An AIDS task force for the American Medical Association recommended against mandatory testing of doctors for the disease, and the AMA's House of Delegates will vote on the proposal Wednesday.
The AMA committee recommended voluntary guidelines calling for any doctor exposed to the AIDS virus to seek testing. And, the guidelines recommend, any doctor who tests positive for the virus should halt "invasive surgery" or advise patients of the condition.AMA officials said they believe adoption of voluntary guidelines will head off legislative efforts to require AIDS testing for health-care professionals - a step they said might scare consumers.
"They might wonder if testing is required, if there isn't some reason to be concerned," said Dr. M. Roy Schwarz, head of the task force.
AMA officials allowed AIDS activists, organized by the group ACT UP, to make a presentation Monday to the committee responsible for reviewing AIDS policies.
Despite that gesture, a small group of AIDS activists Monday tried to storm the Chicago Hilton and Towers, where the delegates are meeting. A police officer was bitten on the hand in the scuffle.
Other committee recommendations up for a vote Wednesday include a recommendation for better public education about the hazards of lead poisoning and a recommendation that smoking be banned at major league baseball stadiums.