Reflecting on HIV Diagnosis

Jason Tokumoto, MD, reflects on the ways people respond to HIV diagnosis.

Segment Description: Jason Tokumoto, MD, infectious disease clinician at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center, reflects on the ways people respond to HIV diagnosis.

Interview Transcript (modified slightly for readability):

It was really a lot of denial.

People will tell me, gee, you're a physician, you're an intelligent person, and yet you went through this process. It's really hard to explain to say why it happened. But it happened. And I have to move on from there, right?

If I think about all of these other questions that people have been asking me, I'm going to be stuck in the past, but I need to move on and I want to live a good life. Why harp on some of those questions that I'll never really be able to answer?

I understand why certain people who become positive say “you really screwed up” and all that but God, it's such a complex situation.

Sex is such a natural process. I think back on that one encounter that I had, I never thought about, "ooh, HIV" or had a checklist. I just did it and I accept that. For me it's really important to not criticize yourself.