Many people believe that healthcare workers have a moral obligation to disclose their own HIV-positive status to their patients. However, healthcare providers have argued that it is an unnecessary invasion of their privacy as there is little evidence that HIV is transmitted from healthcare providers to patients. The most notorious case occurred when a Florida dentist, who later died of AIDS, allegedly infected at least one of his patients. This patient later died of AIDS. The accused dentist practiced invasive procedures such as tooth extractions and fillings without practicing universal safety precautions such as wearing gloves and a mask. The allegations in this case have never been proven.
In 1985 a law went into effect that mandated the testing of all blood and tissue donors to protect any potential surgery and hemophiliac patients from the transmission of HIV. In addition, the requirement to use standard precautions was implemented. There are many people who believe that healthcare workers who practice any type of invasive procedures or techniques, such as injections and surgery, should be required to take an HIV test. The alternative is that healthcare workers should be tested if they have a needlestick incident. This HIV testing is currently done in hospitals whenever a needlestick incident occurs.
In spite of the lack of statistics to demonstrate that healthcare workers can infect their patients, patients still have a desire to know if they are at risk of being infected with HIV/AIDS. Because AIDS is a fatal disease, many patients believe they should be told if their physician is HIV-positive.