June #48 : Little Rocked - by Gabi Horn

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Beyond Condoms: Introduction

Beyond Condoms

Beyond Condoms: Life After Latex

Ouch! Stop the Pain

Catching Up With . . . Jim Howley

Drag King

Queen of Hearts


To the Editor

Hypodermic Hysteria


POZarazzi: Party Poop

Frogs Out of Hot Water

Clip 'n' Save

Swing Vote

Think Stink

"WeHo" Heave Ho

Little Rocked

Say What


Patriot Games

Policy Permutations

Ghost Reader

Show & Tell

Rescue 3-8-7

Dose Encounters

Nurse a Grudge

A Bum Rap

Where There’s Smoke...

Feelin' No Pain

Tranny Time

Where to Find It

Get Over It

Volunteers Wanted

Not Your Typical Tearjerker

Displace Dysplasia

Prevention Extension

Posterboy Always Rings Twice

Sense and Sinsemilla

POZ Picks

Aunt Evelyn's Letters

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

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June 1999

Little Rocked

by Gabi Horn

Arkansas doc fired for HIV

In June 1998, The Arkansas Times named Thomas Jefferson, MD, “Pediatrician of the Year.” Two months later, he was fired from the Little Rock Children’s Clinic (LRCC) he co-founded in 1975 when his ex-wife allegedly leaked his HIV status. “I wasn’t surprised,” said Jefferson, 52, who was diagnosed with HIV in 1997 and has filed a federal discrimination suit against the clinic. “HIV positive pediatricians just don’t care for children in Arkansas.”

When Jefferson learned he had HIV, he notified the Arkansas medical board and began following the American Medical Association’s protocals to minimize transmission risk, said his lawyer, Chip Welch. And, according to Catherine Hanssens of New York’s Lambda Legal Defense Fund, there is no documentation of a surgeon or pediatrician giving HIV to a patient. But, said Welch, “LRCC wasn’t worried about children getting infected—they were worried about losing patients.” While the clinic admitted to learning Jefferson’s HIV status from “a source,” it denied firing him for that reason. So far, local parents have been largely supportive of Jefferson, said Welch.

Jefferson’s case, filed eight months after the Supreme Court granted PWAs protection under the Americans With Disability Act, could set a national precedent for HIV positive physicians.

“The clinic thought I’d be too ashamed to go public,” said Jefferson. “But I’ve always been a ‘shy guy.’ To roll over and die would be very bad for my self-esteem.”  

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