Author Topic: An Awkward Question  (Read 13112 times)

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Offline janson

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An Awkward Question
« on: September 27, 2011, 23:15:39 »
Hello All,

I apologize if this has been discussed before, but my search yielded no results. I would like to serve in the Canadian Forces. The only problem is, and this is very embarrassing, is that I have herpes. I didn't plan on telling everyone here that, but I'm desperate to know any information regarding whether or not this will nix my application before it even gets off the ground. It's extremely mild and doesn't impact my day to day life at all. It isn't contagious under normal circumstances. I'd greatly appreciate any information you could provide. Thanks.

Offline Occam

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Re: An Awkward Question
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2011, 23:32:55 »
Every now and again, we get an original question.   ;D

I wish I had an answer for you.  I don't know whether it would preclude you from joining, as the enrolment standard is different than that of what a serving member would have to meet.  What I can tell you is that CF pharmacies do carry Valtrex (works great for severe cold sores!), and I'd be surprised if that was the only reason they carried it.

Best advice is to start the enrolment process and see what the medical people say.

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Re: An Awkward Question
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2011, 23:36:32 »
To the original poster, sorry I can't answer this, I think your best bet would be to discuss with a CF recruiter.

Now mod hat on  if there are informed reponses to this thread great, however there will be zero tolerance for smartassed comments  and those posting will see posts removed and an intro to the warning  system. Mod hat off.

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Offline RDJP

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Re: An Awkward Question
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2011, 00:01:17 »
I can't help you either, but kudos to you for having the guts to come out and ask.  Not everyone on here would be brave enough to do so, and you just garnered a lot of respect from more than just a few members on here I would suspect.  :salute:

Offline Tommy

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Re: An Awkward Question
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2011, 01:07:42 »
Ballsy Question.... I give you major props for coming out here and putting on the line... That, in my opinion says a lot of your character.

Now keep in mind that Cold Sores are part of the Herpes family.... and are also one of the most easily spread STI's on the planet.... 

I cant see something that simple keeping you out of the CF, however I am sure an anonymous call to your local, or not so local CFRC would most likely be able to give you an answer.

Best of luck.
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Offline Neolithium

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Re: An Awkward Question
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2011, 11:14:58 »
I'm looking forward to seeing a follow up from the OP in regards to the answer so it can help others that haven't felt comfortable asking it.  I know 2 current members who do have it, and from what they've mentioned the symptoms for them really aren't enough to hamper their abilities to perform their duties; I can't see why it would kill an application IMO, however that would be for people well above my pay grade to decide.
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Offline medicineman

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Re: An Awkward Question
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2011, 16:00:38 »
Lots of folks have HSV problems...as long as you don't have any immunosuppresive issues that will make it frequent and bad, my educated guess is it won't affect enrollment.  You might need a note from your treating physician about frequency of attacks, etc.  You'll likely want to make sure you get a supply of your antiviral meds when you get to recruit school, since it can precipitate a flare from the stress/sleep deprivation, etc.

Good luck with your app.

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Offline RemembranceDay

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Re: An Awkward Question
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2011, 22:28:10 »
Two things... One. High-five for saying it, dude! It takes true guts to get it out, even more so make it public. If it's any sign of your character, you'll make a great addition to the CF!  :salute:
Two. I'd say go through the medical. If they say no, too bad. But you miss 100% of the shots you never take.

Offline Blackadder1916

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Re: An Awkward Question
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2011, 01:13:30 »
. . . . . kudos to you for having the guts to come out and ask.  Not everyone on here would be brave enough to do so,. . . . .
. . . . . major props for coming out here and putting on the line... That, in my opinion says a lot of your character. . . . . . .
. . . . .  High-five for saying it, dude! It takes true guts to get it out, even more so make it public. . . . . .

While I do congratulate the OP for an original question, I'm a little confused about the adulation for the one (1) post that he made in the ten (10) minutes spent signed-in on this site.  He did ask an unusual question in a public forum, but he did not identify himself publically and should happily continue to avail himself of internet anonymity.  Though there may be individuals who could track him down via his faint electronic footprint on this means, it is unlikely that would happen.  Hopefully, he was bright enough not to use anything identifying in his username.

(In case the OP is following this thread)

If he should have additional questions that deal with other aspects of military service and are unrelated to this particular sensitive, private matter, I would suggest that he request permission (via private message) from the mods to register another account so that any further participation does not lead back to his public anonymous announcement of this medical condition.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2011, 01:34:44 by Blackadder1916 »
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Offline janson

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Re: An Awkward Question
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2011, 09:01:54 »
Blackadder, I wasn't posting for public praise or for any other purpose than getting some information. I haven't spent more than ten minutes signed into the site because I do not always sign in to read threads. As for the anonymity, would you have signed in with your real name, address, email etc? A lot of people hold this kind of thing with a great social stigma, no matter what the situation really is.

To everyone else, thanks for the responses and support.


Offline Occam

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Re: An Awkward Question
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2011, 09:21:09 »
Blackadder, I wasn't posting for public praise or for any other purpose than getting some information. I haven't spent more than ten minutes signed into the site because I do not always sign in to read threads. As for the anonymity, would you have signed in with your real name, address, email etc? A lot of people hold this kind of thing with a great social stigma, no matter what the situation really is.

To everyone else, thanks for the responses and support.

I think Blackadder's comments were directed at the other posters, not at you, janson.  His advice to request a second account, with no linking details to your janson account, is wise if you wish to post other questions.  The more you post, the less anonymous you become.

Offline janson

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Re: An Awkward Question
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2011, 11:14:34 »
If that is the case, then my mistake.

Offline Blackadder1916

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Re: An Awkward Question
« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2011, 11:46:07 »
If that is the case, then my mistake.

That was the case and Occam provided a correct interpretation of my previous post.

I do give you credit for an original (and well articulated) question - they are infrequent on the recruiting threads -, but I don't think (unlike the others I indicated) that anonymously declaring one has an owie on his wee-wee is grounds to make any determination (either in the positive or negative) about character and fitness to serve.
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Offline FlyingDutchman

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Re: An Awkward Question
« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2011, 10:29:18 »
You may be ordered to divulge your herpes status to any potential partners you may have.  I believe there was a captain, if memory serves, who was ordered to tell any partners he has HIV.  He didn't, got charged with assault. I cannot seem to find any info on it now though, but there is a case about a guy with herpes.  http://Forums.Army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,92225.0.html
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Offline dell233

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Re: An Awkward Question
« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2011, 17:47:52 »
Hi. A friend of mine have HIV, and wanting to join the army.
What kind of screening procedure will he undergo ?

Offline Kat Stevens

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Re: An Awkward Question
« Reply #15 on: October 21, 2011, 17:52:31 »
An HIV test, maybe?
Apparently, a "USUAL SUSPECT"

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Offline dell233

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Re: An Awkward Question
« Reply #16 on: October 21, 2011, 17:55:52 »
Will he be able to join the army?

Offline Michael O'Leary

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Re: An Awkward Question
« Reply #17 on: October 21, 2011, 18:37:35 »
Will he be able to join the army?

That is likely a situation no-one here has personal experience with, either as the subject or an involved medical staff member (though I could be wrong - I have been wrong at times in the past, both my ex-wife and my current wife would attest to that). Your friend may have to go through the recruiting process as far as the medical review to be sure.

If I had to take a very unqualified guess - I would suggest that the potential requirements for medical care as a result of a pre-existing condition may be enough to see his application denied.

Offline medicineman

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Re: An Awkward Question
« Reply #18 on: October 21, 2011, 19:41:42 »
Hi. A friend of mine have HIV, and wanting to join the army.
What kind of screening procedure will he undergo ?

They will have to go through the process - they will have to provide documentation from their physician about their status, if they are being treated or not, etc.  However, as they will likely need frequent follow up and access to specialized lab and or physician care, my gut says they'll likely be denied.

But I've been wrong before.

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Offline resolute

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Re: An Awkward Question
« Reply #19 on: February 02, 2012, 01:00:34 »
Hi,

I haven't directly worked in recruiting, and am a fairly new MO in the CF.  Having stated those caveats up front, I would be shocked if a candidate was barred from enrollment for this reason.  Most CF medical personnel will readily attest that (unfortunately, and I guess, embarrassingly perhaps), STD's are quite common amongst our personnel, as Monday morning sick parade proves time and time again.  The only problem with genital herpes, of course, is that it is a chronic "incurable" condition.  In extremely rare cases, where an individual is immunocompromised or something, there is the possibility of serious herpetic complications (e.g. herpes encephalitis). 

In practice, if an already serving member picks up this diagnosis, medical staff tend to inwardly shrug and add it to the person's med docs.  There is no change to G or O factor, not even the remotest consideration of a TCAT, and essentially no deployment considerations.  Yes, counselling a person on precautions and transmission is important, for all the reasons mentioned above.  Practically speaking, there is a HUGE difference (medically and politically) between standard HSV and HIV (this is in reference to some of the above comments).  I guess these disorders can be compared because they are infectious disease, generally sexually transmitted.  But for all intents and purposes, the similarities end there.

Virtually no follow-up to a lab is required.  The person gets outbreaks from time to time, they know what they've got, and they are treated empirically.  Some physicians don't even bother to do a physical exam, especially if a chaperone would be required.  We ask, "Is this your standard outbreak?  Does it look or feel any different than normal?" (and so forth), and then just generally trust the patient.  It could even be argued by some that it would be "cruel" to subject a patient to an unecessary exam for "confirmation" that, yes ... the slightly weepy vesicular genital lesions, that occurred after a period of stress, and were preceded by a day or two of vague burning or tingling sensations are, in fact, consistent with HSV.  I'd happily treat such a patient over the phone if a medic gave me that history.

Long story short, I am reasonably confident, perhaps 90 - 95 %, that this would not be a significant consideration for entry into the CF.  I wouldn't bet my life on it, but I'd pay for your dinner if I'm wrong.

 ;)

Offline resolute

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Re: An Awkward Question
« Reply #20 on: February 02, 2012, 13:28:39 »
I received a PM noting how my above post could potentially be misinterpreted.

In case there is any misunderstanding:

1. By mentioning that STD's / HSV are common, what I mean is that, as the CF is a "microcosm of Canadian society" and these maladies are common amongst Canadians in general, it follows that they are common amongst serving CF personnel (i.e. I did not mean to imply that they are any MORE common amongst soldiers).

2. I see there was a separate question about HIV status and candidates wishing to enrol.  Unlike my explanation for HSV, I'd say pretty much the opposite for HIV.  While it is no longer considered a "death sentence" as it once might have been, it is treated as a "complex chronic disease" with risk of acute exacerbations.  Not only do we generally not enrol people with such afflictions, we often release them as well.  I'd probably compare a new diagnosis of HIV a bit like a new diagnosis of type I diabetes.  An individual, if properly monitored and cared for, can be quite "healthy" for several years with either diagnosis, but progression and complications are almost inevitable, and somewhat unpredictable.  We are always supposed to look at things on case by case basis, to be fair to the individual and to comply with human rights legislation.  But practically speaking, certain diagnoses (as described above), almost certainly lead to rejection from enrolment or eventual release.

Hope that clarifies things.  Sorry for any confusion.

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Re: An Awkward Question
« Reply #21 on: February 02, 2012, 13:52:20 »
I received a PM noting how my above post could potentially be misinterpreted.

In case there is any misunderstanding:

1. By mentioning that STD's / HSV are common, what I mean is that, as the CF is a "microcosm of Canadian society" and these maladies are common amongst Canadians in general, it follows that they are common amongst serving CF personnel (i.e. I did not mean to imply that they are any MORE common amongst soldiers).


Thanks Doc. I has raised eyebrows and was just counting the ticks until the great CBC ATI and subsequent expose on how the troops are all getting a dose.

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Re: An Awkward Question
« Reply #22 on: February 02, 2012, 13:57:52 »
I think it would be difficult to substantiate a G2O2 status with an HIV diagnosis.

In addition, there are considerable administrative limitations, ie: you couldn't train in the US for example. There are also other countries that have an absolute bar on entry for pers with HIV.

As to HSV, probably not a problem. To echo other here, have sufficient antivirals on hand during basic.
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Offline Rider Pride

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Re: An Awkward Question
« Reply #23 on: February 02, 2012, 22:11:27 »
The permanent category would have to be O4 and G4 or G5 depending on the progress of the disease.

http://www.forces.gc.ca/health-sante/pd/CFP-PFC-154/AN-Gapp1pg6-eng.asp   

26. HIV Infections. Considerations of a general nature, and irrespective of symptomatology, include:

    Extent of disease and subsequent deterioration
        although some individuals with HIV may remain asymptomatic for years, there is a substantial risk of developing significant and limiting clinical disease;
        the deterioration is difficult to predict for each individual and it may occur suddenly and rapidly; and
        the medical services available in all locales may not be adequate to manage this deterioration.
    (Current) ability to perform MOC tasks
        the direct constitutional and neurological effects of HIV infections, the medical follow-up, and the monitoring of the side-effects of drugs, as well the secondary effects of associated neoplasms and opportunistic infections could adversely affect a member's ability to fully perform the tasks and duties of his / her MOC; and
        chronic fatigue, excessive weight loss, persistent diarrhea, anaemia and dementia must be assessed as limiting factors for full employability.
    Risk to the Individual
        because of a deficient immune system, the member with HIV is susceptible to opportunistic infections which vary in prevalence throughout the world;
        similarly these members are not candidates for some vaccines (live) which would otherwise be protective, and even with attenuated vaccines, an appropriate immune response is not guaranteed; and
        the opportunistic infections (e.g., TB) which they might acquire may also pose a risk of infection to coworkers.
    Clinical follow-up
        frequent care by a GDMO and / or specialists may be required, particularly when laboratory parameters are abnormal;
        the sophisticated diagnostic testing required may only be available within fourth line facilities; and
        as new treatment regimes are developed, they are generally only available in tertiary centres and could be of an experimental nature.

 

 

A-MD-154-000/FP-000 - ANNEX G
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