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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 89580
Experience:  Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
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I went to a new doctor for a full physical. During the exam

Customer Question

I went to a new doctor for a full physical. During the exam I said I wanted to have blood tests (haven't had them in a while) and I wanted to be tested for sexually transmitted diseases including HIV.

I am married. I explained that my husband had some issues with depression and alcohol and sometimes leads him to be involved in risky behavior. I never said what that behavior was. In my mind, I felt that because of our arguments due to his drinking, and that his thinking becomes irrational, I don't know if he could have been involved with a one night stand. I have no proof of it.

I just got a copy of my medical records and it stated under problems "involved with person at risk for HIV". I was shocked! I wanted to have these tests done just for my piece of mind...not because I felt my husband was at risk for HIV. In fact it is highly unlikely he ever cheated.

Can I have this taken off my records?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

Unfortunately, when you stated to the doctor "sometimes leads him to be involved in risky behavior" this can be interpreted as what the doctor wrote. Under HIPAA you are entitled to submit a written correction and/or explanation to your record and it is supposed to be included into your medical record and this would be your recourse. If they refuse to include your correction in your record, your recourse is you have to file a complaint with the US Department of Health and Hospitals as they are the sole agency that can enforce HIPAA and there are no private rights of action under HIPAA.



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Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I don't know what to tell my doctor because I now distrust him. I never intended for this to be on my medical records. My doctor basically asked me questions like - "what is your relationship like with your husband". If he did not ask me that - I would not have gone into detail. I had just come from gyn and told them I wanted to have the hiv test - they were going to order it but I said it wasn't necessary because I was going to see my doctor and ask him for a complete blood work up and order that at the same time. My gyn never asked me probing questions.


 


I am afraid to talk to my doctor now because I feel he may use this against me. I have never had a situation where I felt I couldn't be honest with a doctor.


 


What kind of explanation can I give at this point to explain myself? My husband's risky behavior involves mainly drinking and driving. Not taking drugs via needle or visiting brothels. Someone who is stupid enough to drink and drive is stupid enough to sleep with someone, especially since we were going through a rough time.


 


The sad part is the thing that made me worried about STDs from my husband is I would sometimes feel a burning sensation in my lower stomach. I just found out 2 days ago that the burning sensation was caused by fibroids. (It is so large my doctor recommended I consider a hysterectomy).


 


How in the world do I explain this on paper as a rebuttal to my medical records? I am afraid that anything I say will be used against me.

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your response.

It was not illegal or unethical for the doctor to have asked you these questions I am afraid. The explanation you would make is that your statements about your husband were misinterpreted and then clarify what you were meaning when you discussed his risky behavior. However, if you read what you are saying above, you are in a backhanded way saying he is a risk for STD, which is also potentially HIV, so you need to pick your words carefully. When you tell your doctor you it may be possible your husband is sleeping around, this is by definition sexually risky behavior, so you can see how he interpreted your comments. Thus, in wording your statement you need to state only that your telling the doctor about your husband's risky behavior was regarding his drinking and driving and not his sexual exploits and leave it at that and that the doctor misinterpreted what you were saying.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

okay, I see your point.


 


Anyone who sleeps with someone without the use of the condo is engaging is "sexually risky behavior". That includes people who are married. Many persons who are married don't use a condom. They assume their partners are not cheating. But as we know (Arnold Schwartzenegger) men can sometimes blind-side their wives (it goes the other way around too). I have no proof that my husband was cheating. I have no proof that if he slept with someone else he didn't use a condom. I just have proof that he drinks.


 


I think the doctor choose the strongest words possible - it even implies (because he uses plural) that I am sleeping with several people who could be HIV infected.


 


My doctor wrote: "Sexually active with persons at risk for HIV-related disease"


 


 

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your response.

You need to write this in your request for correction of clarification of medical record under HIPAA that you are monogamous and that you have no evidence of his sexual conduct only his drinking behavior and ask for this to be included in your record. This going to be the best you can do on this.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 89580
Experience: Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
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