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Any other poz health care professionals?

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Callaway:
I was diagnosed poz June 2011 (a shock indeed) and this is my first time reaching out to others since then.  My partner and I attended one session of a local support group and I was not comfortable and we have remained isolated since.  Iím a Canadian Registered Nurse (male) and having more of a tough time dealing with the stigma than the actual disease due to my profession and feeling the need to remain silent (of course my governing body knows, a requirement of the profession to report).  Anyone else out there experiencing the same thing or have any advice on coping?

Jmarksto:
Hey Callaway;

First, sorry you need to be here but welcome.

While I am not a health care professional, I defiantly struggle with the stigma for professional reasons.  I was diagnosed in June 2012 and have only disclosed to my partner.  I am looking forward to disclosure at a minimum to my family at some point, but I am not ready at all yet.

Anyway - the forums have been great for support, technical information, and being able to hear from others that have been able to manage this disease.  I have also found that a counselor that specializes in HIV has been very helpful.

Again, welcome.

JM

Callaway:
Hey JM; thanks for the response, my partner and I found out at the same time and have not disclosed to anyone else (me only one close friend); especially family.  We also went to a councellor a few times initially and found it somewhat helpful however she was not a councellor who specialized in the area of HIV; she did have a bout of cancer herself so could relate however not totally; I sort of felt that she was more focused on "lets wallow in pity for awhile then we need to move forward" which is ok however didn't help much with the emotional roller coaster that occurs; perhaps another councellor might be a consideration at some time;my main concern is the feeling of isolation without personal contact with others with the fear of possible disclosure; I am, however, appreciate of a communication venue such as this and thank you again for reaching out and welcome others as well.

anniebc:
Hi Callaway

I have been in the Health Care profession for 30+ years, I was an RN, I was diagnosed in Australia in 2002, but due to a sever seroconversion I was unable to go back to work, but I have always had the support of my work mates through out the last ten years.

I volunteer as an Ambulance Officer and First responder for the fire Service in NZ, maybe I'm one of the lucky ones because I have never had to deal with stigma, most health care workers are pretty good at accepting those who are in the same profession and living with HIV, at least that has been the situation with me, I hope yours will be a positive situation (no pun intended) with your work mates should you decide to disclose.

Stay focused, enjoy your career, I'm sure you will find the support in the work force when you are ready.

Aroha
Jan

Jmarksto:
Callaway;


--- Quote from: Callaway on November 22, 2012, 01:53:24 AM ---my main concern is the feeling of isolation without personal contact with others with the fear of possible disclosure

--- End quote ---
I am not exactly sure what you mean here, but in a general sense I get the fear of isolation (particularly with family and those close to me) related to disclosure.

I found a counselor that specializes in HIV to be very helpful - he helped unpack the emotions around disclosure.  He could acknowledge why disclosure is hard, and then help me understand why disclosure is important with certain people, all the while noting that disclosure doesn't have to be today, this month, or this year, and not making any judgement on my decisions. This guy had clearly thought this stuff through in a very compassionate and professional way.  I think this kind of counseling requires someone that really understands the social, emotional, and medical sides of HIV.

I will also say that my partner has been fantastic through this - our relationship has strengthened because of it - and I think having that support is one reason I haven't needed to seek support from my family....for now.

I know you wanted to hear from other health care workers, hopefully they will be able to share their experience too.

JM

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