such treatment or prevention' (National Health Service Act 1977). It must be acknowledged that the aim of such legislation is to protect the confidentiality of individuals and therefore encourage them to attend. The exception, however, allows doctors or nurses and Health Advisers employed under their guidance to explore the concept of partner notification for the individual with an STI. Is it possible then to breach their confidentiality in order to prevent the further spread of disease?

In the context of the recent cases where individuals have been found guilty of knowingly passing on the HIV virus, let us explore the legal and professional issues that may arise for the practitioner. First, let's examine the potential duty of the healthcare worker who is aware of the HIV status of their patient. What obstacles stand in their way in breaching confidentiality, and what, if any, may be the advantages? Taking recent professional experience into account, there have been examples of situations where this would seem to be the right thing to do in order to protect a sexual partner from these diseases.

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