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Author Topic: How easy is it to find out one's status online?  (Read 2441 times)

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Offline ryeguy

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How easy is it to find out one's status online?
« on: February 03, 2008, 06:31:48 AM »
This might be a bit of a paranoid question, but I have an ex employer that somehow found out my hiv status. Absolutely nobody at work knew! I did not loose this job due to this but I feel very uneasy with the fact that my boss found this out somehow. Really, the only conclusion which I can come to that makes sense is that he discovered this some how through the internet. This is one of the reasons I no longer have a personal photo of me on this profile. Has anyone here had a similar experience? I mean I googled my own name but nothing came out that had to do with my person, just people which share a name with me. Is it possible to go ogle a photo? I mean like a Resume photo? I had my Resume' photo namely here as my avatar.

Offline BT65

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Re: How easy is it to find out one's status online?
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2008, 07:37:11 AM »
I think someone could hack into your computer and find out everything they wanted to know. 
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Offline Iggy

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Re: How easy is it to find out one's status online?
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2008, 10:33:51 AM »

How did your ex-boss reveal that he knew of your status?  Did he come out and say it or did you hear that he knew? 

If your ex-boss told you directly that he knew of your status, then I would ask him directly back on how he find out.  He has already left himself open to any question or concern that you have about it since he is the one that initiated the point.   If he didn't tell you directly, check your sources again and asked them to explain how they knew your ex-boss knew.

It may not have even happened because of anything related to the internet.  Despite how much stuff we all leave about our personal lives on the internet for others to find, I still haven't found a better conduit of information of people's lives than good old fashioned face to face.

That old six degrees of separation thing works a lot easier when it comes to gossip or mentions of what might consider titillating information about another - sometimes based on a person's actual conversations with another and sometimes just based on circumstantial evidence.

Offline pozniceguy

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Re: How easy is it to find out one's status online?
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2008, 02:52:38 PM »
In spite of the law and other ethical barriers there have been many cases of disclosure traced to medical records, gossip among various administrative persons, and in one specific case I am familiar with the "boss" asked  "personnel" to find out why his  insurance charges had gone so high....one particular person was getting very expensive treatment and the "boss" nosed around until he found what that treatment was.....

So it is possible that your status was disclosed from any number of possible sources....medical, insurance,reports to govt agency ( required in many states) , SSI or other Disability sources, pharmacy or drug store persons....etc.......

I would take Iggys advice and just ask him......

remember the good times...honor the past but don't live there
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Offline allanq

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Re: How easy is it to find out one's status online?
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2008, 03:09:58 PM »
AIDSmeds is a fairly high-profile website for people with HIV. It's entirely possible that someone at work was just browsing around and saw your picture. Even without your picture, you've revealed a good deal of personal information in your posts, and it's possible for someone to put two and two together and figure out it's you. In case they have any doubts, they can find out your age and where you're currently living by reading your profile.

As others have pointed out, there are all sorts of ways for your HIV status to leak out, but I wouldn't rule out someone finding out from this website.

These forums have kind of cozy feel to them, and even though there is a privacy warning at the top of each page, it's easy to forget that conversations here are open to anyone in the world with a computer and internet connection.

Many people feel completely comfortable with the openness of the internet, but if you're not comfortable with this, then it's best to keep your posts free of any identifying information, such as pictures, your name, where you live, where you work, and your age.

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Offline RapidRod

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Re: How easy is it to find out one's status online?
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2008, 03:31:37 PM »
ryeguy if they knew your nick it was easy for them to find out your status along with your labs that you've posted. I had no trouble finding your status, your labs results and that you took a HAART holiday.

Offline ryeguy

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Re: How easy is it to find out one's status online?
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2008, 04:36:36 PM »
I have changed my profile enough that this will not happen again.

I am still fairly certain my boss did not find anything out over this platform, as here in Germany this is not at all a high profile platform as maybe in the U.S.

Thankyou all for your input and consideration.


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