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Jamie Albright '13 co-presents at HIV/AIDS conference for social workers

The rising Elon University senior co-wrote an abstract with Professor Cindy Fair and with a social worker from Georgetown University Medical Center.


An Elon University senior helped present an abstract at the “HIV/AIDS 2012: The Social Worker Response” conference in Miami in May.

Jamie Albright, a human service studies major and Lumen Scholar studying the messages adolescents living with perinatally acquired HIV receive from medical care providers regarding reproductive decision-making, made the presentation along with Georgetown University Medical Center pediatric social worker Janet Osherow.

Albright, Osherow and Elon University Professor Cindy Fair co-authored the abstract. Fair was unable to attend the conference, which ran May 24-27.

Their abstract:

The Challenges of Duty to Warn: Adolescents Living with HIV

Youth growing up with HIV must deal with the same issues of sexuality as their uninfected peers, made more complex by their highly stigmatized illness. Many youth struggle with requirements to disclose to sexual partners for fear of rejection. However, non-disclosure has significant personal and public health implications. Social workers working with HIV-positive youth may face the dilemma of upholding patient confidentiality in instances of patient non-disclosure to sexual partners, despite requirements to warn third parties about potential exposure. The social worker’s duty to warn in the case of potential HIV transmission has been explored with HIV+ adults (Chenneville, 2000). However, it is important to revisit the unique experiences of the maturing population of youth living with perinatally-acquired HIV (PHIV), who initiate sexual development not only in the context of their illness, but often in the face of related medical and psychosocial issues, such as developmental delays, mental health problems, physical illness, and complex medication regimes (Hazra, Siberry & Mofenson, 2010). A case study involving a young woman with PHIV who experienced three pregnancies, each with partners unaware of her status, will be discussed in detail.

Questions to be considered include the following:

• How should social workers respond in a way that is sensitive to adolescent patient needs while protecting third parties?
• How, if at all, does the risk of vertical transmission factor into the situation?
• How should social workers handle differences in opinion among professionals at the same institution?

Eric Townsend,
5/30/2012 9:04 AM