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Shared Hopital room with HIV Patient
May 29, 2005

3 Days ago I was not able to reach my pulmonary doctor of 18 years and had to call 911 to get me to the nearest hospital.Its a good hospital and I have great insurance. They put my in the er area and stabilized me...I was hyperventilating and haveing a massive astma attack.12 hrs later they put me in a double room.I was alone, The next morning they brought in a 66 year old woman. I am a 55 year old female...I have no other diseases except asthma. The nurses closed the curtain around her and started asking her her health history and one nurse said ..and I see you are HIV Positive from a blodd transfusion. The patient answered yes..I calmly wrote a note to the head nurse ( as I looked at the one sink and one toilet ). The nurse came into the room and lectured me that I was safe and of course took the stand that the HIV patient has the right to privacy..I laughed softly and said.." ok what about my safety and care?? I then was visited by the diesease control doctor who lectured me as I am sitting there hyperventilating me. I said I want another room.They had none.. I asked to be moved and was sorry that my viewpoint was archaic...as I was told.. Where were my defenders and protectors?/ I was to share a toilet and sink with a 66 year old woman who could not even pull up her own blankets..let alone use care in the bathroom. I came home this morning after talking to my provate doctor who also agreed I should not be in that room...My question is this..I know HIV is not airborne..but what if she bled from somehere and sat on the seat.They also emptied her foley in the toliet the first few hours.I refuse to be treated as the one at fault here.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

Thank you for your rather annoying little story of ignorance and irrationality. Now, did you have a question?

By the way, if you were looking for me to be your "defender," sorry. "Archaic" is actually quite a polite term for your "viewpoint." I'll spare you the term I would have used, as I wouldn't want you to start hyperventilating again.

I would say the chances of your contracting HIV from your 66-year-old HIV-positive hospital roommate are the same as those of your contracting the virus from me while reading my response on your computer screen, as I, too, am HIV positive.

You can "refuse to be treated as the one at fault here," but that doesn't make you any less wrong.

Dr. Bob



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