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Full Disclosure: HIV Shame at the Dentist

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18 Comments

Oldenough2know

Enjoyed the article , it needed to be said! I look for such negative reactions from medical providers or the general public. Whether it be applying for affordable housing, social services, disability entitlements, food stamps whatever! Don't you dare look down on me or withhold services that I or anyone else is entitled to receive! Yes I'm HIV positive, and not ashamed! I'll shout it from the roof tops if necessary! And yes call it melodramatic if you want!

January 25, 2019 NYC

scottjamesmiller

The melodrama is nauseating. Lisa: "You're HIV positive?" She asked the question in the register one might ask, “You’re a convicted felon?” Me: "Yes." Lisa: "Oh." "As her question lingered in the air like flatulence, I thought of answering, “Yeah, you got a problem with that?” ripping off my bib and walking out. Instead I took my usual turn-the-other-cheek road and answered simply, “Yes." Lingered like farts? Yawn! The writer is the one that has a problem with his status. Not "Lisa".

December 6, 2018 Miami Beach

Name Changed

Shame on them. Here is one for you. My mom revealed my status to the Dean of the college where I studied. It was Sept '84 or '85 when the test came out and AIDS didn't have a name. My mom was a nurse at the facility where I took the test and had my results before I did. After she called the school they drive me to a local hospital for a confirmation HIV test in the college town where I lived. I was then transferred to another dorm where I had to live alone. I felt so ashamed.

December 6, 2018 LA

olivier

I don't have dental insurance. AIDS diagnosis 1993. But thanks to Ryan White funding, the community dental clinic, covers my costs - 4 crowns and cleanings over the last 10 years. They, however, wear the same protections to treat HIV/AIDS patients as you mentioned but no double gloving, yet wear surgical masks, and the plastic visor over the mask which protects them from the sprays and micro droplets and any blood heading their way during cleaning. I accept that it is for their protection.

December 4, 2018 SF Bay Area

Jaysonjeffries

Shortly after I started treatment for HIV I was undetectable. On the dentist form I circled HIV and wrote undetectable. The dentist worked on me with no wuals, but the receptionist on putting away my file yelled down the hallway, that patient has HIV. Never went back.

December 4, 2018 Texas

MesquiteTX

This is why whenever possible I choose medical providers who are part of the gay community. I know this isn't always possible for everyone, especially for those who don't live in a major metropolitan area. Find a local gay publication, go online, whatever, and find those who advertise as being LGBTQ friendly.

December 4, 2018 TX

Elaine

That is completely disgusting and that’s why people don’t tell. I’ll admit I didn’t for years because dental techs all suited up to eyeballs with everyone but when I went to new location just south of Palo Alto and was waiting for a certain “look” or “tone of voice” it never came in fact I was treated with dignity and respect and the dentist was HOT and he always took my hand and asked how I was....this was late 90’s. So sorry that happened and I would have raised holy hell!!!

December 4, 2018 Dallas

acgogo

I've gone through this same issue with more than one dental hygienist overreacting to my HIV status. I feel it is only fair and right for me to disclose but they make it soooo difficult. It's no good shopping around for a new dentist. You end up having a new set of X-rays done for every new dentist. Then, you don't know how they are going to react when you get in the chair. You are so vulnerable at that moment. Best to disclose to the dentist before your appointment. Try a dental school?

December 4, 2018

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