Dr. Death

Doctor Denies HIV+ Man Meds “For Going Against God’s Will”

Joao Simoes, gay and HIV+, is suing Trinitas Regional Medical Center in Elizabeth, NJ for denying him his HIV medications purely “for going against God’s will.” His sister was also denied visitation right.

Enter Dr. Susan V. Borga, M.D., whose actions in August 2011 need no commentary from us. From Courthouse News Service:

Susan V. Borga, M.D., from the Department of Behavioral Health and Psychiatry, allegedly approached Simoes while he was confined to the hospital’s mental health wing. Borga is not named as a defendant.

Simoes says Borga was unfazed when another patient told her that he had just gotten out of prison, where he served time for murder. But her reaction was allegedly different when Simoes said that he did not work because he planned to go back to school and because of his HIV status.

Borga then allegedly asked Simoes how he got HIV, to which he responded, “I got it from unprotected sex.”

The complaint then says 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?”

Simoes says he responded affirmatively and that, “immediately after hearing this, Dr. Borga proceeded to exit the room.”

After this consultation, no nurse or doctor came to see Simoes, even though he told them that he needed to take his HIV medication, according to the complaint.

When the hospital finally permitted Simoes to call his personal physician on the third day of his stay, he learned that the doctor had already spoken with Borga about Simoes’ medication, according to the complaint.

Borga allegedly responded: “You must be gay, too, if you’re his doctor.”

“Additionally, apparently realizing that plaintiff’s doctor had an accent, Dr. Borga exclaimed, ‘What, do you need a translator?’ to which plaintiff’s doctor had again responded that Dr. Borga needed to give plaintiff his HIV medication,” the complaint states.

“Dr. Borga responded to plaintiff’s doctor by stating, ‘This is what he gets for going against God’s will,’ and hung up the phone on plaintiff’s doctor.”

We just can’t with this bitch.

Simoes’ sister returned with her brother’s meds and gave it to the nurses. Still, the nurses did not give their sick and in-need patient treatment! Eventually, the nurses only gave Simoes his medication, because they knew that he had seen his sister give them the medication. This is gravely troubling, since by this time, Simoes had missed five doses. According to the University of California at San Francisco AIDS Research Institute, studies have suggested that a patient can build up drug resistance after missing as little as one in five doses.

Even though Trinitas Regional Medical Center is a Catholic hospital, we sincerely hope that Simoes’ experience is the result of one quack doctor, and not an institution-wide policy to deny treatment based solely on bigotry and religious intolerance.

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #health #healthcare #hiv/aids stories and more


  • Belize

    I’m happy to know that JASON has found a career in Biblical medicine. It’s such a competitive field. :)

  • Rooney

    @Belize: lol

    Another striking example of good Christian values: tolerance, kindness, love… oh, wait!

    I wonder when one of those so-called good Christians will go postal in the Vatican for all the rape and murder of kids they’ve got on their conscience. Any god worthy of the name should have a will against that.

  • KV

    Something about this story sounds off. I’m not really up on the latest meds, so I’m a little confused. When the article says he missed five doses, does that mean five days, or is he just on a lot of meds daily? Either way, it says he was there at least three days. Why? If I’m at a hospital that’s refusing me a treatment I need for even one day, I’m outta there and off to another.

  • Shannon1981

    @KV: It was a psych unit. Very hard to get out of there. Once you are admitted, a psychiatrist has to sign you out. The ward is locked,etc.

  • MikeE

    Read the article, it clearly states that “he was confined to the hospital’s mental health wing.”

    5 doses can mean 3 days (evening and morning).

  • KV

    @Shannon1981: But if this phone confrontation between plaintiff’s doc and Nurse Ratched really happened as reported, why would he not sign his patient out and get him to another hospital ASAP? By the third day, plaintiff’s doctor was aware of the situation yet Simoes was still there waiting for his meds on the fifth day?

  • Dr. K

    As a physician I am appalled that this happened at a hospital in 2012 in New jersey of all places. If what was said in this article is true, this is the very definition of negligence. The hospital should be cited and fined and everyone of the physicians and nurses who participated in this farce should lose their ability to practice medicine for the rest of their lives.

  • KV

    @MikeE: Can mean or does mean? The article doesn’t say. I did read it Mike, but thanks for helping to clear up absolutely none of the confusion. =)

  • Mark

    You have a lawsuit and a story completely written by the guy’s attorney and it of course is presented here as fact.

    Glad you didn’t cover the Caylee Anthony (was it?) story.

    “Toddler ducts tapes mouth, drowns herself, and crawls to woods to cover own body in dirt and leaves! We just can’t with this bitch!”

  • Jonathonz

    I guess she feels that her religion trumps the Hippocratic Oath she took as a doctor. She clearly deserves to be committed to the mental health wing herself. She’s delusional!

  • ChrisC

    @Mark: Hmmm….., self-loathing GOProud Queer, or a closeted homophobe saying that he’s just going on here to express disgust at those horrible fags while simultaneously jerking off at an extremely fast rate due to the immense excitement he’s getting due to being on a Gay website and having virtual contact with the queers he so desperately wants to fuck? Which are you?

  • Dr. S

    @Dr. K:I couldn’t agree more. These people should not allowed to practice medicine. Their behavior puts medicine to shame. She clearly forgot the Hippocratic Oath (…first, do no harm) when seeing this patient, forget about her Christian values.

  • 1equalityUSA

    Susan V. Borga will be voting for Romney. She likely has the NOM pledge in her lab coat pocket.

  • Mark

    @ChrisC: Can you answer one question, Sherlock? Why isn’t Borga named as a defendant?

    “Even though Trinitas Regional Medical Center is a Catholic hospital, we sincerely hope that Simoes’ experience is the result of one quack doctor, and not an institution-wide policy to deny treatment based solely on bigotry and religious intolerance.

    The one “quack doctor” is getting off scotch-free, if this story is to be taken as 100 percent fact. The guy and his attorney are going for the deep pockets. And if they are going to collect a dime they have to PROVE it is an institution-wide policy!

  • Zazie Lavender

    This doctor should lose his license. Pure and simple.

  • Well

    Jesus freakin’ Christ! And NJ of all places! This doctor’s conduct was so far beyond the pale, even for a Catholic institution, that I think it is likely she will be fired. Hopefully the bitch will also lose her license.

  • xamthor

    If this is true…. right now it sounds like one guy’s word against another….
    then the doctor needs to lose his license and the whole hospital should be investigated.
    If any public tax money is going into this hospital, it should be taken away.

  • J Bocca

    God, most of you commentors don’t even read the full story or pay little to no attention to it and then comment. First of all the doctor in question is FEMALE, secondly it stats clearly that he is in a mental ward. Idiots.

  • Hyhybt

    There’s something not quite right about this story… I don’t know if it’s fabricated, or exaggerated, or essentially true but off-sounding because of whatever condition got him in such a place to begin with, or something else, but it just doesn’t quite ring true as told.

  • Scott Amundsen

    Every single one of the so-called “medical professionals” who treated this man so abominably need to be stripped of their licenses permanently and for all I care let them all spend the remainder of their careers flipping burgers at McD’s. That is if they can even find a job at all.

  • B

    No. 14 · Mark wrote, ‘The one “quack doctor” is getting off scotch-free, if this story is to be taken as 100 percent fact.’

    If you read the story carefully (follow the link Queerty provided), it is not clear that Borga denied the patient HIV medication, or knew that he was not getting it before talking to the patient’s doctor. It is clear that Borga was incredibly rude and biased.

    Obviously someone screwed up at the very least regarding the medication. The question is whether it was Borga or someone else. The story is consistent with a case in which someone dropped the ball and never entered any information about medication so that the nurses and doctors at this hospital were originally unaware that any had been prescribed. The story is also consistent with Borga willfully denying a patient necessary medication.

    The article does not indicate if Borga saw to it that the patient started to get his medication after Borga talked to the patient’s doctor, although obviously Borga’s interaction with the patient’s doctor was not exactly what one would expect from a medical professional.

    So, before deciding if Borga is a quack besides being a bigoted jerk, we need some additional information that is not clear from the reports cited so far.

    One tidbit for everyone’s amusement:
    has a patient-rating form (so don’t submit anything if you are not a patient of hers). She got ‘one star’, suggesting that she is a poor performer in terms of patient satisfaction.

  • Mark

    Umm… What the fuck! Can someone get the names of these nurses so i can call the new jersey board of nursing and get their licenses fucking suspended. This is the most disturbing thing Ive ever read on this website.

  • Stewart


    Psychiatric Services of NJ
    Susan V Borja MD
    19 Holly St, Cranford, NJ 07016
    (908) 233-7903

  • QJ201

    I posted this on my facebook wall and I got several replies and comments from my friends. One said if it’s the same doctor that worked the floor where he was last fall…story fits and she’s nuts and not well liked. Another commented that the facts of the story are actually worse than what made the press.

    I’m sure we’ll here more…but sadly, believe it or not, seems Queerty published it first and the other sites have just done the “copy/paste” posting thing with no added info.

  • QJ201

    oops seems joe my god may have been first! lol

  • KV

    @Stewart: So not only did the author not give the whole story, he didn’t even spell the name right? Wow. Gotta love mind-controlling attempts that come along with yellow journalism!

  • stterte

    She needs to have her medical license revoked ASAP. I guess she never took the hippocraticoath.

  • stterte

    She needs to have her medical license revoked ASAP. I guess she never took the hippocratic oath.

  • hf2hvit

    @stterte: She took the hypocritical oath

  • hf2hvit

    So if the patient was diabetic would the meds be withheld since GLUTTONY is a sin?

  • hf2hvit

    @hf2hvit: diabetes secondary to obesity

  • Mark

    Here’s a word to the wise:

    When a plaintiff’s attorney starts a suit against a medical doctor or hospital, they usually plant a “news story” in a friendly publication (Courthouse News Service) to have their side of the story taken as fact. That’s all this is. This hasn’t been tried in court. You have NO PROOF this woman doctor did one thing wrong or stated anything of any kind.

  • Kurt

    I really hate these inflammatory headlines when the only source for this “news” is a press release from the alleged victim’s lawyers. If what the alleged victim is saying is true, then it is horrible, and I’m not saying that he isn’t telling the truth, but is there any evidence of what allegedly happened? All the queer news sites are printing this as if it is fact, when, as far as I can tell, there hasn’t even been any effort to get even a statement from the other side. It seems odd that a hospital with an HIV clinic would be so blatantly anti-gay. We also point and laugh at the righties because they just swallow one-sided propaganda. Maybe we shouldn’t do the same thing and just swallow something that is only coming from one side of the debate. I want to know ALL the facts.

  • Mark

    @Kurt: Why bother to explain? I did this morning and received the usual “you closet pig blah blah blah….”

    Here you have a criminal in a mental hospital and a female doctor who apparently works as a psychiatrist and treats AIDS patients. And is having her name and address and phone number posted over all over the internet because of what one guy is alleging she said and people here ready to shoot her on sight.

    I don’t know why I bother with Queerty. Most of the stories are as if they were written by high-schoolers.

  • Alkan

    @Mark: Where does it say he is a criminal? The only criminal mentioned in the story is a DIFFERENT patient who served time for murder.

  • B

    No. 34 · Mark wrote, “Here you have a criminal in a mental hospital and a female doctor who apparently works as a psychiatrist and treats AIDS patients.”

    Aikan pointed out (No 35) that there were no reports that the patient was a criminal. In addition, if you look at the Courthouse News Service article, it states: “Simoes says Borga was unfazed when another patient told her that he had just gotten out of prison, here he served time for murder. But her reaction was allegedly different when Simoes said that he did not work because he planned to go back to school and because of his HIV status.”

    So, (a) there is no indication he was a criminal and (b) the doctor seems to have learned about his HIV status because he mentioned it. That suggests, but does not prove, that information about his HIV status was not on the medical chart the doctor was using.

    Keep in mind that one of the problems with the fragmented health-care system in the U.S. is that critical information sometimes (and all too often) falls through the cracks. A psychiatric unit does not treat HIV, so if not told that there was medication that the patient needed, it wouldn’t be surprising if it wasn’t given. Since the doctor was not named in the lawsuit, the most likely reason is that the patient’s HIV status and needed medication was not on the chart the doctor was using, making it the hospital’s fault, not the doctor’s fault.

    Now, this may change as more facts get uncovered, and the doctor’s disparaging treatment of the patient was disgraceful, but it doesn’t seem to be malpractice regarding the medication at this point, and the lawyers probably looked for any valid excuse to name the doctor as a party to the lawsuit.

    So my guess is that the headlines were bogus – the patient was not denied medication by a homophobic doctor but by an all-too-frequent screwup and the homophobic doctor was simply rude to the patient and behaved unprofessionally in her verbal interactions with him (and with the patient’s primary doctor as well).

  • Joe Schmoe

    If he dies because of the missed doses there should be murder (not just manslaughter) charges against Dr. Borga. This would be a planned death, not “mere negligence.” If he gets ill because of the missed doses, this is an assault with severe injury. Franky, it’s attempted murder if nothing bad happens.

    The doctors (and maybe nurses and other staff) involved need to be be disciplined. Dr. Borga’s medical license needs to be pulled!

  • Joe Schmoe

    No doctor would refuse to treat an obese patient, a smoker or former smoker, somebody who had previously had an abortion, or even somebody injured while committing a crime. It just would not be tolerated.

    Actually, a smoker could be justified as smokers’ carry the tobacco toxin on their skin, in their hair, and on their clothing. This could contaminate the staff. Gtttin HIV from an infected person in a medical setting is just about unheard of (the infamous dentist deliberately infected his patients).

  • Daez

    @Mark: No, they just have to prove that it happened in the hospital and nothing was done to prevent it. This would be considered a class 5 emergency (an emergency that could lead to a possible death). There is a good chance that the doctor was not named as a defendant because if the allegations are true the doctor, the nursing staff and even the hospital would stand a very high chance of losing their medical licenses.

  • Daez

    @B: I do not agree with you. Any reasonable doctor, upon learning about a patients HIV status, would ask if there is needed medication even if the chart did not show such medication. Most reasonable doctors know that HIV patients require medication. This doctor did not act in a reasonable fashion and instead walked out of the room upon learning about a HIV positive patient.

    That is, if the story is true, but the real question here is why the man’s doctor would be willing to lie in court. I can see the patient doing it, but the doctor that is treating him has nothing to gain and everything to lose by presenting this information to an attorney, and eventually preventing this information in a court room.

  • Bonnie

    @Jonathonz: In the States, schools of medicine offer their own variants of the Hippocratic Oath and it’s not mandatory to take it in order to practice medicine. It’s something I think they should reform ASAP, but someone needs to break the iron redneck grip on the southern states for that to happen – the GOP isn’t going to relinquish the loophole the lack of an oath gives them to legislate rape and murder into medical practice.

  • Shannon1981

    @KV: Getting out of a psych unit just is not that simple, especially if you are brought in by force (police, attempted harm to oneself or others, or reasonable threat of such activity). At the very least, you have to stay where you are for 72 hour observation. Even a physical medical doctor cannot get you released many times. In the early days of my bipolar disorder, I was stuck in such a place for two weeks, despite my regular psychiatrist and a physical doctor insisting that I was no danger to anyone, including myself. I am unsure of New Jersey’s laws surrounding this, but it is indeed very difficult to get out of a psych lock up. It’s not like signing yourself out of a regular admittance.

  • B

    No. 40 · Daez wrote, “@B: I do not agree with you. Any reasonable doctor, upon learning about a patients HIV status, would ask if there is needed medication even if the chart did not show such medication.”

    It was a psychiatric ward. Patients in psychiatric wards can say anything and often do, so you can’t take what they say seriously. Given the seriousness of HIV, I would hope she would have immediately contacted the patient’s doctor, or at least asked him to contact her, or maybe asked someone to verify the information on the patient’s chart.

    Whatever happened, the fact is that this doctor is not being sued but the hospital is. That’s most likely because the error was really the hospitals, and her rudeness was not sufficient to justify a lawsuit.

    If there was enough evidence to sue her ass, I’d agree with you, but given that she is not named as a party in the lawsuit, I would assume that she wasn’t in fact negligent.

  • E

    That doctor deserves to be driven into the fu*king sea.

  • Rt. Reverend DJ Loggins, EGC

    Also report them to the Joint Commission on Hospitals. You can do so any of these three ways:
    How to report a complaint
    If you wish, you can remain anonymous. However, providing a name and either a U.S. mail or e-mail address allows us to contact you for additional information or clarifications, if needed. Should you decide to disclose your name and address, we will keep this information confidential, although we may disclose de-identified details to the organization in question in order to make our evaluation. According to Joint Commission policy, all staff at our accredited or certified organizations must be informed that they may make a complaint without fear of retaliatory actions from their organization.
    To report the details about your complaint to The Joint Commission, use one of the following options:
    Submit a new complaint. (http://jcwebnoc.jcaho.org/QMSInternet/IncidentEntry.aspx)
    Submit an update to a complaint. (You must have your complaint reference number)
    E-mail: [email protected]
    Fax: 630-792-5636
    Mail: Office of Quality Monitoring
    The Joint Commission
    One Renaissance Boulevard
    Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois 60181

Comments are closed.