October 25, 2011
On October 1, 2011 Robert Breining and Jeromy Dunn spoke with 27 year old Donald P., who shared his personal story with HIV/AIDS.
Working in pre-hospital care for ten years, the first thing you learn is to expect the unexpected. That statement never held more truth to Donald than it did in the fall of 2005. Donald's shift ended early because the trauma patient he had later died. Donald was exposed to this patient's virus ... HIV. Every healthcare provider's worse fear came true that night. That is contracting an infectious disease from their patient. His goal no longer was to be a trauma surgeon. It was now going into infectious diseases and epidemiology. He wants to be on the front lines of this pandemic and change the face of HIV every way that he possibly can.
Donald has worked with Magic Johnson to discuss healthcare reform, medical mission trips with "Doctors Without Borders," being on the advertisement for Atripla, he is a consultant for Bristol-Myers Squibb about Atripla, for two years he taught the chat portion of an undergraduate class at the University of Central Florida called "HIV: A Human Concern." Despite the stigma that HIV carries in the healthcare field, Donald still works as a critical care paramedic. He may be called in by FEMA at any moment, along with his search and rescue dog, Achilles. He does this while pursuing his doctoral degree in medicine, specializing in infectious diseases and epidemiology. He may have HIV, but he spends most of his time working to save the lives of others.