Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome has only recently begun to receive attention in the field of athletic training. Previously, there was a preconceived notion that athletes were beyond contracting this disease. However, with the announcement of Earvin “Magic” Johnson's contraction of HIV, the virus that leads to AIDS, this concept has fallen by the wayside. Now, many clinicians recognize that the patients they treat may be carrying this virus and thus want to become more knowledgeable about the disease. This article addresses questions concerning transmission of AIDS, prevention of HIV transmission, and precautions that must be undertaken to protect both the athlete and the athletic trainer from this disease. Knowledge about this disease and use of appropriate precautions will substantially decrease the risk of HIV transmission in athletics.
The author was a graduate student in athletic training at the University of Virginia at the time this paper was written and is presently with the South Texas Sports Medicine Clinic in Corpus Christi, Texas. Request reprints from Dan Strukel, 6350 Meadow Vista, #1016, Corpus Christi, TX 78414.