How does gossip equal more people becoming infected with HIV?
To put it simply, if I knew my doctor, nurse, phlebotomist or even an EMT was publicly sharing this information I would be afraid to be tested for HIV out of fear this information would be made public or shared with people I do not know. Thus, one may not get tested for HIV because of this fear, which places that person's health in jeopardy but also means that a person who does have the virus is unaware of it leading to additional infections. Otherwise this person could have been tested, placed on ARV medications to keep the virus in check, thus preventing additional infections.
If you are living with HIV or are thinking of getting tested, do not let this scare you. It is important to remember that not all medical professionals will share your protected health information. However, it is equally important to remember that if you feel a medical professional has shared your HIV status without your permission do not be afraid to speak up. Contact your local hospital to find out if they have a patient advocacy department and, if so, contact them. Most facilities take breaches of privacy very seriously and will act accordingly. I think spreading gossip and rumor only causes more harm to an individual and the communities in which we live and I also think it has no place within the lexicon of those who engender trust....our medical providers.