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whocanfigure
Guru

Reged: 09/01/07
Posts: 231
HIV phobia??
      #239230 - 05/12/08 10:27 PM

I think I just met my first HIV phobic physician. A few weeks ago I was referrend to an ear/nose/throat (ENT) specialist because I have had hearing loss and very loud ringing in my right ear for a year. The resident physician was very attentive and took a detailed history. The attending (the guy who's supposed to know it all) came in a few minutes later; spent maybe, about 2 minutes with me. He looked in both my ears and announced my eardrums look normal and stated that my hearing loss was from the years I was a flight nurse in the Air Force. Mind you, I haven't flown since 1997 (you do the math...11 yrs) and the hearing loss and ringing only started one year ago.
He (and the resident) then write a letter to my primary doctor stating: Dear Dr. XYZ, thank you for referring...etc, etc, as you know she has an extensive medical history, including HIV!!!!!! they don't write "including breast cancer" or "including "rheumatoid arthrititis". This letter is on a system that anyone can access and read....all my other docs write "immunosuppressed". Now I"m not so mad about them writing "HIV"..but singling it out of my medical history...well thats another thing. The whole visit was a waste of my time..as I wasn't treated like an intelligent, educated human being...basically it was the brush off.
Anyway...needed to vent, thank you all for listening.
Bernie

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oldwoman
Guardian

Reged: 05/12/07
Posts: 435
Loc: Phila,Pa
Re: HIV phobia?? new
      #239233 - 05/13/08 08:16 AM

What a jerk!Is there anything you can do?Call and get him to change the wording?Have you talked to your primary about him,at least so she doesn't send anybody else there.And get another ENT who will find out what is wrong with your ear.
How is your RA doing?What happened with the new med you were starting?
Terry

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Florida69
Legend

Reged: 02/19/07
Posts: 541
Re: HIV phobia?? new
      #239236 - 05/13/08 08:49 AM

Bernie, I am sorry. Give me his number and I will go kick his butt. Doctors are so out there sometimes, that they do not have any real human qualities. I think you are beautiful, HIV and all. HUGS. D

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Choosing2Liv
Legend

Reged: 03/21/06
Posts: 581
Loc: South
Re: HIV phobia?? new
      #239237 - 05/13/08 09:07 AM

Hey Bernie,

It's a shame that some of our most educated humans are SO IGNORANT! You have a right to be pissed that he singled out one part of your medical history that HE has an affront to.

Maybe you ought to mention his action to your primary care physician. He/she may even consider warning the doctor to be mindful of how what he writes could cause him to lose patients. It's amazing how effective the loss of $$$ can be in changing ones attitude.

Glad you vented to us,
Gary




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pozartistsd
Expert

Reged: 01/04/08
Posts: 105
Loc: San Diego, CA
Re: HIV phobia??
      #239241 - 05/13/08 12:14 PM

u r so right about doctors florida. mine, an HIV-specialist, is so weird. he asks me questions, i answer them but he seems like he's not even listening. sometimes he starts doing something while i'm still answering his question. and the worse thing is sometimes i have to remind him of my counts and what meds i'm on and when i started treatment... scary

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sunflower
Grand Master

Reged: 08/31/06
Posts: 159
Loc: AK
Re: HIV phobia?? new
      #239254 - 05/13/08 10:30 PM

vent away sister! its what we are here for
So frustrating to anticipate getting help and then getting the brush off - feels like such a waste of time and energy! I agree with Terri -try another ENT - that ringing would drive me crazy. Is it correlated to the HIV? seems I read somewhere about that - maybe it had to do with a certain drug - I will see if I can find it again. or I could be remembering it wrong. it happens
How are you otherwise - life treating you ok? Didn't you just go to a seminar and visit family on the east coast? hope it was fun!
hugs~
Lor

--------------------
Focus on your potential.

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whocanfigure
Guru

Reged: 09/01/07
Posts: 231
Re: HIV phobia?? new
      #239255 - 05/14/08 01:06 AM

Hey Pozartist..you need to get a new ID doctor. That is totally unacceptable. Thanks everyone for listening to me vent...I have big broad shoulders and am not shy about saying what I feel...this doctor was so much of an idiot (maybe because he is my height 5'2")...I have talked with my Primary and told her what went on..she felt really bad (she is awesome). I think the ringing might be from one of my RA meds..will talk that over with Rheumatology...at any rate, I certainly won't be going back to that ENT...what a jerk!!!! Thanks again..I love you all.
Bernie

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pozartistsd
Expert

Reged: 01/04/08
Posts: 105
Loc: San Diego, CA
Re: HIV phobia?? a new doc new
      #239303 - 05/14/08 04:57 PM

i agree with you, i would prefer another doctor but i'm in a study (get drugs= norvir/reyataz/truvada free) and the interaction with my actual dr. is very minimal, about 2x per year for a checkup and major physical. otherwise the folks at UCSD (University of San Diego, CA) are awesome. I meet with a case worker, psychologist, health-education nurse, and HIV study nurse every three months and get my blood-work done every 3 months. there is a team of doctors available to evaluate my labs so it's not like i have to rely on my ID for everything. If it wasn't for the physical I could live (literally) without him. thanks for the advice

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whocanfigure
Guru

Reged: 09/01/07
Posts: 231
Re: HIV phobia?? a new doc new
      #239307 - 05/14/08 10:47 PM

I go to your sister hospital, UC Irvine. The bottom line is if you are good with where you are, then thats ok....its all about being comfortable and getting good care to boot. The one good thing about studies is they leave no stone unturned (I am a research coordinator).....we don't leave our people alone. Take care!!! B.

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Bear60
Legend

Reged: 12/21/05
Posts: 1390
Re: HIV phobia?? new
      #239344 - 05/16/08 02:27 PM

Bernie
Its never easy when confronted with that sort of treatment by someone who should know better. I was just wondering if you wrote a letter to this doctor expressing your concerns??
Joel

--------------------
6 ft tall poz bear in Philadelphia

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debtex
Legend

Reged: 03/21/05
Posts: 846
Re: HIV phobia?? new
      #239345 - 05/16/08 04:06 PM

hi all...

Ok.. I can TOTALY understand your problem with being treated as a "job" and not a person. and as you see... (especially with the resident physician).. that all doctors are different..

BUT working in a hospital.. what I HAVE found that... yes, doctors WILL be brief... and doctors WILL write your diagnosis in your medical record, OR in your chart, or letters going to your referring physicain. This information... SHOULD not be accessed by "anyone". and ANYONE who CAN access if there isn't a reason..(like if they are not participating in your care)... THEN it is wrong and illigal for them to do so!

I have come across seeing it be more common that resindents DO or could have a better bedside manner, or be more attentive than attendings... simply because (and i knnow it sounds horrible.. BUT true)... they are new... and learning about how to be a better doctor.

but really... there isn't anything "legally" you can do about him putting that in your letter. you can ask for a second opinion if you feel this doctor didnt even examin you well enough to determin what your problem was. BUT.. if you are going to get upset with any doctor who writes... "you are hiv +" on letters going to your other physicians... THEN you will find... that you will be running out of places to go to doctors.. when you are referred from place to place... and doctors have and know this information with you... if you need to be seen somewhere else.. that is necessery information for them to know. How do you know the problem couldn't have been hiv related... ?

I would ask for a second opinion... you should see a doctor who makes you feel as though your questions have been answered when you leave... but asking that doctors NOT write about your hiv to other doctors... is something that you CANT say is illegal. it is not. its not a letter to your BOSS.. its a letter to your doctor.. who when he referred you.... COULD have said... immunocompromised... and send over some other infomation pertaining to being poz... as in your tcells or VLOAD ... and that is information they are allowed to discuss.... Who would you be worried about seeing the specialists letter anyway?

i had to chime in... please dont get the wrong idea. I've been in a hospital work setting for 1O years... 7 of them being in the HIV department with STRICT protcol as to what was against privacy issues...

hope you are welll...

love and prayers,
debbie

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whocanfigure
Guru

Reged: 09/01/07
Posts: 231
Re: HIV phobia?? new
      #239358 - 05/17/08 02:09 AM

Hey Joel. I'm glad you said something about writing a letter. I have been contemplating it long and hard since the visit and am going to do just that. I usually let myself cool down for a bit so I can look at it analytically, instead of emotionally, then compose a response. I will let you know how it comes out. Thanks for your always great insight.
Bernie

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whocanfigure
Guru

Reged: 09/01/07
Posts: 231
Re: HIV phobia?? new
      #239359 - 05/17/08 02:18 AM

Hi Debtex. I am not upset, I appreciate everyones input. I am an RN with 35 years experience. I am a research coordinator who knows a whole lot about HIPAA and what can and can't be done in the healthcare setting. I think you may have misunderstood what I was upset about, it wasn't that he wrote "HIV"; its that he felt it was necessary to isolate this out of my "multiple medical histories" when I have (had) breast cancer, rheum arthritis, a parotid tumor (which is certainly more applicable to an ENT problem), etc, etc. That along with the brush off is the reason I was disturbed. The Resident was fine..she was much better than him. I have a reasonable expectation that a physician will discuss my problem with me, and the MRI he looked at, ask if there are any questions or issues, and review my history. I don't think thats too much too ask. I don't care who knows about my HIV because ALL of my MD's (and I have a lot) know; as do many others at the university hospital. So, it wasn't about the HIV, it was about the lack of interest and professionalism. Healthcare is a consumers market and as a consumer I expect good quality. Certainly that is not unreasonable. Thanks for your concern. Take care, B.

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picaropsv
Regular

Reged: 01/05/08
Posts: 49
Loc: Spain
Re: HIV phobia?? Maybe new
      #239360 - 05/17/08 02:34 AM

Hey all!

When I first began the regular check ups and blood work ups and all, I was very concerned about how many people at the hospital were going to know just what I had. I didn't think it was necessary for the lady who sat at the computer and made the appointments to know what those appointments were for, for example. When giving me the blood work up form, HIV+ was branded in very large, handwritten letters on the sheet, so it was hard for anyone not to notice it. I complained about this to my case MD and his nurse said that there was nothing they could do about it, that was the damned "protocol".

However, something has changed since my visit three months ago. Last week I was given another form for the blood work up and this time HIV+ was listed, but very descretely as part of the regular information, with a little check mark to indicate that the lab had to do the special tests that such implies. I was pleased with this change, though it is still seen by people whose business it is not, it is at least not scribbled like a headline in the middle of the page.

Another comment, even though I use Social Medicine in my country, there are indeed things that can be done to protect my privacy. For example, when I was first diagnosed, my head doctor in the small town where I live was kind enough to list on the appointment form that I needed to see an internist for general reasons. This because I had to file the form at the local clinic. Those workers at the local clinic did not need to know, at that time, that I was HIV+, nor would they need to know unless I am ill and go to them for help, and they would find out by checking my private records.

And it may just be personal paranoia, but a nurse who treated me while I was in hospital a year ago used to shop regularly at the market where my partner works, my partner recognized her at once. He has since pointed out that after some uncomfortable feelings from her (purely intuitive) while he was visiting me at hospital, she suddenly stopped shopping at that market. Doctors are human beings as well and are not immune to the general attitudes that still rage about being HIV+. Bernie, I would indeed write a "kind" note expressing your concerns to this doctor, he/she needs to be aware of how his/her attitude has affected you and could affect others in the future. We have come a long long way in training doctors to be more "human" since the beginning of this "disease", but we are not yet where we ought to be.

My two cents worth there!


--------------------
peace,
picaro.

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pozchick1
Newbie

Reged: 09/20/07
Posts: 7
Loc: Winnipeg Manitoba Canada
Re: HIV phobia?? new
      #240721 - 07/17/08 04:43 AM

Hi, I understand what you mean , how the doc underlined being hiv. I also had a situation with a dentist, Whom I disclosed to, All they did was clean my teeth and not very well. Sent me on my way. A day or two later they called me to give a referal to a doc I have been seeing for couple years. I decided to cancel my upcoming apt right then, The lady pretty much said, Good idea.
Of course I was upset about it at the time, Im over it now, still could have done without the ignorance. Im happy to say I have a good dentist now..:)
pozchick

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