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The doctor's office sent my labs to my parents...

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I'm completey stunned by what has happened with my confidential records and I thought I would get some feedback here first.   I just found out I was positive May 4 and had my initial HIV appointment in July.  I live in a very small, southern, conservative town and drove 200 miles to Atlanta to avoid any awkward situations.  I never gave the hospital any information other than my name and a post office box.  By the way, I'm 33 years old.  The next thing I know my parents give me a bill for $2700 (the hospital estimated anywhere from $300-$1000) addressed to my father at my parent's address.  My name was next to "Patient:"  My parents are religioius, conservative people and did not know of my status.  I did not tell them because they're just not cut out to deal with it.  Now, however, it's all on the table.  Not only are they freaked out because I'm going to die from a terminal s.t.d., but I'm also gonna burn in hell because of it.  The hospital I chose to visit is touted as one of the best in the country.  Obviously from the price tag on the blood work, they don't come cheap.  I'm furious!  My parents are a mess!  Any thoughts on how to handle this...Mentally, I was doing very well until this came along.

I think the only thing you can do now is educate your parents on what does being HIV+ mean. Make sure they understand it is like any other infection but the only thing that makes people look at it in a different way is that there is no cure for it yet.
But make sure they understand you need their support and that you are not going to die of HIV.
Good Luck!


I am not familiar with the health system in the US so I can't help you there, but reading your message I feel I have to try and help.

The manner in which your parents were informed is shocking. But you cannot change that now, it is too late. I understand you feel raw about this and I am sorry for you.

However, this may be a blessing in disguise in the long term. At least now that "everything is on the table" you won't have to spend energy in hiding from them and invent stories. I don't know your parents but I wouldn't underestimate them.  If they love you and care for you they'll adapt to the change.
I suppose one thing to do is give them (and yourself) some time over this. A good thing would be to try and keep communicating with them if that's possible.

As for "dying from a terminal std", I wouldn't bet on this. In all the years that you have ahead of you if you stick to treatment and look after yourself, you probably stand a bigger risk of being run over by a truck :-\

As for right now, concentrate on getting back to your calm state of before the events, and breathe deeply. You've found a great place here with good people who will be there for you anytime you need support, information or a good laugh.

stay well, :-* :-* :-*


Nothing you can do. Your family knows and you can't change that. 2700, hell that would be a cheap bill for me.

I think you might be well-advised to run this by someone who could give you some objective legal perspective. I have no doubt there will be many responses to your post to follow mine. But, I can tell you, if this had happened to me, once I'd shaken off the shock, I would seek counsel pronto. The very same purveyor of expensive blood labs, is the very same source that could likely, and should, be held accountable for a violation of your privacy and consequently compensate you for this most unnecessary, traumatizing outcome. As to your family, give them a little time to process their fears and feelings. I'm sorry this happened to you.


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