Tyler Huff — a gay black man living in Dallas, Texas — received a letter from his doctor dismissing him as a patient after Huff revealed his gay identity and asked about PrEP to stay HIV-negative.
According to Huff, after receiving a negative result on an HIV test, he visited family medical doctor Howard H. Nguyen late last month to inquire about pre-exposure prophylactics (PrEP), a pill that can help reduce the chance of HIV transmission up to 99%.
Huff says that Nguyen asked, “Why do you want Truvada? You’re not positive.” Truvada is a form of PrEP.
Huff responded, “Gay men have multiple sexual partners and their partners have multiple sex partners,” indicating these things about himself.
“When I told him I was gay he freaked out,” Huff wrote on his Facebook wall. “I was like, ‘Look at what I’m wearing. Like, how do you not know?'”
Huff says that Nguyen then said that there is no cure or inoculation for HIV and that Truvada was not a preventative medication, the latter of which is patently untrue. Huff claims that Nguyen then told him to get out of his office and that he wasn’t his doctor anymore. The doctor then sent Huff a letter dismissing him as a patient a few days later.
Doctors are legally allowed to drop patients, though it hardly seemed necessary in this case. If Nguyen was unfamiliar with gay men’s sexual health or PrEP medication, he could have simply called a local medical resource for extra information before prescribing the drug or referred Huff to a local HIV medical provider, but even if he had, Nguyen would have become one of the thousands of doctors who aren’t prescribing PrEP even though their patients could benefit from it most.
Huff’s supporters have begun leaving negative reviews on the Nguyen’s medical practice’s Facebook page.
Huff has not indicated whether he will file an official complaint or seek any additional action against his former doctor. “HIV is an epidemic in BLACK COMMUNITIES,” Huff wrote on his Facebook wall. “I am using my INDIVIDUAL BLACK experience to highlight A PROBLEM.”
A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control showed that black gay and bi men remain the most severely affected by HIV with a one-in-two chance of contracting HIV at some point in their lives.
(Featured image by Marc Bruxelle via iStock Photography)