Gay Man Publicly Humiliated For Being A HIV Infection Risk

Discretion may not be some people’s forte, but one should expect people working in a professional capacity to be trained to muster up the appropriate behaviour, occasionally.

We were disappointed to hear a gay man was publicly humiliated in front of a busy waiting room when a nurse announced he could be carrying the HIV virus.

Liam Taylor had some root canal work at Garden City Dental (according to a report in Stuff) shortly after he was sent a message telling him a dental assistant had sustained a needle stick injury during his treatment.    He was told he would need to take a blood test to see if presented a risk. Stuff went on to say

“At the community lab at St George’s Hospital he filled his details out on the incident report.

“”I took it back up to the desk and the nurse said I had filled out the wrong section of the form. She said I needed to fill out the ‘source’ section, not the ‘recipient’ section because I was ‘the source of the HIV or Aids’. I was just totally shocked when she said that.”

The nurse retracted the statement after Taylor’s boss, who had accompanied him to the lab, expressed her shock. “The nurse then said, ‘sorry, I mean the potential source of HIV or Aids’. “I was so embarrassed. All these people were in the waiting room and she said it loudly . . . and the first thing that came to my mind was, ‘is she just assuming that I have diseases because I’m gay?’.

    “Maybe she did think that, that’s fine, but keep it to yourself and don’t be so unprofessional. I was really mortified and I felt like I was being treated like I was dirty . . . because I’m gay.”

The Stuff report concluded with a snap shot of the homophobia that is still present in New Zealand.

    298 Youth Health Centre founder Sue Bagshaw said she was “appalled” to hear of Taylor’s case.

Unfortunately, this is an all-too-frequent occurrence because there is still that underlying homophobia in our society.”

    Bagshaw said many of her gay patients had experienced similar incidents.

Shaun Robinson from the New Zealand Aids Foundation said there was still a “huge stigma” attached to HIV and Aids.

“I’m very concerned that the nurse in question has breached client rights.”

We are pleased to hear Mr Taylor received an apology but why is there such an emphasis on gay people carrying HIV? surely the greater risk for all people is the higher prevalence of blood borne diseases such as Hepatitis, shouldn’t a nurse be aware of that?

In that case case the procedure should be the same for everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender. And the last thing any health professional should do is to breach a patient’s confidentiality in front of a room full of people, shouldn’t patients be afforded a lot more privacy.

You may also be interested in

Anti-Gay NZ Beer Gets London Olympic Kiwi Sponsorship Deal Nov 16 2011

” A New Zealand alcohol producer, with a reputation of using anti-gay slogans to sell its beer, has won an official sponsorship deal with the New Zealand Olympic team.

The company, which doesn’t need any more publicity than it deserves, is responsible for the Low Carb Beer is Queer campaign.

It has a number of new campaign posters for next years event, all displaying the Olympic symbol topped with a NZ Silver Fern, including this one

Straight Beer

As far as we are aware there has not been a reaction yet from the Olympic committee, or their London hosts,  voicing their thoughts about the Olympic symbol being associated with homophobic slurs, even those made in jest to sell beer… ” read on


2 thoughts on “Gay Man Publicly Humiliated For Being A HIV Infection Risk

  1. This is nothing new, When we first arrived in NZ back in 2007 they were broadcasting a Australian Gay mans photo on the TVNZ news saying the man had HIV and to stay away from him as he might infect us. Ha..Being 15 then…wow…..NZ where everything gets a step worse, including the education, mine has gone to hell with the kiwis..its like a fly trap. 😦

  2. That offence is nothing, relative to some breaches that were boasted about on campus by someone I knew who worked in the DHB. He sold mobile phones that the hospital had marked for disposal, complete with contact information and messages, altered patient records, accessed their files without acceptable purpose and had a very lackadaisical attitude towards the feelings of patients’ relatives (e.g. telling them “sorry, your dad’s dead”) or attitude towards patients themselves (“did you know that your name, Porangi, means stupid?”
    … and he got away without any prosecution despite notification being sent to the hospital, that such activities were going on. Not even a black mark on his resume … then again, he made it up as he went along!

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