VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.
The Case of Dominique: A Client’s HIV Disclosure and Related Risks
Abigail S. Wengerd, Hannah P. Hill, and Iris R. Konieczka
Receiving an HIV positive diagnosis used to be an almost certain death sentence. In recent years, there have been many advances in prevention, detection, and treatment of HIV. Treatments have become more effective at prolonging life, although HIV remains a progressive, incurable disease. Even with the revolutionary advances in the past 30 years, there are many ethical considerations and issues that must be considered when a client makes a disclosure of being HIV positive during a counseling session. Individuals with HIV face many challenges: initial diagnosis, treatment, disclosure of HIV status with others, relationship issues, and adhering to medical treatment. The Duquesne University Master’s Ethics team applied a HIV-specific decision-making model to the case study of Dominique to address the ethical issues presented in the case. This case also presents complexities of counseling a professional athlete and considerations concerning social media. The ethical and legal concerns of duty to warn and duty to protect with an HIV positive client are discussed. The team researched current literature, applied the 2014 ACA code of ethics, and reviewed appropriate legal codes through the application of the HIV-specific decision making model.