I Want to Be a Doctor

Posted by Pozziepinoy on 9:58 AM

Good Evening! 

I've been reading your blog recently and I really love how detailed and informative it is.

Anyway, I've been searching for answers anywhere and honestly I can't find it. I've been living with HIV for 3 years now and I've been taking ARVs since then and my viral load is still undetectable. I'm currently studying and I'm planning to change path and fulfill my childhood dream of becoming a doctor. I'm just hesitant to pursue it since I'm afraid that my application in medical school would be denied. Some doctors that I've talked to said that medical schools and hospitals would deny my application if they found out, but some say that I can study in a medical school and fulfill my dream even if I have HIV. I won't be doing any invasive procedures in case I become a doctor. 


So my questions are, it is possible to work in hospital even if I have HIV and should I disclose my status if ever it is possible to study and work in hospitals? In other countries like UK, they already lifted the ban of doctors with HIV, but I don't know here in the Philippines. 

Thank you and I'm looking forward for your response.

XXX

POZZIEPINOY’S RESPONSE


Hi XXX,

Thank you for your email. Thank you for finding and reading the blog. I appreciate all the good things that you said about it. Having this platform really educates Filipinos and the whole world about what is going on in the Philippines when it comes to HIV and AIDS. The experiences of others humanize HIV. Human emotions are captured in all the stories, in all readers' questions and concerns. 

Like what I have been telling people who are living with HIV and during our HIV Education and Awareness Talks (HEAT), all dreams and ambitions can be achieved even with a person having HIV. Although there are still obstacles, like getting employed in muslim countries like the middle east or in Singapore where overseas workers with HIV are banned from getting employment, majority of countries are not discriminative against PLHIV. In the Philippines, there is an HIV law (RA 8504) which protects the rights of PLHIV, especially in employment policies. In the test, HIV test is not required for pre-employment, having HIV is not a barrier in promotions or applications, confidentiality of disclosed status, protection of PLHIV with AIDS related infections, and so on.

Going back to your concern, you can be a doctor if you want to pursue it. We have a lot of doctor clients who we have helped before in Project Red Ribbon, who have HIV. They are still practicing right now, as I write this. Some are even students of medicine. 

There are of course some concerns here. Stress of studying can be managed by stress management techniques. You may need to talk to stress counselors about this. You may also need to talk to your HIV doctor with regards to what ARV cocktail you are taking for you to be able to function well while in school or in the hospital. Universal precaution among medical professionals and you will be taught on this. You may also, later on talk to your supervisor if you think a patient may get compromised if you will be attending to them (let's say in the emergency room or surgical operations or birthing procedures. Disclosure needs a lot of self-empowerment so you need to be ready to disclose your HIV status if you really need to. However, like what I mentioned before and in my previous blog posts, you have the right to be protected against discrimination.

You can do whatever you wish to accomplish even with HIV. In our time now, nothing is impossible. Just be true to yourself, be empowered and you CAN live your life to the fullest and reach all your dreams.


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I hope I was able to answer your concerns. Feel free to email me again if you have other questions.


Stay healthy,
Pozziepinoy






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