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

J R Coll Gen Pract. 1989 Mar;39(320):104-5.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / psychology*
  • Attitude to Health
  • Confidentiality
  • Disclosure
  • Family Practice
  • Humans
  • Physician-Patient Relations*