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Author Topic: Disclosure to other Drs. / Dentists, etc?  (Read 1923 times)

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Offline SteveS

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Disclosure to other Drs. / Dentists, etc?
« on: July 25, 2013, 01:04:36 AM »
Hi to all...

A question....I asked my Dr. at the HIV clinic if I was required to inform my dentist of my poz status, and he said "No, you are not required - all medical professionals are to take all necessary precautions and you are not required to inform." I then asked about informing another Dr. for a small medical procedure I am contemplating (small in office surgery - in and out in a few hours) and again, was told - very clearly - no.

I live in New York.

Was my Doc accurate in this? If he was not, what are the legal "risks" of not disclosing? What can anyone tell me about this?

Thanks -

Offline lincoln6echo

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Re: Disclosure to other Drs. / Dentists, etc?
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2013, 01:36:30 AM »
I told my Dentist last visit a cpl mo's ago. it was the first time I had seen her since becoming positive.

She said, "as medical professionals we take universal precautions anyway" and basically confirmed it wasn't necessary to tell her but she thanked me for sharing and went on to be the coolest dentist ever. Super warm and caring and had nothing but encouragement for me.

That's here in the true north strong and free at least :) not sure about other places.



Offline tednlou2

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Re: Disclosure to other Drs. / Dentists, etc?
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2013, 01:39:04 AM »
The info from this site says you are not legally requires to disclose, but then says to check your state laws.  When I looked at another link from AIDS.gov, it said some states do require it, but didn't list them.  It said to check with your local health department. 

I think it is good for most medical providers to know-- not so they can take extra precautions (they should practice universal precautions anyway), but so they may be extra vigilant about things.  Again, they should do that anyway, but they may not dismiss something so easily, if they know you have HIV.  Of course, if you live in a small town and don't want people to know, I fully appreciate not wanting to tell your dentist, who is the dentist for everyone in town.  Medical providers and staff do talk, especially in Mayberry. 

http://www.aidsmeds.com/articles/Disclosure_4952.shtml

Online mecch

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Re: Disclosure to other Drs. / Dentists, etc?
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2013, 07:51:15 AM »
As Ted said, check the laws in NEW YORK.  Also, I wouldn't rely on your doctors statement about the legal risks.  He's a doctor, not a lawyer.  Chances are the information was correct, but what if it isn't?  "My doctor told me its OK" won't be a defense if for some godforsaken reason you had a legal issue.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline wolfter

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Re: Disclosure to other Drs. / Dentists, etc?
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2013, 08:50:43 AM »
Not sure of the legal risks, but have you considered the medical risks of not disclosing?

Wolfie
productivity breeds content

Offline Ann

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    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: Disclosure to other Drs. / Dentists, etc?
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2013, 09:37:07 AM »
Steve, it's in your own best interest to tell any health care provider that you're poz. Not from a legal perspective (although you would be wise to check out your local laws if you're not going to disclose), but from a health perspective.

Personally, I always tell my health care providers for two reasons. The most important one is so they can give me the best medical care, which they cannot do if they don't know all my medical details. For example, they need to know ALL the medications you're on before they ever prescribe additional meds - including things like antibiotics.

Anesthetists also need to know exactly what meds you're on, because some drugs used during operations are contraindicated with some hiv meds and being given the contraindicated meds can result in very serious consequences.

The second reason is that if they have a problem with me being poz, then they're the last person I want looking after my health. I have changed or refused to see doctors/dentists on occasion because they were prejudiced in some way against poz people. If they're afraid of me or have a bad, judgemental attitude toward people with hiv, I'm going to get substandard care, no question of that.
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Offline mitch777

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Re: Disclosure to other Drs. / Dentists, etc?
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2013, 09:49:07 AM »
Ann said it best and I have found the need to disclose for every reason given.
I walked away from a couple of docs along the way due to their attitude.
More often than not they actually treat me with MORE kindness and concern. :)
31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline weasel

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Re: Disclosure to other Drs. / Dentists, etc?
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2013, 10:12:16 AM »
Ann said it best and I have found the need to disclose for every reason given.
I walked away from a couple of docs along the way due to their attitude.
More often than not they actually treat me with MORE kindness and concern. :)

  This is very true !

   I tell all Doctors & Nurses , I have never had one reject me .

    Thinking a Doctor is a mind reader could end up with Funeral plans for your loved ones  :(

                                                                                Weasel 

   P.S. Nice to meet you Steve  :)
" Live and let Live "

Offline wolfter

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Re: Disclosure to other Drs. / Dentists, etc?
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2013, 11:09:18 AM »
As is typical, Ann is spot on with her response.  I was trying to get there but lacked early morning ability. ;D

I'll give an example; I recently had some dental work that required anesthesia.  Had I not informed my dentist of my HIV status, she might have administered Versed.  I can't actually declare that I'm allergic to this drug, but I've had an issue in the past where the anesthesiologist administered it even though I had informed him of my diagnosis.

I had such a severe reaction to Versed that I considered returning to the ER.  So  I do disclose to EVERY medical professional, I also point out the known counteractions with my specific HIV meds.

As others have said, I wouldn't want a dentist who has any type of bias. 

Wolfie
productivity breeds content

Offline phildinftlaudy

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  • sweet Ann what you think babe...
Re: Disclosure to other Drs. / Dentists, etc?
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2013, 12:35:12 PM »
Not sure what the laws are in various places, but for me, I always disclose... following Ann's line of thought...

I have found that doctors and dentists (at least the ones I have usually dealt with) offer more comprehensive care to me when they know my status - Particularly when dealing with an illness that they might just prescribe someone some over the counter for - docs who know my status are able to understand that in my case it may not always be as simple as just prescribing an OTC....

I also use my status to my advantage - I have found that when I go to urgent care and list my status on the intake form, I usually get taken into see the medical staff quicker...

The one time that I did not initially disclose, but did later in the visit, the doctor actually caught an attitude with me - he said that while he practices universal precautions, it adds an extra layer to his understanding of my particular circumstances as a patient when he knows all things that can impact on his treatment of me and other conditions I may have...

September 13, 2008 - diagnosed +
Labs:
Date    CD4    %   VL     Date  CD4  %   VL
10/08  636    35  510   9/09 473  38 2900  12/4/09 Atripla
12/09  540    30    60   
12/10  740    41  <48   
8/11    667    36  <20  
03/12  1,041  42  <20
05/12  1,241  47  <20
08/12   780    37  <20
11/12   549    35  <20
02/12  1,102  42  <20
11/12   549    35  <20

Offline darryaz

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Re: Disclosure to other Drs. / Dentists, etc?
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2013, 02:52:45 PM »
The only time I ever worried about disclosing it turned out to be a non-issue.

My parents retired to a small town on the far eastern edge of Oklahoma (almost in Arkansas).  Let's just say it's not the most cosmopolitan place in the world.

I needed to see a dentist and mine was so booked he couldn't work me in.  So my Mom suggested I drive the hour to their town to see her dentist.  He was able to get me in quickly so I made an appointment.

I checked the "HIV/AIDS" box on the form the receptionist had me fill out and other than mentioning it in passing (more to reassure me than anything, I think) the doctor didn't seem to treat me any different from anyone else.

So my comment would be to DEFINITELY disclose to healthcare providers.  It helps them treat you more effectively.

If medical workers in this redneck part of the world can be sensitive/sensible about it, then you should be safe just about anywhere.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2013, 02:54:58 PM by darryaz »

Offline skeebo1969

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Re: Disclosure to other Drs. / Dentists, etc?
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2013, 03:34:18 PM »

If medical workers in this redneck part of the world can be sensitive/sensible about it, then you should be safe just about anywhere.

My wife and I live in a small town in Alabama.

She just recently had a tooth pulled.  The dentist here went so far to ask her what her numbers and viral load were like.  When she told him that she's been undetectable for 10 years the dentist just shook his head and said, "It's amazing how effective the new antivirals are".
I despise the song Love is in the Air, you should too.

Offline darryaz

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Re: Disclosure to other Drs. / Dentists, etc?
« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2013, 04:57:54 PM »
My wife and I live in a small town in Alabama.

She just recently had a tooth pulled.  The dentist here went so far to ask her what her numbers and viral load were like.  When she told him that she's been undetectable for 10 years the dentist just shook his head and said, "It's amazing how effective the new antivirals are".

That doesn't sound so bad to me.  I'll take lack of education over prejudice any day.

Offline mitch777

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Re: Disclosure to other Drs. / Dentists, etc?
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2013, 05:10:44 PM »
That doesn't sound so bad to me.  I'll take lack of education over prejudice any day.
I dunno, sounds like the dentist was educated to me. The rednecks might be another story though. :)
31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline skeebo1969

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Re: Disclosure to other Drs. / Dentists, etc?
« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2013, 05:16:01 PM »
That doesn't sound so bad to me.  I'll take lack of education over prejudice any day.

Actually, it wasn't bad at all.  I was actually impressed with his line of questioning and didn't take it as a "lack of education" at all.   :)
I despise the song Love is in the Air, you should too.

Offline darryaz

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Re: Disclosure to other Drs. / Dentists, etc?
« Reply #15 on: July 25, 2013, 09:11:17 PM »
Actually, it wasn't bad at all.  I was actually impressed with his line of questioning and didn't take it as a "lack of education" at all.   :)

I guess the term "antivirals" threw me off.   :)

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Disclosure to other Drs. / Dentists, etc?
« Reply #16 on: July 25, 2013, 09:49:51 PM »
When I told my cheap-ass Walmart optician about my HIV status when going in for my yearly eye exam, she went the extra mile, dilated my eyeballs and waived the cost for it. and checked me for signs of CMV infection (I am positive for CMV) along with other stuff she said was particular to HIV patients. She said that even though she isn't an opthamologist she wanted to do all she could to help me out.



"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

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Online mecch

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Re: Disclosure to other Drs. / Dentists, etc?
« Reply #17 on: July 25, 2013, 11:45:08 PM »
Send that Walmart story to Gawker. They're lacking positive feedback about Walmart. Its always doom and gloom.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline weasel

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Re: Disclosure to other Drs. / Dentists, etc?
« Reply #18 on: July 26, 2013, 11:15:16 AM »
Send that Walmart story to Gawker. They're lacking positive feedback about Walmart. Its always doom and gloom.

   For the most part I love Wal-mart  :)

   Down in The Ozarks I would be lost without them  :)

                                                                       Weasel 
" Live and let Live "

Offline harleymc

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Re: Disclosure to other Drs. / Dentists, etc?
« Reply #19 on: July 27, 2013, 09:32:35 PM »
Down in The Ozarks I would be lost without them

All I know is the Ozarks ain't in Kansas. Does that make you a friend of Dorothy?

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Disclosure to other Drs. / Dentists, etc?
« Reply #20 on: July 28, 2013, 01:00:30 AM »
Send that Walmart story to Gawker. They're lacking positive feedback about Walmart. Its always doom and gloom.

Well, the fact that they chsanged doctors and the new ones lost my prescription for a month sort of negates the great vibes.

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

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Offline OneTampa

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Re: Disclosure to other Drs. / Dentists, etc?
« Reply #21 on: July 30, 2013, 02:21:44 PM »
I agree that your Doctor/Dentist should be informed of your HIV status.  I have been going to my Dentist for about 20 years.  Although he practices universal precautions, he also requests that I update my medical information at intervals so that my care is appropriate.
"He is my oldest child. The shy and retiring one over there with the Haitian headdress serving pescaíto frito."

 


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