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City of Hope

Hospitals shouldn't keep infection outbreaks secret

To the editor: It is outrageous that hospitals are not required to make public disclosures of infection outbreaks. ("A veil of secrecy shields hospitals where outbreaks occur," April 18) Some countries or jurisdictions, including some areas of the U.S., have enacted laws expressly to criminalize HIV transmission or exposure. It is nonsensical that information about hospital outbreaks should be kept confidential. If a single person with HIV can be charged with a duty of disclosure, a hospital should be charged with a similar duty. Each patient should be given a fair chance to protect himself or herself from exposure to infection and to assume that a hospital is exercising its...

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