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A Piece of My Mind
August 6, 2008

A Person of Status

Author Affiliations

A Piece of My Mind Section Editor: Roxanne K. Young, Associate Editor.

JAMA. 2008;300(5):483-484. doi:10.1001/jama.300.5.483

The only sound in the examination room was that of my pen as I scribbled notes quickly over the encounter sheet. Staring down at her fidgeting hands, a 21-year-old African American college student sat beside my desk waiting patiently. She had just been evaluated and treated that afternoon for a presumed sexually transmitted infection. The hand-wringing became foot-tapping as she made fleeting glances toward my seemingly endless notes. I laid my pen down carefully, placed both palms down on the desk, and made eye contact with my patient. Without wasting time, I directly broached the subject of HIV risk and testing. She cleared her throat nervously and politely declined. Unwilling to take no for an answer, I proceeded to “sell” the test to her.