Social effects

Testing has the potential to cause stigmatization, as was found with carrier testing for sickle cell anaemia. In the United States, many African-Americans were stigmatized by their carrier status in the form of being denied health and life insurance and employment opportunities, and this became entwined with racial issues since only the black population had to undergo mandatory screening. With the rapid developments in genetic testing many have been concerned regarding the potential implications in terms of eugenics.

People with positive test results for non-genetic disease can also be stigmatized, and HIV testing is one of the most problematic types of screening in this sense. The fact that AIDS is an infectious disease can cause fear and some have even argued that society should 'quarantine' those who are HIV positive. For some people, AIDS is associated with practices which they consider immoral and this can be the basis for further prejudice. Therefore a positive test result for HIV can have considerable impact on the person's social identity.

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