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Did you know ? HIV testing in Oz ...

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since i was recently hospitalised, i also asked for a HIV and Hep-C blood test.

i *may* have been compromised by some unsterile potential Hep-C source, i have to know for sure.

i have also had been using with a guy who has no HIV viral load etc. and i am a bit paranoid about us sharing drinks, swabbed spoons etc.

But what i didn't know is that i have to sign a big form to allow them to test for me and i have then even signed an authority to release the results to my clinic but they haven't done so yet.

In Oz, a bit awkward to test for and very strict on how the results are handled, more so than i'd expect them to be.

is it the same elsewhere ?

Got my results back and am HIV negative. They lost my HepC results but due to Harvoni, I fear nothing anyway.


Yay, Chipper!  I know that HIV isn't the death sentence it used to be and folks are living longer, healthier lives, but still is awesome to know that you dodged that bullet!!!  Once again, YAY!!!!!!!!

That is awesome news Chipper.
Did you get back your Hep C results?
I would suggest retesting in 6 months to be sure for both. The window period can be much longer than 3- 6 months for HIV and HCV, which isn't always
in the literature or discussed by healthcare professionals.

In most states, a general informed consent for medical treatment is all that is needed for someone to be tested for HIV.
This is part of the revised CDC recommendations from 2006.
- Separate written consent for HIV testing is not recommended.  General informed consent for medical care that notifies the patient that an HIV test will be performed unless the patient declines (opt-out screening) should be considered sufficient to encompass informed consent for HIV testing.
- Prevention counseling—defined as an interactive process of assessing risk of infection, recognizing specific behaviors that increase this risk, and developing a plan to reduce risk—should not be required with HIV diagnostic testing or as part of HIV screening programs in health-care settings.

Prevention counseling is what I am certified to do by the state as well as give someone their test results. Most patients are not going to discuss with their doctor any risky behaviors they engage in that could lead to HIV/HCV infection. I really have yet to meet any healthcare professionals that work within most general healthcare settings to open up this dialogue without sounding like a bunch of judmental assholes. There is still so much stigma. Even if someone requests to be tested, many doctors and other healthcare professionals just don't really have the experience, time, or really give a shit to open up any dialogue.
It took me some time to learn how to really engage my clients in an open discussion where they felt comfortable and where I felt comfortable as well.

I have heard horror stories from so many individuals who were given a positive test result in their doctors office and felt so shamed and humiliated by their doctor. You are telling somoene they are HIV positive, a bit of compassion can go a long way at that moment and so many doctors and nurses alike either don't know what to say or just don't really care.

When I was told I was positive for Hep C, my doctor looked at me and said, "that's what you get."
I never even discussed with my provider that I was at risk because of my IV drug use, but asked to be tested because of my job as a nurse.
It is that type of response and stigma that prevents people from being tested by their healthcare provider.
Thankfully we have other resources where people can go and find a more compassionate care.

Well thanks for that advice ... but they had to find a capable doctor to insert a cannula in a vein that was tiny and I thought it a great opportunity to get tests done.

They lost my HCV results.

There is a hospital that will do blood draws by ultrasound vein location so that's my best bet.

But for now, I want to think that I'm HCV negative and it's not bothering me as the risk of exposure is quite low. Ignorance is bliss, type of thing.

The whole drama of drawing blood is an experience that pains me so I'm going to leave it for now.

I know you are a trained professional in this field and I do respect your advice but may not act on it in the foreseeable future.

I'm happy enough with the results I do have as I would be devastated to find out I contracted HIV so people like you who are trained to initiate the testing and deliver the news have to do so gently but firmly, with much empathy.


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