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Author Topic: Call from NC Department of Health  (Read 3312 times)

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Offline cicero

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  • Posts: 66
Call from NC Department of Health
« on: August 30, 2013, 09:59:33 PM »
Hi Everyone,

I wasn't sure where to post this question.

I got a call, and yesterday a note left on my door, from the Department of Health. I called the lady back about this "private health matter" and the NC Department of Health, she said, meets in person with people diagnosed with HIV. I am sure this is about others who may have been exposed (I haven't exposed anyone and the person that I got it from I have no way of contacting, I told her this, but she still says we have to meet in person week after next).

What is this about?  I am coping with HIV pretty well, I have a decent support system of friends who know, but I do NOT like the thought that I'm in some "queer with HIV" database the state has, or what they're going to insist I tell them about my formerly promiscuous and anonymous-ish sex practices.

Thanks again for reading and providing any insight.
"How could this happen to lovely me?" -Jacqueline Susann

Offline WillyWump

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Re: Call from NC Department of Health
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2013, 10:10:53 PM »
I got a similiar call from my county health dept, or maybe it was state I don't remember, when I was first diagnosed. I think it's pretty normal to get those calls. I didnt have to meet in person, but I had to do an interview over the phone, they asked If I knew the person who infected me, and wanted the names and numbers of everyone I had slept with recently. They do this to contact the people you may have had sex with to suggest they come in for testing, to help prevent the spread of HIV.

I told him I was jacked up and didnt remember the name of the person I had sex with (which was pretty much true), and he said OK, and thats the last I heard from him.

-W
« Last Edit: August 30, 2013, 10:28:31 PM by WillyWump »
POZ since '08

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2/13/12, CD4- 904, UD 42%

Current Meds: Prezista/Epzicom/ Norvir
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Offline cicero

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Re: Call from NC Department of Health
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2013, 10:18:04 PM »
Thanks Willy.
"How could this happen to lovely me?" -Jacqueline Susann

Offline weasel

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Re: Call from NC Department of Health
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2013, 10:51:09 PM »

   Hi  cicero    :)

    Often the heath dept. is your link to Ryan White funding .
 There are also other programs that help most people out .

    It could be worth the effort if you need help .   

                                                Weasel
   P.s.  I was shit canned out of Ryan White  >:(
    It who you blow that counts in some states .......
" Live and let Live "

Offline hcj90

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Re: Call from NC Department of Health
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2013, 11:02:59 PM »
I also am from NC, and had to meet in person with a Health Dept. person, who was from another county than my home.  I refused to meet with them at our local health dept. due to the fact that I know many who work there.  So, we met in the parking lot of the local library.  He did not want to believe me when I told him it had been many years since I had sex.  It was a little frustrating.  He also called me a couple weeks later, to see if I had 'remembered', anything else I needed to tell him.  I wanted to get ugly, but firmly told him that I had already told him everything and had no reason to hide or be dishonest about the truth.  Thankfully, that is the last I heard from him.  I understand about wanting to notify others who may have been infected, and gave him all the info I knew.  Just didn't like the attitude that I was hiding something. 

Offline cicero

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Re: Call from NC Department of Health
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2013, 11:51:02 PM »
Thanks hcj90.  That's the kind of thing I worry about, pressuring me for information I don't have, or not believing me about how it all went down. I guess I'll just have to see how it goes.  I wonder what would happen if I simply refused to have the meeting.
"How could this happen to lovely me?" -Jacqueline Susann

Online tednlou2

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Re: Call from NC Department of Health
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2013, 12:31:06 AM »
I'm just curious-- Are we legally bound to meet with these people?  Could you be charged?  Can the partners you report be court ordered to test?  Is this done for Hep B or C?  Just curious.  I am so glad no one ever wanted to meet with me.  I see why they do it, so don't get me wrong.  And, it seems many here have reported it to be no big deal.  Although, you occasionally hear stories of harassment or a worker just showing up at your door, when everyone you live with would find out. 

Personally, if I know my sex partners, then I would feel I should be the one to contact them.  It just seems kinda shitty to force them to deal with the health department sending them letters or showing up at their door, which could cause them problems.  I would just feel like I should be the one to inform them.  I can see where many would be afraid to tell partners, so for them, having the health department do it is an option.

Again, hope it doesn't sound like I'm trashing them.  I am sure they have gotten many to test, who would not otherwise.  Just saying I would never give over names. 

Offline cicero

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Re: Call from NC Department of Health
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2013, 12:36:31 AM »
I wonder too, tednlou2, if I'm bound by law to do this meeting. I have never heard of such for hepatitis B or C.

And I don't have a name to give them. 

I suppose I "get" it too, and I know you're not trashing them, but the whole thing makes me uncomfortable.  Obviously HIPPA doesn't cover the requirement that the doctor's office report a new HIV diagnosis.  The woman sounds nice enough on the phone but I will report back on how this goes.
"How could this happen to lovely me?" -Jacqueline Susann

Offline leatherman

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  • Google and HIV meds are Your Friends
Re: Call from NC Department of Health
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2013, 02:42:29 AM »
I'm from NC and Charlotte is my old home town, although I don't quite live there now. my neighbor, across the street, their backyard is Charlotte, although I live in SC. (Quick! turn left at the state line and go down three houses to get to my place LOL) . While my ASO is in Rock Hill, SC, we are part of the charlotte metro area and hence York County, SC is the only SC county included in the Charlotte Ryan White TGA area (where I'm a  member of quality management committee).

I am sure they have gotten many to test, who would not otherwise.  Just saying I would never give over names.
partner notification has been an enormously successful program in getting infected people notified, tested and into treatment. Also notification to the state of someone testing HIV+ is what allows federal funding to reach a state for treatment (through Ryan White and other programs) and also for prevention funding.

http://aids.gov/hiv-aids-basics/just-diagnosed-with-hiv-aids/your-legal-rights/legal-disclosure/

here's all the NC info about reporting
http://epi.publichealth.nc.gov/cd/report.html
NC tracks of 71 diseases from HIV to Hepatitis to rabies, gonorrhea, measles, and bubonic plague
http://reports.oah.state.nc.us/ncac/title%2010a%20-%20health%20and%20human%20services/chapter%2041%20-%20epidemiology%20health/subchapter%20a/10a%20ncac%2041a%20.0101.pdf

thank google ("north carolina hiv positive reporting") for providing links to all this information  ;)
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Oh my friends, my friends forgive me
That I live and you are gone.
There's a grief that can't be spoken.
There's a pain goes on and on.
Empty chairs at empty tables
Where my friends will meet no more.

"Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" from Les Miserables

Offline Seeker

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Re: Call from NC Department of Health
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2013, 09:19:40 AM »
I live in NC and it is my understanding this is the law....at least you had a phone call....I arrived home one evening to find someone waiting in front of my house in their car...I understood when I was diagnosed that my doctor was required to turn that information in but I did not know that would also result in a mandatory visit from the county Health Dept.  I was asked to "name names" which I did not do and was asked a variety of questions-the person was actually good at their job once I got over the trauma of being surprised by the visit....I later contacted my doctor's office and suggested in the future when they let people know of their diagnosis that they also tell them to expect this contact-which may vary from county to county-but here in NC it does mean a visit from the Health Dept...and that may be for HIV positive diagnosis as well as sexually transmitted disease...
tested positive Aug 2009
Sept 2009   CD4  198  VL  13,090
started Atripla
Oct 2009    CD4  248  VL  820
Feb 2010    CD4  237  VL  undetectable
Jun 2010    CD4  341  VL  undetectable
Oct 2010    CD4  281  VL  undetectable
Mar 2011    CD4  344  VL  undetectable
Jan 2012    CD4  334  VL  30
Jun 2012    CD4  347  VL  20
Nov 2012   CD 4  349  VL  undetectable

Offline bocker3

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  • You gotta enjoy life......
Re: Call from NC Department of Health
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2013, 09:37:19 AM »
When I had Hep A, the local Health Dept called.  When I tested positive....... nothing.  8 years this past week and still no call.  I guess they do not care who else I might have infected....   :P

Mike
Atripla - Started 12/05
Reyataz/Norvir - Added 6/06
Labs - Pre-Meds
Sep05 T=350/25% VL98,559
Nov05 288/18%  47,564
Current Labs
May2013 691/31% <20

Offline leatherman

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  • Google and HIV meds are Your Friends
Re: Call from NC Department of Health
« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2013, 09:48:12 AM »
that may be for HIV positive diagnosis as well as sexually transmitted disease...
check out the pdf I linked to. there are 71 different issues for which you will be reported and the NC health dpt will contact you about.



by the way folks, in the states that do this for communicable diseases, this contact by the health dpt has been a routine occurrence (for people testing HIV positive) for nearly 30 yrs. as this was a procedure put into place for STD reporting a long time ago.

so don't be surprised if you ever move to another state and get a visit from the health dpt there. I couldn't believe it when 3 yrs ago, after moving to SC, their health dpt contacted me! I mean I had been poz for 26 yrs or so by that point while I was living in OH - but I was a new case in SC. LOL
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Oh my friends, my friends forgive me
That I live and you are gone.
There's a grief that can't be spoken.
There's a pain goes on and on.
Empty chairs at empty tables
Where my friends will meet no more.

"Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" from Les Miserables

Offline BT65

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  • Diagnosed + 1989
Re: Call from NC Department of Health
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2013, 09:50:38 AM »
It is very typical to have the Health Dept contact new HIV diagnoses.  Once someone is diagnosed, they are entered into a state database.  And as leather said, getting partners to test has been shown to be effective.  I can understand it can be stressful right after finding out a positive diagnosis, but the people are just doing their job.  And if they're good, it should go off without a hitch.  None of the people they contact, if you provide their names, will know who it was who tested positive.  They are not allowed to release names.  It is simply to get more people tested, into care, and prevent the continued spread of HIV. 

They do it here in Indiana also, and I suspect every state.  Just know, it's very typical.
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline Jeff G

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  • How am I doing Beren ?
Re: Call from NC Department of Health
« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2013, 09:57:18 AM »
It is typical as Betty said . One of my regrets in life is the manner in which I spoke to the person who contacted me from the health Dept . , I was so wrong but that's another story .

If a person in my state refuses the interview the health dept has the right to send a county sheriff to escort you to the interview but I haven't heard of that happening .
 

Offline weasel

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Re: Call from NC Department of Health
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2013, 09:59:50 AM »
When I had Hep A, the local Health Dept called.  When I tested positive....... nothing.  8 years this past week and still no call.  I guess they do not care who else I might have infected....   :P

Mike

   It is NOT a law in Nevada or Missouri or Connecticut , These states I know !
 
    The fact is CASEWORKERS  are loosing their JOBS because of a lack of  "  CONSUMERS "  , I personally
HATE that word !  I am a VICTIM of AIDS not a Consumer  >:(   
 
    Their game is to get you on their files and they get paid for assisting you . Often the caseworkers  do good work , occasionally  they really do not care about you ! 

   My caseworker was appalled at my living conditions   :o     
 Not because I live in squallier but because she does and feels I do not deserve to live in a nice home !!!
 A very sorry story for a caseworker .....

                                                  Be well ,
                                                                      Weasel   
" Live and let Live "

Offline weasel

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Re: Call from NC Department of Health
« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2013, 10:07:53 AM »
It is typical as Betty said . One of my regrets in life is the manner in which I spoke to the person who contacted me from the health Dept . , I was so wrong but that's another story .

If a person in my state refuses the interview the health dept has the right to send a county sheriff to escort you to the interview but I haven't heard of that happening .

  In Butler County Missouri the health Department Caseworker sent out and OPEN FACED LETTER STATING
MY MEETING WITH HIV-AIDS GROUP WAS COMING UP !

   I WAS SO PISSED , I CALLED THEM ON IT !   EVERYONE KNEW IN MY TOWN OF 57 PEOPLE THAT I HAD AIDS  >:(

   IT HAS BEEN SEVERAL YEARS , I WAS DUMPED FROM THE ROLLS , LOST MY RYAN WHITE , Because
a CASEWORKER KNOWINGLY OUTED ME !   Did not make me feel better when she was dumped for
 being a crack addict  !

   It is very scary the power the health department thinks they have !

                                                                            Weasel   
" Live and let Live "

Offline leatherman

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  • Google and HIV meds are Your Friends
Re: Call from NC Department of Health
« Reply #16 on: August 31, 2013, 10:58:18 AM »
"  CONSUMERS "  , I personally
HATE that word !  I am a VICTIM of AIDS not a Consumer  >:(   
I just don't understand that. People here also complain about the word "consumer". When did that become a bad word? Consumers are what keeps walmart in business. Indigents are people who don't/can't pay for services or products. I am a healthcare consumer because my medicaid and medicare (which I rightfully earned) PAY for my health care. My mom is a consumer because her insurance and medicare pay for her healthcare.

I am a consumer every time I go to McDonalds or to the "Wood Shed" (a gay bar in Charlotte where I proudly consume lots of vodka). I am proud consumer of many things, hear me roar - because in 2013 each dollar is a vote for a product, a service, or a company that I like and wish to keep in business.

Sorry though, even with losing two partners and having AIDS royally f*uck up decades of my life, I never was and never will be a VICTIM of HIV/AIDS. Victims are passive, weak, and unable to defend themselves. I myself am a fighter and a survivor.  :D


of course, the whole victim/consumer discussion has nothing to do with how abysmally and illegally you have been treated by the Missouri Health Dpt. :'( :-*
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Oh my friends, my friends forgive me
That I live and you are gone.
There's a grief that can't be spoken.
There's a pain goes on and on.
Empty chairs at empty tables
Where my friends will meet no more.

"Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" from Les Miserables

Offline Billy B

  • Member
  • Posts: 374
Re: Call from NC Department of Health
« Reply #17 on: August 31, 2013, 11:01:53 AM »
Hi cicero,  I too live in NC and I had my HIV test preformed at the health department because it was one of the few local places around here in 1995 that was doing the test. In hindsight I wish that I would have gone to a large city and had it done anonymously. Anyway, they had my name and as a STD they have to do the interview. I met the lady at a local park which I think was brave of her because I could have been a murderer or some other kind of crazy person. She asked for names of partners and I simply told her that in the 80s I lived in Atlanta, spent a lot of time at the baths high on cocaine, booze and poppers. Everyones name was "Dick" if you get what I mean. She closed her notebook and said "Thanks for your time" and I have never heard from them again.
Billy B
VL 4420 CD4 340 CD4% 24   3/15/10 Started I&T
VL  UD   CD4 340 CD4% 26.5 05/13/10
VL  UD   CD4 360 CD4% 27.1 08/3/10
VL  UD   CD4 310 CD4% 28.4 11/22/10
VL  UD   CD4 420 CD4% 27.9 02/11/11
VL  UD   CD4 370 CD4% 26.4 06/08/11
VL  UD   CD4 360 CD4% 27.7 09/23/11
VL  UD   CD4 370 CD4% 28.3 01/20/12
VL  UD   CD4 430 CD4% 28.8 05/11/12
VL  UD   CD4 370 CD4% 28.1 09/07/12
VL  UD   CD4 390 CD4% 32.3 03/14/13

Offline cicero

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Re: Call from NC Department of Health
« Reply #18 on: August 31, 2013, 11:08:10 AM »
Leatherman and BT thanks for your insights and information.  And weasel, I'm sorry you've had a bad experience, I definitely don't want to go through anything like that.

Seeker, they came to my house and left a letter on my front door simply stamped "confidential". The envelope wasn't even sealed.  I live alone but they don't know that so that kind of irritated me. My location is not the backwoods place its often thought to be, but overall this is not a progressive place and I know HIV+ people still do feel repercussions for being positive. The public and state put a stigma on it still that goes beyond the health and lifelong treatment impact.  I don't want anyone to know. I worry about my employer, with self-funded insurance, finding out how expensive of an employee I am now then finding a way to eliminate my position leaving me high and dry.  That's neither here nor there...and...

I get it, I really do, that these are people just doing their jobs and that the partner notification helps people short term and long term.  I don't have names to give though which is what will be embarrassing. I don't even have email addresses any more.  "Over many many years I have been a stereotypically promiscuous with strangers gay man who always uses condoms except for that time I got HIV." It can also come off sounding like I'm one of those people who thinks I am a victim who got this in a way that is morally superior to how others get it -- and I am NOT that person and did not have that kind of view of transmission even prior to my own situation. 

I imagine the person who I got HIV from didn't know he had it, we both took the risk of unprotected sex stupidly without any discussion, I got sick quick and learned my status without any sex protected or otherwise to follow to date, and now the state government is going to stay on me about giving them information to pursue, all the while I look like I'm withholding something. I'm not a conspiracy theorist but I do worry about how transmission can go from 0 to criminal in 60 seconds with the government involved, even if they may have their heart in the right place.

I'm just thinking out loud here (or, thinking in type as it were).   

Do I sound crazy?  Sorry!
"How could this happen to lovely me?" -Jacqueline Susann

Offline cicero

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Re: Call from NC Department of Health
« Reply #19 on: August 31, 2013, 11:11:12 AM »
Billy I posted while you were replying.  Thanks for sharing your experience.
"How could this happen to lovely me?" -Jacqueline Susann

Offline jkinatl2

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  • Doo. Dah. Dipp-ity.
Re: Call from NC Department of Health
« Reply #20 on: August 31, 2013, 12:02:36 PM »
I for one am not a Victim of AIDS. Fuck that noise.

I am certainly a consumer of HIV care and meds however.

I had a phone interview with the county health department where I live. The call came about three years after I tested positive and had been on meds (med, singular, to be precise) and the call lasted about fifteen minutes, during which time we had a nice discussion about HIV prevention, funding, resources, and the state of the crisis.

I understand that the OP was already in a bad state when contacted, and leaving an unsealed letter on a door isn't cool. NC (and the south US in general, and frankly everywhere) tends to be spotty when it comes to handling this sort of thing with the decorum, sensitivity and discretion that it deserves. But governmental agencies - understaffed, underfunded, overworked and overwhelmed - you get the idea.

"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

Welcome Thread

Offline Billy B

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  • Posts: 374
Re: Call from NC Department of Health
« Reply #21 on: August 31, 2013, 12:49:46 PM »
Billy I posted while you were replying.  Thanks for sharing your experience.

Your welcome.  Just speak with them and tell them that like so many you got careless and you know how HIV is transmitted. The lady I spoke with gave me a handful of condoms that I used.
Don't beat yourself up about getting "it". Been there done that, just move on and take the best care of yourself that you can. I have lived to see the retirement light at the end of the tunnel. Plan for your future.
Peace & Love
Billy B

« Last Edit: August 31, 2013, 12:53:33 PM by Billy B »
VL 4420 CD4 340 CD4% 24   3/15/10 Started I&T
VL  UD   CD4 340 CD4% 26.5 05/13/10
VL  UD   CD4 360 CD4% 27.1 08/3/10
VL  UD   CD4 310 CD4% 28.4 11/22/10
VL  UD   CD4 420 CD4% 27.9 02/11/11
VL  UD   CD4 370 CD4% 26.4 06/08/11
VL  UD   CD4 360 CD4% 27.7 09/23/11
VL  UD   CD4 370 CD4% 28.3 01/20/12
VL  UD   CD4 430 CD4% 28.8 05/11/12
VL  UD   CD4 370 CD4% 28.1 09/07/12
VL  UD   CD4 390 CD4% 32.3 03/14/13

Offline cicero

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Re: Call from NC Department of Health
« Reply #22 on: August 31, 2013, 01:33:19 PM »
Thanks Billy, I appreciate it, but I am overall pretty much FINE and dealing with this well to the point I've surprised myself from the start. 

The DOH wanting to drill me on the other hand just makes me nervous, but I will certainly give the woman who has contacted me the benefit of the doubt and answer her questions.

To the others' points and comments about the term "consumer", I think that what people hate about that term (inside and outside medicine) is that it can be viewed as implicitly reducing human beings to that one thing -- a pit into which resources are sucked in never to be seen again.  Not that that's my view but I get the discomfort with the word "consumer".
"How could this happen to lovely me?" -Jacqueline Susann

Offline intaglio

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Re: Call from NC Department of Health
« Reply #23 on: August 31, 2013, 08:48:40 PM »
  IT HAS BEEN SEVERAL YEARS , I WAS DUMPED FROM THE ROLLS , LOST MY RYAN WHITE , Because a CASEWORKER KNOWINGLY OUTED ME !   

What I find most galling about your experience is, that because you have HIV, you lost your Ryan White eligibility. Like, isn't that what the program totally exists for?? :-\ Eh, sounds like typical Missouri logic.

Cicero,

I went through the same thing, except it happened in my hospital room. Add to it, the KDHE rep abso-fkn-lutely insisted I call my wife, drag her out of bed and proceed immediately to my side so I could 'disclose' to her. He wouldn't take my word that I had already told her over the phone the day before. Nope. Nope. Nope. She got there, I explained to her why she had to come running. She looked at him and said, "so why are you wasting my time with this?" He was not happy.

Then I had a wonderful please list the many ways you've been a total slut convo with another KDHE rep. He wasn't too thrilled to find out that two of my three long-term lovers were deceased and the last guy had not been in my life for over five years.

He did not want to believe I was so chaste (ha!). I finally told him if he had a book of crotch shots he wanted me to peruse to ID perps, I'd be happy to oblige. Because that was about the only way I could ID any of the rest of my other partners. The guy really acted as if I should have some handy-dandy database filled in with names, addresses, phone numbers and personal identifying marks. I really wanted to just say "most of them stood at least 6" tall and that's all I remember about them."

If it is any consolation, the info you give will be used to contact others. You will not be mentioned by name and, if they are like Kansas, the letter will just tell them they should get tested. The only way it could be traced back to you is if you were their only partner.
Reality is frequently inaccurate.

Offline weasel

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Re: Call from NC Department of Health
« Reply #24 on: August 31, 2013, 09:09:25 PM »
Thanks Billy, I appreciate it, but I am overall pretty much FINE and dealing with this well to the point I've surprised myself from the start. 

The DOH wanting to drill me on the other hand just makes me nervous, but I will certainly give the woman who has contacted me the benefit of the doubt and answer her questions.

To the others' points and comments about the term "consumer", I think that what people hate about that term (inside and outside medicine) is that it can be viewed as implicitly reducing human beings to that one thing -- a pit into which resources are sucked in never to be seen again.  Not that that's my view but I get the discomfort with the word "consumer".

  Thank you cicero   :)

  I have AIDS , that is enough of a label !   I'm doing OK for having been infected in 1982  ;)

   My CD-4 has continually dropped for the past 10 years  :(   , I still do more than most people do .
   I wish you a wonderful life , I assume you are very young ? I am almost 60 .   People tell me I look great .  That is of little comfort when I am swollen and in pain .
   Men your age will do very well on the new MEDS .
 I agree wholeheartedly  , Meet with the Health  Dept. and tell them you have no clue who you got HIV from .  As I often have heard : " Can't get blood from a rock "   , Translated means , If you were fucked up ,as most of were when effected ,you have no clue who the guy was  :-X

                                                             Be well  cicero  ,

                                                                                  Weasel

  P.S.  :  I am a consumer  at Home de Poe'    ???
" Live and let Live "

Offline leatherman

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Re: Call from NC Department of Health
« Reply #25 on: August 31, 2013, 11:29:07 PM »
I'm not a conspiracy theorist but I do worry about how transmission can go from 0 to criminal in 60 seconds with the government involved, even if they may have their heart in the right place.
keep in mind these people are not cops. these are simply health dpt personnel (overworked, underpaid, understaffed) trying to stop several epidemics (have you really seen STD rates in some states?!? and you know untreated HIV is a terminal infectious disease!).

trying to put a positive spin on things, it might help you appreciate these people and the work they do, if in the future (when your head is in a better place) you seek out some HIV advocacy and prevention opportunities in your area or in the state. I've met quite a few health dpt people since joining the SC HIV Task Force and know that many of them are as passionate as any one else trying to prevent the spread of HIV and help PLWHs get better access to care. (Of course, for them that can be an awfully hard job when your super-duper tea-party Governor "encourages" you to NOT assist the advocacy, education and prevention groups that you have been helping for years.  :o )
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Oh my friends, my friends forgive me
That I live and you are gone.
There's a grief that can't be spoken.
There's a pain goes on and on.
Empty chairs at empty tables
Where my friends will meet no more.

"Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" from Les Miserables

Offline cicero

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Re: Call from NC Department of Health
« Reply #26 on: September 01, 2013, 12:05:08 AM »
I hear you leatherman. I might be coming off as sounding like I'm against DOH workers and the purpose of these meetings, but I'm really not. Perhaps I just have issues with authority and privacy concerns. Perhaps I just feel shame at telling someone "I don't know their names." Just nervousness stemming from some non-single point. I was talking to a friend who is one person I've told, a social worker in NYC, and he pointed out this is her job and she's probably "heard it all". Comforting, I guess.  :-\
"How could this happen to lovely me?" -Jacqueline Susann

Offline leatherman

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Re: Call from NC Department of Health
« Reply #27 on: September 01, 2013, 01:11:00 AM »
Perhaps I just have issues with authority and privacy concerns. Perhaps I just feel shame at telling someone "I don't know their names." Just nervousness stemming from some non-single point.
hiv is surrounded by so much stigma - real, perceived, imaginary, internal, external, unintentional (sometimes even our allies treat us like "less, damaged, irresponsible, uneducated, unable to handle the truth"). Being confused about who to blame, or who's looking to blame, or who isn't to blame, or why blame is even part of the equation is just part-n-parcel of living in society with HIV.

Clearly we can see by the stories our fellow members have posted sometimes this notification/partner reporting goes without a hitch and sometimes it doesn't. I think we should at least expect that the people who give out the positive diagnosis (and who report that diagnosis) should be required to notify people that this "interview" is coming so everyone was prepared and never blindsided.
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Oh my friends, my friends forgive me
That I live and you are gone.
There's a grief that can't be spoken.
There's a pain goes on and on.
Empty chairs at empty tables
Where my friends will meet no more.

"Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" from Les Miserables

Offline leatherman

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Re: Call from NC Department of Health
« Reply #28 on: September 01, 2013, 01:24:02 AM »
thinking about the 4 times I've gone through this for myself or for my partners/significant.others, I have to chuckle (rather than be upset like my friend Weasel who had such a horrible time! damn Carl, I thought SC was a bad place to live but Missouri, wow).

In late 1992, the guy who spoke with my first partner Randy, seemed scared to be in the room with us. I think he thought AIDS was air-borne. :o Seriously! He wore a mask! Never ever asked about other partners either. A couple months later in early 1993, a lady from the health dpt met me at the hospital while I was waiting on Randy getting a transfusion. She only asked a couple questions, and was genuinely sympathetic when I rattled off a list of names but told her it wouldn't be worth looking for them to interview as they had all passed away during the preceding 2 or 3 years.

In June 2008, by the time another lady from the health dpt came to the house (she had been leaving notes at the house and on my car, but NEVER once returned my phone calls), I had to let her know that she had missed talking with Jim - he had been dead for a month!

In 2011 in SC, after the guy from the health dpt blew off an appointment he made with me at the ASO office, I went to the health dpt office myself - and I made a big ol' scene about how they wasted my time! I mean 26 yrs poz, 19 yrs after an AIDS diagnosis, 15 different meds, 3 hospitals stays, 2 deceased partners, and now I was working health fairs passing out condoms, yes I totally understood what having HIV meant and how not to spread it. LOL And no, I had no partners to report because I hadn't had any sex in SC -- well I hadn't had sex until that very night when I got lucky and got laid in SC for the first time. ROFL Leatherman believes in product/quality testing and was putting some of those health fair condoms to good use ;) I would never want to hand out inferior products.  ;D
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Oh my friends, my friends forgive me
That I live and you are gone.
There's a grief that can't be spoken.
There's a pain goes on and on.
Empty chairs at empty tables
Where my friends will meet no more.

"Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" from Les Miserables

Offline mecch

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Re: Call from NC Department of Health
« Reply #29 on: September 01, 2013, 06:41:22 AM »
Leatherman, you are a generous type and good at the balanced view as well.  You explained why the Health Dept contacts are useful and that the workers ar human and some care to do their job professionally.
But now that you recount your experiences with same, I am struck that your contacts included a fair amount of futility and stupidity, as well as some insult. I mean 1992, a HEALTH worker, wearing a mask for an interview??  What sort of ignorant cretin would do that and moreover how did he get the job?
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Online tednlou2

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Re: Call from NC Department of Health
« Reply #30 on: September 01, 2013, 04:34:59 PM »
The mask struck me, too.  By 1992, it was well-established the virus couldn't be transmitted by air and casual contact.  I was perplexed a health worker would do that. 

Was there a time, before HAART, when they did that to protect those with compromised immune systems from their germs?  If so, it would seem they would make it clear the mask isn't to protect them, but to protect you from any respiratory illnesses they may have. 

Offline mecch

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Re: Call from NC Department of Health
« Reply #31 on: September 01, 2013, 05:59:54 PM »
I remember visitors AND staff wearing masks around people with AIDS in hospitals in NYC in 1989, and it wasn't made so clear who was being protected.... Although it was already well known that no visitor or staff was a risk for HIV... Perhaps for other complications of AIDS?  I assumed mostly if was for the very sick people, to protect them.
But 1992, this seems stretching it, exaggerated.  I don't know. Im not a nurse or health care worker or social worker.... 
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline oksikoko

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Re: Call from NC Department of Health
« Reply #32 on: September 01, 2013, 06:31:19 PM »
I live in NC and it is my understanding this is the law....at least you had a phone call....I arrived home one evening to find someone waiting in front of my house in their car...I understood when I was diagnosed that my doctor was required to turn that information in but I did not know that would also result in a mandatory visit from the county Health Dept.  I was asked to "name names" which I did not do and was asked a variety of questions-the person was actually good at their job once I got over the trauma of being surprised by the visit....I later contacted my doctor's office and suggested in the future when they let people know of their diagnosis that they also tell them to expect this contact-which may vary from county to county-but here in NC it does mean a visit from the Health Dept...and that may be for HIV positive diagnosis as well as sexually transmitted disease...

I had a letter shoved under (or taped to, I can't recall) my apartment building's door - not my door - a barely addressed letter from the health department to me. I called and left a voicemail complaining about my privacy being violated since everyone in the building probably saw it yadda yadda yadda. It was the last I heard from them, though I had no particular address for two months after that. Maybe they're still looking for me. ;)
Code: [Select]
2013-10-03:                ☣ VL (=) undetectable ☣ CD4 (+) 1105
2013-05-23:                ☣ VL (=) undetectable ☣ CD4 (-) 945
2013-02-25:                ☣ VL (-) undetectable ☣ CD4 (+) 1123
2012-12-16: Enter Stribild
2012-11-20: HIV+           ☣ VL (→) 132,683      ☣ CD4 (→) 920
2012-04-01: HIV-
Dates in this signature file conform to ISO 8601. ;-)

Offline leatherman

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Re: Call from NC Department of Health
« Reply #33 on: September 01, 2013, 07:24:48 PM »
But 1992, this seems stretching it, exaggerated.  I don't know. Im not a nurse or health care worker or social worker....
ah, the joys of living in small town America. In 1994 when Randy was in a catholic hospital, although the nurses and staff were surprisingly incredibly kind and supportive of us as a gay couple, the nurses always came in gowned and gloved and there was a big ol' red infectious disease warning sign taped to the door.

Keep in mind though that this was all because of the way an epidemic spreads. while things may have been old hat for those big city hospitals and health departments, in smaller cities and little towns, things were not quite so advanced. There was no internet back in those days, so education and knowledge for health care workers and doctors trickled down.

Which reminds me, when we tested poz (me in Dec 92 and Randy in Feb 93) we were diagnosis #14 and #16 HIV/AIDS ever in our county. (We were such trend-setters in those days ROFL) I think there was an all-time high of 127 back in 1995 just before most of our/my friends died off. Then the year before I left Ohio, there were only 55 HIV positive people in the whole county and that number included me, and Jim who counted as a Poz diagnosis and AIDS death that year.
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Oh my friends, my friends forgive me
That I live and you are gone.
There's a grief that can't be spoken.
There's a pain goes on and on.
Empty chairs at empty tables
Where my friends will meet no more.

"Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" from Les Miserables

Offline mecch

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Re: Call from NC Department of Health
« Reply #34 on: September 01, 2013, 07:30:55 PM »
Wouldnt a piece of mail sent to the person at the address be fine - whats with all these notes on doors and cars, etc.  Strangers sitting in shadows in parked cars.  :o 8)  Something unfortunately rather FBI or Gastapo feeling about it...  I guess this is happening because the procedure is a personal visit, but common sense would suggest a telephone call and a letter sent first, to set a specific date for the talk.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline mecch

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Re: Call from NC Department of Health
« Reply #35 on: September 01, 2013, 07:34:02 PM »
In Switzerland I got a letter from the state hospital and a pretty lousy questionnaire.

Also your diagnosing doc asks you to sign consent for your blood and labs to be studied for research and statistical purposes. I believe they did a lot of work back then on strains and resistances, by this manner. Also 5 years ago when criminal HIV transmission was still frequent, this info could play a role.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2013, 07:36:31 PM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline cicero

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Re: Call from NC Department of Health
« Reply #36 on: September 01, 2013, 08:14:43 PM »
Wouldnt a piece of mail sent to the person at the address be fine - whats with all these notes on doors and cars, etc.  Strangers sitting in shadows in parked cars.  :o 8)  Something unfortunately rather FBI or Gastapo feeling about it...  I guess this is happening because the procedure is a personal visit, but common sense would suggest a telephone call and a letter sent first, to set a specific date for the talk.

EXACTLY.  This is a big part of what makes me uncomfortable/nervous about the whole thing.  They came to my house unannounced.  (My doorbell doesn't work; I may have very well been there lol).

Are you from Switzerland mecch?  I only got to spend a little bit of time in Zurich but I loved it.  It is my "ancestral homeland" although my family doesn't really have any connection to it these days.
"How could this happen to lovely me?" -Jacqueline Susann

Offline mecch

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Re: Call from NC Department of Health
« Reply #37 on: September 01, 2013, 08:29:00 PM »
I am US Citizen and European Citizen living in Switzerland, yup.
No Swiss blood.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Ann

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Re: Call from NC Department of Health
« Reply #38 on: September 02, 2013, 05:26:18 AM »
FWIW, I was only diagnosed due to being a "named contact" during one of these health-department type discussions. Someone (diagnosed before me) did me a huge favour in naming me.

While I didn't know who named me at the time, I had a good idea and it turned out to be right. We'd been a couple a few years prior to diagnosis and we've been back together for the past six years, after a ten-year hiatus.

Importantly, if it hadn't been for someone else naming my partner, he would more likely than not be dead now. Unlike me, his virus was progressing quickly - he started out with an aids diagnosis and went on meds right away.

He'd only been poz for four or at the most, five years, going by his last negative hiv test. (He was tested regularly between '91 and '96 because he was a humanitarian aide worker in Africa and it was a requirement of his employment.)

If his diagnosis had been delayed by another year or so (due to not being named), he probably would have only been diagnosed when he presented with PCP or other OI and going by the lack of awareness where we live, he quite possibly wouldn't have made it.

As for me, I had a very intense seroconversion illness. At the time (spring '97), my GP told me "it's probably just some virus that will run its course and go away". Turns out it was a virus - and while it wasn't going away, I very well might have. Lucky I was an LTSP, eh?

That same GP had the nerve to tell me four years later when I was finally diagnosed that had I been a gay man and presented with the same illness, he would have suggested an hiv test. The stupidity! He should have been testing anyone who presented with my symptoms for hiv. As you might imagine, I read him the riot act. ;D


Anyway, the point of my writing this is to encourage those of you facing these health-department discussions to be as honest as you can about who you've had unprotected intercourse with over the past five years or so. You're not going to be prosecuted and they're not going to release your name to anyone.

And you could very well be saving someone's life.
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline wolfter

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Re: Call from NC Department of Health
« Reply #39 on: September 02, 2013, 08:22:19 AM »
I may be so far behind in testing and notification protocols that I might appear ignorant.  Isn't testing still done anonymously?  Way back yonder, we tested and were given a code in order to retrieve our results.  If positive we were were asked to provide a list of past partners so they could be notified.

I'm pretty certain of the confidentiality as I was contacted via regular mail almost a year after diagnosis indicating that I was named as a person of interest.  :)  Since they had my name at that point, I simply said I'd go test.

Being such a small community, I'm sure they saw the same names repeated over and over..   :o

Wolfie
Judging someone does not define them, it defines you. 

True peace is not merely the absence of war, it is the presence of justice.

Offline bocker3

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Re: Call from NC Department of Health
« Reply #40 on: September 02, 2013, 10:03:17 AM »
I may be so far behind in testing and notification protocols that I might appear ignorant.  Isn't testing still done anonymously?  Way back yonder, we tested and were given a code in order to retrieve our results.  If positive we were were asked to provide a list of past partners so they could be notified.

I'm pretty certain of the confidentiality as I was contacted via regular mail almost a year after diagnosis indicating that I was named as a person of interest.  :)  Since they had my name at that point, I simply said I'd go test.

Being such a small community, I'm sure they saw the same names repeated over and over..   :o

Wolfie

Testing may be anonymous, but once your present for treatment, the doctor is required to notify that Dept of Health of your diagnosis.

M
Atripla - Started 12/05
Reyataz/Norvir - Added 6/06
Labs - Pre-Meds
Sep05 T=350/25% VL98,559
Nov05 288/18%  47,564
Current Labs
May2013 691/31% <20

Offline wolfter

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Re: Call from NC Department of Health
« Reply #41 on: September 02, 2013, 10:23:21 AM »
Testing may be anonymous, but once your present for treatment, the doctor is required to notify that Dept of Health of your diagnosis.

M

So if a person never seeks treatment, there'd still be no evidence that he/she was infected?  Even after all this time, I didn't realize doctors were required to report my name to the Dept of Health.  I simply thought they reported stats, not specifics.  Not that it mattered/matters much.
Judging someone does not define them, it defines you. 

True peace is not merely the absence of war, it is the presence of justice.

Offline mecch

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Re: Call from NC Department of Health
« Reply #42 on: September 02, 2013, 10:28:44 AM »
You know they report your name, political party, religion, gun ownership, sexual orientation, and for men, dick size, and women evidence of sex outside marriage and number of reported or suspected abortions.  This info then mingles with the databases from the IRS, Google browsing histories and credit rating agencies. 
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline bocker3

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Re: Call from NC Department of Health
« Reply #43 on: September 02, 2013, 10:42:33 AM »
So if a person never seeks treatment, there'd still be no evidence that he/she was infected?  Even after all this time, I didn't realize doctors were required to report my name to the Dept of Health.  I simply thought they reported stats, not specifics.  Not that it mattered/matters much.

Well, I suppose that each state's laws may differ, but if HIV is a reportable disease, they most likely have to report specifics and not just stats.
Atripla - Started 12/05
Reyataz/Norvir - Added 6/06
Labs - Pre-Meds
Sep05 T=350/25% VL98,559
Nov05 288/18%  47,564
Current Labs
May2013 691/31% <20

Offline leatherman

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Re: Call from NC Department of Health
« Reply #44 on: September 02, 2013, 10:53:19 AM »
HIV is a communicable, infectious, terminal disease. I think almost every state has name-based reporting for a verified HIV positive Western Blot confirmatory test. They also report names for other diseases too (like the 71 that NC listed including bubonic plague, TB, syphilis, typhoid fever, etc.)

testing is anonymous; a confirmatory diagnosis has to be legally reported.
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Oh my friends, my friends forgive me
That I live and you are gone.
There's a grief that can't be spoken.
There's a pain goes on and on.
Empty chairs at empty tables
Where my friends will meet no more.

"Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" from Les Miserables

Offline cicero

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Re: Call from NC Department of Health
« Reply #45 on: September 05, 2013, 09:53:43 AM »
Wanted to update everyone on how this went. It has been weighing on my mind so I came back early from my vacation (planned before diagnosis) to just get it over with. I just met with the lady from the DOH.  As others noted, it was a few questions, mostly about partners and positions and condoms.  I answered honestly. I gave her email addresses of the four people since May.  I signed a thing saying I would never not tell a partner about my status.  And she left.  She was perfectly lovely but the whole thing was very impersonal and quick.  I did tell her the note on the door was not cool.  I told her I was worried those partners might narrow it down to me and come kill me, or something, she didn't seem concerned.  lol  Anyway a big woop about nothing I guess until I start getting calls/emails from those I listed for her. I will keep you all posted on anything that happens next (I know you're waiting with baited breath, not) and thanks for the discussion and support here.
"How could this happen to lovely me?" -Jacqueline Susann

Offline leatherman

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Re: Call from NC Department of Health
« Reply #46 on: September 05, 2013, 06:28:25 PM »
I told her I was worried those partners might narrow it down to me and come kill me, or something, she didn't seem concerned.  lol
LOL and I thought "I" was a worrier! LOL

(I know you're waiting with baited breath, not) and thanks for the discussion and support here.
personally, I ALWAYS like to hear back from people. I mean sometimes it sux to invest time and thought into trying to give a fellow member some support about a situation -- and then never again hear from the sorry sonofa ...  ::) LOL I promise, if I ever told someone "I told you so" afterwards, I only said it in jest.  ;D

hopefully this will be the end of your "ordeal" now. LOL well, that is unless you move to a new state, report to an ASO, and have your new state health dpt be notified. LOL
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Oh my friends, my friends forgive me
That I live and you are gone.
There's a grief that can't be spoken.
There's a pain goes on and on.
Empty chairs at empty tables
Where my friends will meet no more.

"Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" from Les Miserables

Offline oksikoko

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Re: Call from NC Department of Health
« Reply #47 on: September 05, 2013, 07:42:54 PM »
I signed a thing saying I would never not tell a partner about my status. 

Everyone knows I'm adamantly in favor of disclosure, especially for sex partners, but I find this a little intrusive. Maybe it's just the libertarian streak talking, but unless required by law (and even then), I don't think I'd sign such a document.
Code: [Select]
2013-10-03:                ☣ VL (=) undetectable ☣ CD4 (+) 1105
2013-05-23:                ☣ VL (=) undetectable ☣ CD4 (-) 945
2013-02-25:                ☣ VL (-) undetectable ☣ CD4 (+) 1123
2012-12-16: Enter Stribild
2012-11-20: HIV+           ☣ VL (→) 132,683      ☣ CD4 (→) 920
2012-04-01: HIV-
Dates in this signature file conform to ISO 8601. ;-)

Online tednlou2

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Re: Call from NC Department of Health
« Reply #48 on: September 05, 2013, 11:41:07 PM »
So, does anyone know what happens between the health department and the named sexual partners?  Do they go stick notes on their doors?  Any cases where they got court orders to force them to test?  I could see that happening in Mayberry.  If you are dealing with someone 16 or 17, are the required to also inform the parents?  In that case, I would hope the reporting partner was not too much older than 18.


Offline cicero

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Re: Call from NC Department of Health
« Reply #49 on: September 06, 2013, 12:35:29 AM »
tednlou2, she doesn't have addresses or names (because I don't have them either), but, I think, yes, they do try to find them via what I provided (emails, phone numbers). I don't know about forced testing. 

oksikoko, I didn't put up a fuss and I signed it because I *do* plan to always disclose to partners. However I had a moment of hesitation just out of principle.

leatherman, I worry like no other, which is going to be a big part of my issue with being HIV+ from here on out...
"How could this happen to lovely me?" -Jacqueline Susann

 


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