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Testing barriers
May 24, 2006

Dr. Bob, I don't have a question, rather a comment or two on testing. You would think in this day and age that testing would be no big deal and any doctor would be glad to order the tests.

I finally got the guts up after months and months of worrying to go get tested today. I made an appointment with my Urologist, who has treated me in the past for chlamydia and HPV, so I didn't think it would be a big deal. Anyhow, when I asked for the test, he looked at me like I just asked him to saw my arms off and his response was "why?"

So I was shocked, and I said I'm trying to be safe and I think it's the right thing to do and he told me that he had never ordered and HIV test and "didn't even know what the requirements were or what the test involved or how long it would be before the results came back. At that point I lost my temper and told him that is was a fucking blood test and I've had it done in the past, several years ago (in a small town) and it was so simple to ask for.

Anyhow, to make a long story short (or a short story long, it seems) he acted all confused and went out and talked to someone up front and then came back in and told me that I would have to go to the health department, it would be much "easier" and anonymous. What the hell??? there are ENOUGH barriers to being tested that we bring on ourselves...anxiety, intimidation, things like that...but for a doctor to react like that is puzzling.

Needless to say, I called another doctor and scheduled and appiontment for tomorrow. Why did he make me feel like such a jackass for asking for it? Is it really that much of a stigma??

anyhow, I think you're great and I wish all doctors were as understanding and humane and funny as you. J

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hey J,

Are you sure this dude was an urologist? He sounds more like a proctologist, because he seems to know exactly how to be a perfect asshole. I'm glad you switched doctors. I also hope you refuse to pay his bill. A pointed letter of complaint to the county or state medical board might be helpful as well.

Dr. Bob

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