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Author Topic: (UK) Man ‘refused service at dental practice because he is HIV positive’  (Read 732 times)

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Online JimDublin

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Sadly I do hear and have experienced this irrational behavior at dentists myself. Nearly feels to me like they are the furthest behind or most outdated in the medical understanding and advancements in HIV ... that said this of course is just my feelings, does not mean its true and its based on my own limited experience

Good on the man for standing up for his rights and pushing back, no good having them if nobody uses them.

https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2018/03/02/gay-man-refused-service-at-dental-practice-because-he-is-hiv-positive/

Quote
In January 2017, I went to my local dentist in Northamptonshire,” he told PinkNews.

“I registered as a new patient and was given a questionnaire and I disclosed my HIV status on that questionnaire. Not soon after handing that questionnaire in I was called around the corner – not in a room – by the dental nurse.

“She basically said that she couldn’t see me until the last appointment of the day. This was at 10.45 in the morning. They said it was their policy to see people with my condition at the end of the day and I think other people could hear what was going on.”

Under the Equality Act 2010, it is illegal for a dentist to treat a person differently because they have HIV.

Furthermore, dental equipment does not need to be sterilised twice after being used on a patient with HIV, as standard sterilisation measures combat the risk of transmission to another patient, therefore those with the condition do not need to be seen later on in the practice’s day.

 dentist(Twenty20 images)
The man’s complaint has been upheld by the NHS and the practice has since changed its policy. However, after speaking to other people with HIV on a Terrence Higgins Trust forum, he discovered he is far from alone in his experience.

“The reason why I’m bringing the case is really because it’s part of a bigger problem.  I just want to raise awareness,” he told PinkNews.

“I think the practice owner, the dentist, still seems to think that he’s in the right for doing what he did, or instructing his nurse to do that,” he continued.

“I’ve requested a copy of their policy, and as of yet I have not seen that policy. Since the complaint was upheld by the NHS, they’ve assured me that they’ve changed their policy.”

“But I worry that if someone went back with HIV, they’d tell them exactly the same all over again.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2018, 05:01:43 am by JimDublin »
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Offline CaveyUK

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I'm also on the forum mentioned in the article, and it was about a year ago he posted. I'm not sure about the indication that he found out he was not alone from the forum post, unless people PM'ed him as there was a handful of people responding who just confirmed it was discriminatory practice.

Personally, I'm not sure what he is hoping to achieve with the legal case. The NHS have upheld his complaint and the practice has changed it's policy. I doubt there is any merit in further legal action, especially given the complaint seems to be about a nurse referring to 'his condition' which could perhaps be overheard by others.

Not a nice situation, but he went through the proper channels and I doubt he will achieve anything by subsequent costly legal action.

Back to the overall issue, there clearly will be stigma in specific settings - we have seen similar things at tattoo shops, and GPs. Whilst I hate this irrational behaviour, I think it is driven out of ignorance rather than malice (in the main), and it's one of the big challenges we face. Plus, of course, it prevents many from disclosing at all.

I suppose taking action will get publicity and possibly force the NHS (or similar overarching organisations) to enforce policy, which is good although I'd rather people change their healthcare policy through better understanding of risk, rather than 'we have to do this because we are told to', if that makes sense...
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Online JimDublin

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Yup same here in ROI with GP's etc, however must say its been getting better but I only think it has gotten better as a few people were indeed brave enough to call them out on bad behavior.

Jim 
HIV 101 - Everything you need to know
HIV 101
Transmission and Risks:
HIV Transmission and Risks
Read more about Testing here:
HIV Testing
Read about Treatment-as-Prevention (TasP) here:
HIV TasP
You can read about HIV prevention here:
HIV prevention
Read about PEP and PrEP here
PEP and PrEP

 


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