The AAHIVM Code of Ethics applies to all individuals Credentialed by AAHIVM as an HIV Specialist™, HIV Expert™ or HIV Pharmacist™; all individuals seeking AAHIVM Credentialing, all provider Members of AAHIVM, all providers seeking AAHIVM Membership, and, as applicable, all “non-provider AAHIVM Members”, hereinafter referred to collectively as “AAHIVM Providers”. The Code is designed to provide appropriate ethical practice guidelines and enforceable standards of conduct.
Among other primary goals, AAHIVM is dedicated to the implementation of appropriate professional standards designed to serve patient welfare and the profession. First and foremost, AAHIVM Providers give priority to patient interests, and act in a manner that promotes integrity and reflects positively on the profession, consistent with accepted moral, ethical and legal standards. Generally, an AAHIVM Provider has the obligation to:
1. Deal fairly with all patients in a timely fashion, and provide quality medical and nursing services to patients by utilizing all necessary professional resources in a technically appropriate and efficient manner, and by considering the cost effectiveness of treatments;
2. Respect and promote the rights of patients by offering only professional services that he/she is qualified to perform, and by adequately informing patients about the nature of their conditions, the objectives of the proposed treatment, treatment alternatives, possible outcomes, and the risks involved;
3. Maintain the confidentiality of all patient information, except where: The release of specific information is allowed, required or directed by law, a court, or government agency; or the patient expressly directs the release of specific information;
4. Avoid conduct which may cause a conflict with patient interests, or that could otherwise influence, interfere with, or compromise the exercise of independent, professional, clinical judgment;
5. Engage in moral and ethical business practices, by providing accurate and truthful representations concerning his/her professional qualifications and other relevant information in advertising and other representations; and,
6. Further the professionalism of the specialty of HIV medicine by: being truthful with regard to research sources, findings, and related professional activities; maintaining accurate and complete research records; and, respecting the intellectual property and contributions of others.
Compliance with Laws, Policies, and Rules Relating to the Profession
1. AAHIVM Providers will be aware of, and comply with, all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations governing the profession. AAHIVM Providers will not knowingly participate or assist in any acts in violation of applicable laws and regulations governing the profession. Lack of awareness or misunderstanding of these laws and regulations does not excuse inappropriate or unethical behavior. AAHIVM Providers will be responsible for understanding these obligations.
2. AAHIVM Providers will be aware of, and comply with, all AAHIVM rules, policies, and procedures. Lack of awareness or misunderstanding of an AAHIVM rule, policy, or procedure does not excuse inappropriate or unethical behavior. AAHIVM Providers will not knowingly participate or assist in any acts that violate any AAHIVM rules, policies, and procedures. AAHIVM Providers will be responsible for understanding these obligations.
3. AAHIVM Providers will provide accurate and truthful representations of all eligibility information, and will submit valid application materials for fulfillment of current credentialing and recredentialing requirements.
4. AAHIVM Providers will maintain the security, and prevent the disclosure, of the AAHIVM Credentialing Program examination information and materials.
5. AAHIVM Providers will report any possible violations of this Code of Ethics to the appropriate government authority and to the appropriate AAHIVM representative.
6. AAHIVM Providers will cooperate fully with AAHIVM concerning the review of possible ethics violations and the collection of related information.
Professional Practice Obligations
1. AAHIVM Providers will deliver competent medical and nursing treatment or services in a timely manner, and will provide quality patient care applying appropriate professional skill and competence.
2. AAHIVM Providers will recognize the limitations of their professional ability, and will only provide and deliver professional services for which they are qualified. Each AAHIVM Provider will be responsible for determining his/her own professional abilities based on his/her education, knowledge, competency, extent of practice experience in the field, and other relevant considerations.
3. AAHIVM Providers will use all health-related resources in a technically appropriate and efficient manner.
4. AAHIVM Providers will provide medical and nursing services based on patient needs and the cost-effectiveness of treatments, and will avoid unnecessary treatment or services. AAHIVM Providers will provide treatment that is both appropriate and necessary to the condition of the patient.
5. AAHIVM Providers will exercise diligence and thoroughness in providing patient care, and in making professional diagnoses and recommendations solely for the patient’s benefit, free from any prejudiced or biased judgment. AAHIVM Providers, who offer their services to the public, will not decline a patient based on age, religion, gender, race, color, sexual orientation or affectional preference, national origin, HIV status or other medical diagnosis, or any other basis that would constitute unlawful discrimination.
6. AAHIVM Providers will provide appropriate professional referrals when it is determined that they are unable to provide the professional medical assistance necessary for the case.
7. AAHIVM Providers will prepare and maintain all necessary, required, or otherwise appropriate records concerning their professional practice, including all records related to treatment of their patients.
8. AAHIVM Providers will consult with other health care professionals when such consultation is appropriate.
9. AAHIVM Providers will not act in a manner that may compromise their clinical judgment or their obligation to deal fairly with all patients. AAHIVM Providers will not allow medical conditions, personal problems, psychological distress, substance abuse, or mental health difficulties to interfere with their professional clinical judgment or performance.
10. AAHIVM Providers will be truthful and accurate in all advertising and representations concerning qualifications, experience, competency, and performance of services, including representations related to professional status and/or areas of special competence. An AAHIVM Provider will not make false or deceptive statements concerning his/her: training, experience, or competence; academic training or degrees; certification or credentials; institutional or association affiliations; services, or, fees for services.
11. AAHIVM Providers will not make explicit or implicit false or misleading statements about, or guarantees concerning, any treatment or service, orally or in writing.
12. AAHIVM Providers should avoid treating themselves or members of their own families if possible. Practitioners should also be very cautious about assuming the care of closely associated employees or those they supervise.
Requirements Related to Research and Professional Activities
1. AAHIVM Providers will be accurate and truthful, and otherwise act in an appropriate manner, with regard to research findings and related professional activities, and will make reasonable and diligent efforts to avoid any material misrepresentations.
2. AAHIVM Providers will maintain appropriate, accurate, and complete records with respect to research findings and related professional activities.
3. When preparing, developing, or presenting research information and materials, AAHIVM Providers will not copy or use, in substantially similar form, materials prepared by others without acknowledging the correct source and identifying the name of the author or publisher of such material.
4. AAHIVM Providers will respect and protect the intellectual property rights of others, and will otherwise recognize the professional contributions of others.
Conflict of Interest and Appearance of Impropriety Requirements
1. AAHIVM Providers will not engage in conduct which may cause a conflict between their own interests and the interests of their patient.
2. AAHIVM Providers will act to protect the interests and welfare of the patient before their own interests, unless such action is in conflict with any legal, ethical, or professional obligation. AAHIVM Providers will not exploit professional relationships for personal gain.
3. AAHIVM Providers will disclose to patients and avoid any circumstances that constitute a conflict of interest, or that could otherwise influence or interfere with the exercise of professional judgment.
4. AAHIVM Providers will refrain from offering or accepting inappropriate payments, gifts, or other forms of compensation for personal gain, unless in conformity with applicable laws, regulations, and AAHIVM rules and
5. AAHIVM Providers will avoid conduct involving inappropriate, unlawful, or otherwise unethical monetary gain.
Compensation and Referral Disclosure Requirements
1. AAHIVM Providers will charge fair, reasonable, and appropriate fees for all professional services.
2. AAHIVM Providers will charge fees that accurately reflect the services and treatment provided to the patient. When setting fees, an AAHIVM Provider will consider: the length of time he/she has been practicing in this particular field; the amount of time necessary to perform the service; the nature of the patient’s condition; his/her professional qualifications and experience; and, other relevant factors.
3. AAHIVM Providers will make all appropriate disclosures to patients and prospective patients regarding any benefit paid to others for recommending or referring his/her services.
4. AAHIVM Providers will make all appropriate disclosures to patients and prospective patients regarding any benefit received for recommending or referring the services of another individual.
1. AAHIVM Providers will maintain and respect the confidentiality of all patient information obtained in the course of a professional relationship, except where: The release of specific information is expressly required and directed by law, a court, or government agency; or the patient expressly directs the release of specific information.
2. AAHIVM Providers will respect and maintain the privacy of their patients.
1. AAHIVM Providers will not engage in any criminal misconduct.
2. AAHIVM Providers will not engage in any sexual, physical, romantic, or otherwise intimate conduct with a current patient. Any professional relationship must be terminated before engaging in any sexual, physical, or romantic behavior.
3. AAHIVM Providers will not engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation in professional activities.
4. AAHIVM Providers will not engage in discrimination in professional activities based on age, race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender orientation, religion, national origin, HIV status or disability. These professional activities include relationships with patients, staff, colleagues, trainees and vendors.
5. AAHIVM Providers will avoid any behavior clearly in violation of accepted moral, ethical, or legal standards that may compromise the integrity of, or reflect negatively on, the profession.