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Author Topic: "Did you get HIV from your lifestyle?" asked the ear-nose-throat specialist  (Read 2052 times)

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Offline tealeaf

  • Member
  • Posts: 38
I went in for a throat problem with the tonsil and had to fill out health history. I debated whether I should put HIV+ on there but finally decided to be thorough just in case of any related problems.

The doctor was in her 50, quite pleasant, but asked me this weird question "Did you get HIV from your lifestyle?". Twice. I ignored her the first time but finally said "yes" the second time. She was intrigued of how I was being treated and admitted that she was ignorant on the subject. I gave her the intro of what HAART was and etc. When it came to my tonsils and whether or not I should have them removed, she said because of my HIV+, she wouldn't do it (she used the word "they wouldn't") due to risks of infection and how she had cut herself during operations and the like. I didn't response to that nor I felt offended. Just thought she was a little too ignorant for her profession.

Anyway, that's the first incident regarding my HIV+ status disclosure so I thought I would share.



12/05/2011 - tested positive
12/14/2011 - CD4 376 (18%) - VL 45734
12/28/2011 - CD4 367 (17%) - VL 27000
01/05/2012 - started Complera
02/08/2012 - CD4 521 (31%) - VL 226
04/05/2012 - CD4 453 (22%) - VL 44

Offline buginme2

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,742
  • Certified Life Coach
"Did you get HIV from your lifestyle?"

Why yes, yes I did.  And would you like to hear exactly how?

My god, and that woman went to medical school?  Criminal. 

Can you ask your HIV doctor if he/she can recommend someone else, someone that wont react the same way.

Sorry you had to deal with that, that would piss me off too.
"All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I'm fine."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6e0gcEC1TWE

Offline emeraldize

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,254
Are you in the US?

If a doc asked me that question I'd be flying out of the room -- but, that's me.

Best to have a recommendation from an HIV doc as usually they've found those who are bright enough not to ask such f'd up questions.

She's cut herself multiple times during surgeries? And conceded that? Just another reason to fly out of the room.

BTW, don't let that be your last medical disclosure -- fortunately, it's not usually that bad a reception. She needs some education in HIV and bedside/tableside manners, no doubt of it.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2012, 05:50:19 PM by emeraldize »

Offline mecch

  • Member
  • Posts: 10,712
  • red pill? or blue pill?
Oh yuck.
Sorry you had to meet such a douche.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Jeff G

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 9,211
  • How am I doing Beren ?
Wow , that is really unfortunate you found yourself being treated by a doctor like that .

I hope you go and get another opinion from a doc that's not scared to do their job . I had a hernia that was very obvious and sticking out of my belly once that a surgeon said he couldn't find after I told him I was poz . The worst part was my infectious disease doctor was the one who referred me to him .

I left his office and went to the emergency room and had my hernia surgery the next day .

Offline denb45

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,051
  • "1987 Classic Old School POZ+"
I would have reported her bad conduct  >:(
"it's so nice to be insane, cause no-one ask you to explain" Helen Reddy cc 1974

Offline buginme2

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,742
  • Certified Life Coach


BTW, don't let that be your last medical disclosure -- fortunately, it's not usually that bad a reception. She needs some education in HIV and bedside/tableside manner, no doubt of it.

Absolutely, I hope this doesnt keep you from disclosing to other doctors.  The great majority of time when you disclose your status to another doctor you will receive a positive response.  In fact just a month ago I saw a new dermatologist.  One of the first things I told her was I was HIV positive.  The way she handled it and how she treated me was so outstanding.  Really, its unfortionate this happened to you.  Its not always like this.
"All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I'm fine."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6e0gcEC1TWE

Offline odyssey

  • Member
  • Posts: 763
  • One Crazy Mofo!
Just so you know, having HIV shouldn't prevent you from getting a tonsillectomy. I had one. You just need to find a doctor who didn't go to medical school during the stone age!

oddy
01/09/09- diagnosed HIV+
01/16/09   CD4-425    22%     VL- 32415
11/09- started Truvada/Reyetaz/Norvir
03/10- stopped Truvada/Reyetaz/Norvir
10/18/11   CD4- 328   20%     VL- 84,000
10/25/11   CD4- 386   22%
10/28/11- start Truvada/Reyetaz/Norvir
3/8/12      CD4- 503   31%     VL 57

Offline karry

  • Member
  • Posts: 259
Its sad you had to deal with that. Please change doctors! I had surgery about 18 months ago, and the surgeon was aware of my status and infact insisted on me having the surgery.

Karry
Take it a day at a time....and be positive about it too!

Offline OneTampa

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,032
  • "Butterflies are free."
"Did you get HIV from your lifestyle?"

Amazing.  As we say back home, that is one cow that should have been tipped in the field.

Sorry you encountered such ignorance from a medical person (hardly professional).

Also, I suggest no more of your ears, nose and throat for her.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2012, 08:51:07 PM by OneTampa »
"He is my oldest child. The shy and retiring one over there with the Haitian headdress serving pescaíto frito."

Offline forrest

  • Member
  • Posts: 162
That sucks Tealeaf! Sorry to hear about that! Effing bitch!

I asked my ID doc if I should disclose to other docs... he said that I should. He said if I go to like a chiropractor, though, no need - but in general, yes, he said give them the full and complete picture.  He also told me to let him know when I was going to see a specialist as some ARE ignorant. He went on to tell me that some in town he would not recommend regarding disclosure of HIV and he said that he would always be honest with me on who is okay and who isn't.

While it shouldn't be that way!!!!... the reality is, that it is.  Not sure what sort of relationship you have with your doc... but maybe give him a list of docs you are interested in seeing and see if he can give a thumbs up or down to who is on your list. 

Sorry you experienced that! I am sure I will too at some point - not ready for it. 
2011-03-26:  Tested Positive

Date           |VL        |CD4 |4%  |CD8 |8%  |C4:C8
2011-04-06 |48,653 |603 |32.0 |646 |35.0 |0.61
2011-05-23 |64,324 |577 |36.0 |576 |36.0 |1.00
2011-08-02 |18,319 |574 |36.3 |587 |37.2 |0.98
2011-12-06 |10,375 |480 |30.1 |616 |38.7 |0.78
2012-02-22 |  9,674 |570 |33.6 |655 |38.7 |0.87
2012-05-04 |  8,439 |559 |30.4 |706 |38.4 |0.79

Offline tealeaf

  • Member
  • Posts: 38
I found the Ear Nose Throat clinics from Yelp and got randomly assigned to her. This is in the Bay Area near San Francisco.

The experience was unpleasant indeed. My partner wanted to push her down the stairs when I told him. I won't go back there obviously.



12/05/2011 - tested positive
12/14/2011 - CD4 376 (18%) - VL 45734
12/28/2011 - CD4 367 (17%) - VL 27000
01/05/2012 - started Complera
02/08/2012 - CD4 521 (31%) - VL 226
04/05/2012 - CD4 453 (22%) - VL 44

Offline madbrain

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,208
  • No longer an active member
    • My personal site
Wow, that is one sick doctor.

I think every positive person should have a prepared improper answer for this kind of improper question.

Perhaps telling them you got it from their [husband, wife, partner, ex], and that they should probably get checked, too.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2012, 10:45:41 PM by madbrain »

Offline emeraldize

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,254
I think every positive person should have a prepared improper answer for this kind of improper question.

A school teacher friend of mine gave me a good question that fits this situation and a host of others in life when someone asks THAT question that drives your adrenaline-maker.

Simply, calmly, genuinely, eyes right on the subject, say    "Why do you ask?"    It's a stunner for most people and for those whose egos are running the show they scramble to fill the air with words of justification for the intrusion they know they launched.  It's a fascinating and effective way to take swift control of the situation.  Just sit back and listen to the silence   or    babble.

It gives you breathing room and the time to figure out if you're leaving or responding with  " Your question is not appropriate, or not relevant, or is in poor taste, or reflects your lack of knowledge on the topic, or thank you for sharing your thinking with me, or "....nothing.

Offline forrest

  • Member
  • Posts: 162
"Why do you ask?"

Nice! I was wondering what a good response would be... to be prepared for the future when and if it happens to me.  Thanks!

2011-03-26:  Tested Positive

Date           |VL        |CD4 |4%  |CD8 |8%  |C4:C8
2011-04-06 |48,653 |603 |32.0 |646 |35.0 |0.61
2011-05-23 |64,324 |577 |36.0 |576 |36.0 |1.00
2011-08-02 |18,319 |574 |36.3 |587 |37.2 |0.98
2011-12-06 |10,375 |480 |30.1 |616 |38.7 |0.78
2012-02-22 |  9,674 |570 |33.6 |655 |38.7 |0.87
2012-05-04 |  8,439 |559 |30.4 |706 |38.4 |0.79

Offline Rhaegar

  • Member
  • Posts: 99
It sucks that you had to deal with her ignorance.  I'd find another doctor.

That's what I'm afraid of, and also recently had an appointment with an ENT doc.  I chose not to disclose just because the doctor is affiliated with my employer.  Surprisingly though, she already had my medications listed in the chart.  I don't know how that happened since I never listed them anywhere. 

I felt bad about not disclosing afterwards, to be honest.  I'm wondering if I should let her know at the next visit.

05/19/2011: Diagnosed.  CD4 159   VL 284,000.
04/29/2013:  CD4 789,   VL <20

Offline tednlou2

  • Member
  • Posts: 4,602
I continue to be amazed at the ignorance and lack of empathy from some medical professionals.  I had one at the HIV clinic I go to say something like, "Well, this is what happens when you live dangerously."  I can't remember her exact quote, but it was something very similar to that.  It was totally uncalled for and not necessary.

My best friend sees a therapist at the VA hospital.  Due to not having enough psychiatrists, they use therapists and then have a psychiatrist write the prescriptions.  The psychiatrist told him being gay is not natural and that he just needed a girlfriend to help his depression.  He's always afraid to stir things up, so he just let it go.  I told him she needs to be reported.  She's going to say that to someone having a hard time dealing with their sexuality, and I fear something bad may happen.  If not suicide, it could cause huge damage, by reinforcing what they are feeling/hearing that being gay is wrong.  She said it again at another appt.  Then, she asked who he lives with, and he said a couple.  Well, she wanted to know whether it was a male/female couple.  He said a male couple, and she said he should find a different living situation.  He finally asked to be transferred to someone else, but is still reluctant to report her. 

I think I may report her, if he doesn't.  When I was looking through the profiles of local psychiatrists/therapists, I was surprised at the number who said they prefer to see Christian patients--saying they believe treatment should also be based on the Bible.  I'm glad they are upfront about it, so you know what you're getting by going to them.  I can only imagine what she would be telling him, if he was HIV poz.   

 


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