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Br J Gen Pract. 1990 April; 40(333): 158–160.
PMCID: PMC1371244

Knowledge of HIV infection and AIDS, and attitudes to testing and counselling among general practitioners in Northern Ireland.


All 922 general practitioners in Northern Ireland were sent a questionnaire on human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Five hundred and ninety four general practitioners (64.4%) returned the questionnaire. Thirty eight respondents (6.4%) knew of an HIV positive patient in their practice and 93.3% felt they should be informed if one of their patients was found to be HIV positive at a genitourinary medicine clinic, even without the patient's consent. Of the respondents, 76.8% were willing to be involved in the management of AIDS patients in their practice in cooperation with hospital colleagues but only 37.5% felt confident to provide AIDS counselling and advice. Of the 368 general practitioners who did not feel confident to provide AIDS counselling and advice, 41.3% felt that they had insufficient knowledge and 79.6% felt uncertain of their counselling skills. The information gathered on the administration of injections, taking blood samples and disposal of needles indicated that further education for general practitioners is required to ensure safety at work.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Hodgkin P. HIV infection: the challenge to general practitioners. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1988 Feb 20;296(6621):516–517. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Milne RI, Keen SM. Are general practitioners ready to prevent the spread of HIV? Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1988 Feb 20;296(6621):533–535. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Adler MW. Care for patients with HIV infection and AIDS. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987 Jul 4;295(6589):27–30. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Anderson P, Mayon-White R. General practitioners and management of infection with HIV. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1988 Feb 20;296(6621):535–537. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Boyton R, Scambler G. Survey of general practitioners' attitudes to AIDS in the North West Thames and East Anglian regions. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1988 Feb 20;296(6621):538–540. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Norell JS. In aid of doctors suffering from complaints about AIDS. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986 Nov 8;293(6556):1213–1215. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

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