Professional Care, No Matter What - HSNT Patient Story

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It’s unusual for an HIV diagnosis to come from something your dentist asks you, but that’s exactly what happened to John Zier. In 2018 he set up an appointment with his dentist to take a look at some infected molars he had. In the interest of disclosure, John tells the dentist that he suspects he might be HIV-positive, but he’s not sure, so just to be on the safe side the dentist asks John to get tested before they do any work.

“So, I went to Health Services of North Texas,” John says. “Back then every Thursday they offered tests, and I had a test done and found I was positive. So I ended up coming to HSNT because of a dentist!”

John first came to Texas in 2011, after living in California for many years, to help his roommate take care of his mother. When she passed away, John’s roommate inherited the house, and since then John has been living here in Denton and is working as a lawncare professional.

“I mow yards and trim bushes, and things like that. I do some landscaping stuff, but I don’t actually do proper landscaping, like putting in barriers or anything – I take care of people’s yards. I’ve been doing that since 2012 and my little business has gotten bigger and bigger.”

John’s HIV diagnosis has been manageable through the help he’s gotten from HSNT. From case managers to his visits with HSNT physician assistant Laurie Mottl , John says he’s had excellent service from start to finish.

“It’s been awesome,” John says. “Laurie  is extremely professional, and she has her stuff together. The case managers  we deal with, too – right now it’s Erika Washington, she did my intake, and she did a very professional job.”

Due to his HIV diagnosis, John is at a higher risk of infection from COVID-19, so his appointments have been through the Healow app that HSNT uses for televisits. 

“The televisits have been smooth and very prompt, time-wise. Within five to ten minutes of the appointment time, Laurie shows up on the screen.”

All in all, with his case management help in applying to the Ryan White program, to his bi-annual paperwork for the AIDS Drugs Assistance Program, and his appointments with Laurie Mottl, John is grateful for all the work HSNT has done to help him.

“I’ve been extremely happy with everything they do there,” he says. “I highly recommend the place.”