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testing overseas at military clinic
Mar 1, 2001

Dear Dr. Holodniy,

I would appreciate your suggestions on how I should talk to my clinic about a missing HIV test. I'm an American working overseas and have been exposed to some blood from war refugees. I've had some uncommon health problems since starting to work overseas, which I've usually attributed to stress and unsanitary conditions. Yet, I decided it would be a a good idea to be tested for HIV just in case. The only option open to me was getting tested at a nearby military clinic. I was tested in December and now it is almost March and I've not got any results back. Initially, they told me that they would call me within 4 weeks with the result. When I checked with them again at the end of January they told me that they would only call if the test was negative. However, if it was positive they said my results would be forwarded to my "employer" who would in turn relay the information down to me! I tried to argue that I, not my employer, was the one that had paid 450 for the test. Yet, arguing about an HIV test in a crowed public place just made me more stressed and upset. I finally left the clinic and decided that I would just have to wait for the result. Yet, now I am in week 9 without any result. I really don't want this test hanging over my head any longer, but I'm just unclear how to approach the clinic staff when I return this time. Would it be reasonable to demand the result or to be tested again? What should I do if they tell me to just keep waiting?

respectfully,

a guy alone and far from home

Response from Dr. Holodniy

I have no experience with that kind of bureaucracy. Is it possible to go to a civilian clinic?



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