Dentist questioned for refusing patient who hid HIV status

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The Royal Netherlands Society for Dentistry is investigating a case of a dentist practice in Kaatsheuvel refusing treatment for a HIV positive patient. According to the patient, John, he was refused treatment due to his infection. According to the practice, Cosmident, John was refused because he did not inform the practice of his infection himself.

John received his diagnosis earlier this year and decided not to tell his surroundings for the time being, while he was processing the news. When he went to the dentist last week, he discovered that his ex had told them that he is HIV positive.

"When he asked me if there was a change in my health situation, I knew what time it was. I then told the whole story, though I am not legally required to do so", John said to Omroep Brabant.

He was told that he was no longer welcome at the practice.

The dentist told the regional broadcaster that there has been a breach of trust and John put his staff in danger. "I have to stand up for the people who work here", Frank Vijgen of Cosmident said. "It's about trust. The gentleman said himself: if you had not asked I would not have told you. I find that that can not be. If saliva or blood is released in a treatment and a staff member accidentally gets pricked, we need to take action. If we do not know, it won't go well."

The AIDS Fund told Dutch newspaper AD that HIV positive patients are indeed not legally obliged to inform others of their status. All medical professionals, whether it be a dentist, a first aider or a doctor, adhere to hygiene regulations in their work to protect themselves from various infectious diseases.

According to John Cosmident is guilty of discrimination. He has launched a complaint at both the anti-discrimination agency RADAR and the Royal Netherlands Society for Dentistry. Both agencies are looking into the case.

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