Main Forums > I Just Tested Poz

Less than 2 weeks since positive diagnoses

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Sorry to hear you guys tested positive. I am sure being in the medical profession can add a whole other emotional aspect to the diagnoses.

At the web site, there are several doctors that managed the "ask the expert" columns and post in the forums. Some of them are also HIV positive. You may want to check it out and perhaps reach out there as well.

While I am not familiar with the various laws or restrictions,that may be in place for HIV+ medical professionals, its only seems logical to me that the universal precautions used should be effective both ways, protecting both the medical practitioner as well as the patient.  I would explore options before making any assumptions. Perhaps this won't force you to change careers or plans to the degree you think.

Even if it does, the worst case may be that you adjust your career path to some other specialty as countless people do all the time for a wide number of reasons.

Right now is probably one of the most stressful and emotional parts of dealing with being HIV+, but like so many say, it really will get MUCH easier to deal with and you may come through the experience with new perspectives that change what you actually want to do anyway.

I, too, am a physician living with HIV.  You all are NOT alone.  It appears, from reading other posts, that the discrimination directed towards medical professionals is decreasing in Europe.  Unfortunately, we have a way to go in the U.S., as there is no federal regulation and each state can make up their own rules.  Some states only require you report your status if you have a potential exposure, while other states require that you advertise your status in written form, so that all potential patients will have the choice of whether they still want to see you, after learning of your status.  For most of us, medicine and helping others, is a calling in life.  This calling often causes us to sacrifice 1/3 of our life in school and then leaves us about $200,000 in debt.  One study noted that, if a patient knew their doctor was poz, only 30% of people would want to see him/hr.  With threats of losing our jobs, or losing patients, which would essentially cause us to lose our job, how would we ever even be able to repay our loans?  Not to mention, helping people is what drives me to live everyday...take that away, and I'm a broken man...even more than I was when first diagnosed.  Only with education can we change this.  It's time to stand up and say that we are here, and the laws must change!  Lumpy, please send me a private message and we can talk more.  Take care!

Oh, and in regard to testing and turnaround times for tests, a Western Blot is a 1-day turnaround, Viral Load/CD4 is 3 days where I live.  So, yes it is possible to get labs back that quick...all depends on the area, and to which lab the bloodwork is sent.

Could you work with people with HIV? I'm sure they wouldn't mind one little but, in fact it could be a plus. Or am I being a bit simplistic as I have no idea what retraining would involve.

I am a Cardiac surgeon. I have sacrificed all my life to be that. Not to practice what I learned my whole life would be worse than the diagnosis


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