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Feb 9, 2006

I have to tell a bit of my story to try to find the question(s). My diagnosis did a real number on me: mentally, emotionally, physically, professionally, financially. I found my bottom in all of the above categories and have come back better than ever. I even met a woman that I have been open and honest with who is a medical professional. I don't know if our friendship and relationship will ever progress to the physical but I'm preparing now to include talking to my doctor. When consulting with my doctor, he interupted and asked, "...does she know...!" Anyone who knows me, knows the answer to that is yes, I told her long ago and we're talking about the possibilty of sex maybe six months from now (if I'm lucky). Crying out loud, my therapist and other professionals in my life have been trying to get me to this point and the way he said what he said, just knocked me back. Can you possibly comment on his manner and how you might handle such a situation? Thanx.

Response from Dr. Horwath

Your doctor may have approached the subject in an insensitive manner, but it is not wrong for him to ask you if you've informed your partner, or future sexual partner. In addition to being your personal physician, he is a health professional trying to do what he can to prevent further spread of HIV and to encourage people (such as yourself) to be open and honest with their partners. Although you know yourself that you informed her of your HIV status, he has know way of knowing this without asking. If you are offended by his manner, you'll need to judge if his other qualities as a doctor make up for that. But I don't think you should let this incident get in the way getting good medical care or of pursuing your relationship. Best of luck to you.

mental illness

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