Imagine you've been to the doctor multiple times for a vitamin deficiency. Now imagine that even after numerous treatments, you still have a deficiency, as well as low white blood cell counts. So your doctor runs some blood tests and finds out something awful. You are HIV-positive. He informs you of this. Do you a) cry, b) be grateful you found out what the problem is and commence treating your HIV, c) sue the doctor. If you're a certain 31-year-old woman in the sue-happy state of New York, you do c. Your reason? Besides hoping for a quick payout, I mean? Because you just don't want to know. Um ... okaaaay.
The unidentified woman is suing her doctor at Lifex Medical Care in New York because he tested her for HIV without her knowledge. Granted, in this state you do need to consent to being tested for HIV. The woman claims that even though the doctor recommended an HIV test to try and find the root of her health problems, she refused it. Why would anyone refuse an HIV test?
Because she just don't wanna know.
Says the woman:
I was tricked. I never signed any paper. It was a slap in the face. My body got numb. I was not good after that.
Hm, this sounds suspiciously like someone who doesn't want to take responsibility for her own health. I can understand not wanting to know if you've got terminal cancer. When my grandmother was diagnosed, she specifically asked the doctor and her family NOT to tell her the extent of the disease.
But the HIV virus you can transmit to other people. Why wouldn't you want to know about it? Maybe you don't want to worry about the precautions you will now have to take for the rest of your life? Maybe not want to worry about the conversations you may have to have with sexual partners? Maybe you didn't want to know so you won't be tempted to tell anyone, who then might judge you or react badly? Maybe you just don't want to be honest and responsible. Maybe.
Her lawyer says she had her reasons for not wanting to know, but doesn't say what those are. Maybe she's worried about the registry of HIV-positive people she will now be entered into, and what will be done with that information. Maybe she's worried about being denied health coverage in the future.
But when it comes to your health -- and the risk your health may pose to others -- you can't just bury your head in the sand. The truth -- even about HIV -- will set you free.
Would you want to know if you were HIV-positive?
Image via David_Jones/Flickr