We asked primary care physicians in South Carolina about their knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs regarding patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and the Services they provide for these patients. In support of an effort to develop more effective state policies regarding HIV/AIDS, the survey focused on conditions under which physicians would provide additional Services for such patients; 597 of 900 physicians (66%) responded. Among responding physicians, 40% had not seen a patient with HIV infection/AIDS during the past year and 50% had seen only one to nine. Respondents identified lack of specialty backup support, insufficient clinical knowledge, and lack of available community Services as the major barriers to providing care for these patients. Gaps in their knowledge included state and federal policies, available community resources, and clinical issues. Respondents said they would provide additional Services if they had specialty backup (54%), better community and social support Services (50%), additional training (46%), and limited liability (44%). We concluded that policy changes in these areas could expand access to care for HIV/AIDS patients in South Carolina.
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