Thursday, July 24, 2008

Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Get Well

A survey published this month in The Archives of Internal Medicine by the CDC, surveyed 452 men in NYC who are sexually active with other males, and found 39% had not told their doctors they are gay.

Disclosure rates varied greatly among racial and ethnic lines as well as age, with men over 28 more likely out to their doctors. Men of color are much more reticent to disclose.

Health officials, most concerned about the implications for H.I.V. prevention, are urging patients to talk to doctors, and doctors many of whom are squeamish as well, to ask about sexual history:

“Health care providers should screen patients routinely for H.I.V.,” said Dr. Elizabeth Begier, director of H.I.V. epidemiology at the health department. “They should also ask their patients about behavior that may put them at risk.
Are you out to your doctor?