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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
AIDS Patient Urges House Panel to Require Testing
Gladwell, Malcolm
September 27, 1991
Washington Post (09/27/91), P. A4

Kimberly Bergalis, testifying yesterday before Congress, encouraged mandatory testing for HIV among health-care workers. "Please enact legilsation so that [no one} will have to go through the hell that I have gone through," Bergalis said. Other AIDS patients strongly disagreed with her and said it would be irrational and ineffective to impose legislation restricting health-care workers. However, after hearing both sides, members of the House health and envronment subcommittee, which is considering the legislation, had not reached a consensus of the issue. Bergalis' father claimed that subcommittee members had put politics before sound public health by not imposing restrictions on HIV-infected health-care workers prior to this incident. Some witnesses said the risk could be reduced by using safer precautions in invasive procedures. They also emphasized that the Bergalis case is the only known one of worker-to-patient transmission and there is a very remote chance of it happening again. Related stories: New York Times (9/27) P. A12; Baltimore Sun (9/27) P. 1A; Philadelphia Inquirer (9/27) P. 4A