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my privacy

Feb 19, 2005

I only want to share my status with the people who are closest to me. In essence, I'll share this info with my close friends and family but I don't want my co-workers or neighbors to know anything. I work in an office environment as a computer programmer and pose no risk to anyone, but I worry that they would treat me like a pariah if they knew. I have not gone to a doctor yet because I am afraid that they would notify my employer, my neighbors, etc. Maybe I am just being paranoid, but will my doctor make my status known to anyone without my permission? Would she be allowed to do that, or required to?

Response from Dr. Horwath

Your doctor has to treat your HIV status as confidential medical information. He or she cannot notify your employer or neighbors. New York state gives physicians the option to inform sexual contacts or the local health department if you have not informed or do not agree to inform your sexual contacts about your status.

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