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Author Topic: Calling all HIV+ medical professionals!!  (Read 1791 times)

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Offline CLP1972

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  • Posts: 11
Calling all HIV+ medical professionals!!
« on: February 21, 2013, 08:34:52 PM »
Hey guys, I know there are a lot of us out there who are dealing/living/thriving with HIV.  As medical professionals, however, we have learned that HIPAA doesn't always apply to us, and the stigma of HIV is much greater, especially in regard to treating patients who are HIV negative.  We have to hide in the shadows to be able to have a career and help others.  We have very few places where we can turn for support from those who truly understand our situation.  I want to help change that.  It's my goal to form a support group where we can feel safe to share, live, and thrive.  If you have a similar interest, please message me and let's talk.  Btw, I'm as high as you can go in the medical profession.  I love my job, love helping others, I'm gay, I have HIV, and yes, I'm a good person....we all are!!

Offline anniebc

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Re: Calling all HIV+ medical professionals!!
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2013, 08:48:31 PM »
Hi CLP

Welcome to the forums.

I'm a retired Nursing Sister, I left work because of ill health not because of stigma or discrimination, I had the best support I could get from my nurses and other medical staff at the clinics I worked in.

I also travel NZ and Australia doing talks to medical students, nurses and Doctors, about a health professional living with HIV and safety in the work force, I have one coming up in Australia in April talking to Doctors and Surgeons at the Price of Wales Hospital

I'm sorry you feel the need to hide in order to continue your profession, one you obviously love.

Apart from this forum I have all the support I need from my family, friends and community so I have no need to join another, I just wanted to call in and say hi, welcome and wish you all the best.

Aroha
Jan
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Never knock on deaths door..ring the bell and run..he really hates that.

Offline CLP1972

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  • Posts: 11
Re: Calling all HIV+ medical professionals!!
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2013, 09:03:24 PM »
Hi Jan,

Thanks for writing!  I applaud you for your efforts to bring a face to HIV to other medical professionals.  Yes, due to the archaic laws in the U.S., we must often hide to keep our careers...sad.  As a physician, I know first hand how insensitive some of our very own colleagues in the medical field can be.  I've heard the nurses talk about HIV patients.  I even had a doctor working for me, who was helping take care of an HIV patient that had a negative, opposite sex partner, who made the statement to me that it was "ludicrous and stupid"....that he didn't "want to be within ten feet" of a patient with HIV.  Little did he know, as he sat less than a foot away from me.  Only through education can we change the ignorance of others.  And there is NO room for ignorance of this type, especially amongst medical professionals.  So, as you see, a positive medical professional faces stigma from their colleagues, as well as from patients, if they know of our status.  One study a few years ago stated that only 30% of those polled stated they would feel comfortable having an HIV positive medical professional care for them.  There have NEVER been ANY reported cases of transmission between physician and patient.  (Everyone always goes back to the dentist in 1996 who intentionally infected patients; however, that's another saga all unto itself).  Anyway, Jan, thanks for the work you do to educated those around you!!  Keep up the great work!

Offline coreFighter

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  • Posts: 35
Re: Calling all HIV+ medical professionals!!
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2013, 09:26:00 PM »
this is such a strange disease !!!

If the doctors who are educated about it can't be kind to each other. What about the rest of us !!!

Why do your patients need to know? I'm assuming you're on meds and undetectable. But even if you aren't, then you know your status and can make informed choices to care for others.

Offline mecch

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  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Calling all HIV+ medical professionals!!
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2013, 06:58:29 AM »
I'm assuming you're on meds and undetectable.

???  seems a bit biased.

I agree in a way that it's a "strange disease" but I don't see the bias as mysterious.  It's quite often an STD or from injection drug use, and most societies hate and fear and judge these types of things. The epidemic came on fast, and deadly, and back then the disease was mysterious...   

A lot of people aren't critical thinkers.  Just go with the flow and don't question their fears and prejudice.  And a few people are just filled with a need to divvy up the world into "us" and "them" on any number of criteria. And some people are just filled with hate and anger. 

Its a pity some health care workers can be ignorant and have bias about HIV and HIV+ people.  It's not right, of course, and will take a lot of work to change.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2013, 11:08:44 AM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline actonye

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  • Posts: 16
Re: Calling all HIV+ medical professionals!!
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2013, 08:24:10 AM »
Hi guys I'm really glad there is a forum like this. I found out 2 weeks ago that I am positive. I'm a medical doctor been same for the last 7 years. Was well and thriving in my careear, since I found out I can't work. I've basically been inundated with thoughts of how, why, what next. What does this all mean for my future and my careear. I really haven't got anyone to talk to. It seems like all my plans have come to an unplanned end. I really just need some advice and even reassurance if that's possible. I'm scared, not sure how I'll cope with the medications and afraid I'm going to die soon. Even though my infection is relatively new in last six months. My mind cannot concentrate. I feel like I'm the only medical doctor with hiv ( I know I'm not but I'm finding it hard telling myself that I'm not .) please someone tell me how to move on and feel normal again. I can't leave my job now, but the guilt and shame is killing me slowly. Is there anyone else out there who I can talk to please. I need help.

Offline mecch

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  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Calling all HIV+ medical professionals!!
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2013, 01:03:54 PM »
Hi guys I'm really glad there is a forum like this. I found out 2 weeks ago that I am positive. I'm a medical doctor been same for the last 7 years. Was well and thriving in my careear, since I found out I can't work. I've basically been inundated with thoughts of how, why, what next. What does this all mean for my future and my careear. I really haven't got anyone to talk to. It seems like all my plans have come to an unplanned end. I really just need some advice and even reassurance if that's possible. I'm scared, not sure how I'll cope with the medications and afraid I'm going to die soon. Even though my infection is relatively new in last six months. My mind cannot concentrate. I feel like I'm the only medical doctor with hiv ( I know I'm not but I'm finding it hard telling myself that I'm not .) please someone tell me how to move on and feel normal again. I can't leave my job now, but the guilt and shame is killing me slowly. Is there anyone else out there who I can talk to please. I need help.
I am sorry for your diagnosis, and welcome here.

Your post has some contradictions.  If you are a medical doctor, you can manage the knowledge that HIV is a "manageable chronic disease."  So what is this fear "I'm going to die soon." ???  Recent Infection. 2013.  We'll assume you have access to medicine.  So please, you are not going to die.

Also, you said you cannot work because you have HIV.  But then you say, you can't leave your job.  What is the situation? 

Do you mean, you can't concentrate, so can't function well on your job?  The shock will lesson and you'll get used to being HIV+, like most of us here.

Or, are you in a country which does not protect your right to work? (If that's the case, you are thinking you have keep this a huge secret, because you will lose your career?)  Please clarify.

Again, sorry you find yourself in such a dilemma!
 
« Last Edit: February 25, 2013, 01:24:07 PM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline bob_89q

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Re: Calling all HIV+ medical professionals!!
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2013, 06:31:36 AM »
I am also in the medical field. I agree that you DO have to hide your condition and that medical work colleagues can be amongst the most nasty colleagues I have ever had the misfortune to know.
I am not saying every one is like that but the vocal minority certainly make their presence and views well known and often with impunity.
I would welcome a forum for us poeple in the medical field.
Jan, if you are giving talks in Australia then maybe you should consider Adelaide in your tour. I am not saying they are a bunch of backward carrot crunching hillbillies, that would be unfair to hillbillies! But may be the sun has boiled their brain and they need to be re educated.

Offline CLP1972

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  • Posts: 11
Re: Calling all HIV+ medical professionals!!
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2013, 12:37:20 PM »
Mecch:

I'm not fussing, whatsoever, however I too often see people "calling someone out" about possible inconsistencies in their posts.  To me, these forums are about finding love, acceptance, caring, and someone who can appreciate your current experience.  Regardless of ones career (even medical people), everyone experiences the same fears with initial diagnosis.  So, be gentle.  It's almost as if everyone wants physical evidence before they will believe someone.  I doubt there are many people that seek out these forums without a just cause.  Our job is to fight the stigma, not one another.

Offline OneTampa

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  • "Butterflies are free."
Re: Calling all HIV+ medical professionals!!
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2013, 03:03:24 PM »
I recently left a job in the medical certification field.

Although I encountered some wonderful and caring people in the profession, I also saw a few toxic personality inhabitants.  A number of them were in very high places in the medical field.  It was an eye opener for me, that's for sure.

It just shows that no matter your lot in life, there are all kinds of people and many  still need help and encouragement to deal with each other and themselves.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2013, 03:16:03 PM by OneTampa »
"He is my oldest child. The shy and retiring one over there with the Haitian headdress serving pescaíto frito."

Offline anniebc

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  • Posts: 5,939
  • AM member since 2003
Re: Calling all HIV+ medical professionals!!
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2013, 10:46:02 PM »
While working with HIV patients I saw no stigma or discrimination from the nurses who worked under me, nor from the Doctors/Specialists who cared for them.

The first time I ever experienced it and witnessed first hand was from a nurse (thankfully not one of mine) who was assigned to care for me when I was in hospital going through a sever seroconversion, she refuse to come near me and would only speak to me from the end of my bed, mind you I was projectile vomiting at the time, but needless to say I requested she be replaced with someone who actually cared about their patients.

Sadly some of the worst offenders are in the Medical field, more HIV training is needed for the medical students and nurses, and believe me I bang table's about this every time I stand up and talk....one day they will listen.

Aroha
Jan
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Never knock on deaths door..ring the bell and run..he really hates that.

Offline indianguy1984

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  • Posts: 15
Re: Calling all HIV+ medical professionals!!
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2013, 02:41:52 PM »
Been a while since I have been away from the forums.

I am a RN in Singapore. Worked in a HIV ward for 3 months before spending 3 years in Psychiatry.

Learnt it the hard way - Keep your diagnosis confidential - don't even tell your colleagues. Biased prejudice and gossip may end up killing you.

Once I told my manager - all my development plans were cancelled, was encouraged to "do a less stressful" job.

No RNs in my ward will do venepuncture for a HIV+ patient - they are too afraid. When I visit the local clinic - I get interviewed by gossipy nurses who spread info. Irritating but true. No idea how it is in other countries but I think it might be better.

Am gay - unable to butch it up, minority race nurse. Triple whammy here.
Aug 2011 - Negative
Nov 2011 - ELISA+ve WB Indeterminate
Dec 2011 - CD4 472 VL 1868 copies/ml CD4% 27
Jan 2012 - CD4 577 VL 3575 copies/ml CD4% 27
Aug 2012 - CD4 551 VL 16156 copies/ml CD4% 21
Dec 2012 - CD4 522 VL 19600 copies/ml CD4% 23
My birthday - 30 Jan 2013 - Started Isentress+Truvada

Offline mecch

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  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Calling all HIV+ medical professionals!!
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2013, 03:24:56 PM »
Some nurses at three different Swiss clinics have taken my blood wearing no gloves, fully aware that I am HIV+....   

There are so many discouraging instances of prejudice mentioned in this thread....  :( >:(

Just wanted to say, what a sad state of affairs...  I wish you all the best, fighting and educating..
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline CLP1972

  • Member
  • Posts: 11
Re: Calling all HIV+ medical professionals!!
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2013, 06:59:42 PM »
Mecch,

You are correct that it's very disturbing.  That's why I want to bring together all of us who are medical professionals...so this can be a group of support, but also a tool to help us change the laws, educate our colleagues, reduce the stigma, and ensure ALL HIV patients receive the excellent care they deserve!

 


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