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Logo of jroyalcgpracBJGP at RCGPBJGP at PubMed CentralJ R Coll Gen Pract at PubMed CentralRCGP homepage
J R Coll Gen Pract. 1989 March; 39(320): 104–105.
PMCID: PMC1711789

The general practitioner and human immunodeficiency virus infection: an insight into patients' attitudes.


In a study of 100 patients with the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), 77% were registered with a general practitioner and a further 14% wished to register. Of those 77 who were registered with a general practitioner, only 47 doctors knew their diagnosis; 19 of the 77 did not want their general practitioner to know. Of this small group of 19, a proportion would visit their general practitioner with symptoms, some of which may be related to AIDS. The main difficulty for patients in telling a general practitioner about their illness was a perceived lack of confidentiality and lack of sympathy. Patients valued understanding and expertise as most important in a general practitioner. This study provides an analysis of why general practice is not seen as a significant resource for many patients with AIDS in the London area and suggests some initiatives to enhance the appropriate use of primary care services.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • 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]
  • 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]
  • Helbert M. AIDS and medical confidentiality. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987 Aug 29;295(6597):552–552. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
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  • Sibbald B, Freeling P. AIDS and the future general practitioner. J R Coll Gen Pract. 1988 Nov;38(316):500–502. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • King MB. AIDS and the general practitioner: views of patients with HIV infection and AIDS. BMJ. 1988 Jul 16;297(6642):182–184. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

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