[Parentsgroup-list] HIV testing at Harvard

Merryman, Amanda amerryman at hbs.edu
Tue May 19 11:55:42 EDT 2009

I thought this may be of interest to other parents so am forwarding details of an event 
taking place tomorrow (5/20) at UHS between 6-8pm regarding their HIV testing policies.   


Event: Rally to Save Anonymous HIV Testing
       "Show Harvard that confidential testing isn't enough!"
Start Time: Tomorrow, May 20 at 6:00pm
End Time: Tomorrow, May 20 at 8:00pm
Where: UHS, Holyoke Center, 5th Floor 
(need HUID to enter through the basement since it's after hours)

To see more details and RSVP, follow the link below:

Dear Harvard Community,

According to Director of UHS, Dr. David Rosenthal, Harvard is “behind” other schools in removing anonymous HIV testing services, and he thinks it is time for us to follow them.

I think Harvard, as an institution, is a world leader, not a follower. What we do here sends a message not just to our student body, but also to people around the globe.

Anonymous HIV testing encourages people to undergo what can be a life-saving test. It allows people to talk to doctors and counselors more freely and openly than they might otherwise about their sexual and/or drug habits. Patients are not always open and honest with their regular doctors, especially when they feel that they risk dismissive comments and personal judgments. Anonymous testing also protects people from discrimination, including in applications for insurance (sometimes even taking an HIV test, regardless of the result, can cause an insurance application to be refused—Dr. Rosenthal’s assurances notwithstanding). A patient may give the results from anonymous testing to anyone she or he chooses (including UHS); thus retaining personal agency and control over her or his record. Finally, a positive HIV test result on record can cause students studying at Harvard from countries outside the US to have their visas revoked. Non-US citizens with HIV/AIDS are not allowed to live in the US under current laws. These are just a few reasons why UHS should keep anonymous testing as an option for students. Instead of cancellation, Harvard ought to advertise the service, scrupulously maintain working appointment numbers, and offer anonymous testing several times a week.

Those who feel strongly about the need to keep anonymous testing at Harvard are invited to join a “test-in” on the 5th floor of UHS on Wednesday May 20th at 6pm.

There will be red ribbon pins and pizza!

(Please remember that disrupting UHS–which is a working urgent-care facility at that time of day—is the opposite of our goal.)

Come show that you are Pro-Testing!

RSVP on our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/editevent.php?info&eid=87037271885#/event.php?eid=87037271885

Dr. Linda Ellison
Committee on Women, Gender, and Sexuality

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