ELIZABETH, NEW JERSEY – Union County Superior Court documents indicate that a gay, HIVpositive man claims that he was denied treatment and visitors for—in the words of the attending physician— “Going against God’s will.” Joao Simoes is suing Trinitas Regional Medical Center because “requests for his lifesaving medication were not honored,” and his sister was denied visitation rights. Simoes was admitted to Trinitas Regional in August 2011, and was confined to the hospital’s mental health wing.
Simoes’ complaint says that Susan V. Borga, M.D., from the hospital’s Department of Behavioral Health and Psychiatry, asked the man about his HIV status. When Simoes told the psychiatrist that he got HIV “from unprotected sex,” the complaint notes that “Dr. Borga closed the plaintiff ’s file, put it down and looked at plaintiff with disgust on her face and asked, coldly, ‘Is that from sex with men?’” Court records indicate that after Simoes told her had contracted HIV from sex with male partners, “Dr. Borga proceeded to exit the room.” Additionally, no other doctors or nurses came to check on Simoes, even after he told them that he required HIV medication.