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Pecking Order - Druggies at the bottom, Babies at the top

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AldousOrwell:
I'm new to this forum lark.

I started off in the 'Am I Infected?' Thread, I had my curiosity 'pricked' by a most ludicrous query from a person who feared being infected while drunk in a club by a psycho with a positive needle, as she noticed a scab on her hand later. The other members suggested she get psychiatric help and butt out. I thought I would throw in my 2 cents worth with a true incident of my own. You can click to it if it is still there. In a nutshell it is possible I stood on a discarded junkie's needle I had carried into my home under by boot.

I was shocked at the backlash, when all I was doing was telling my story. I have copied my reply below...


In response to my message of yesterday telling a totally true story about a 'possible' needle stick incident, I think I need to make my position more clear. I'm not being pius or judgemental, just honest.

I'm not pushing any hidden agenda. The criticisms seem to contradict each other. One viewer disputes my 'latent' phase. Call it what you will 'Incubation' or 'Ignorance is Bliss' phase you know what I mean. I write of the time between Sero-conversion and showing symptoms. I thought stating this alternative scenario makes it clear that I really have no way of knowing how or when I got infected , via the needle or my knob.

I am stating the actual views of qualified healthcare professionals. I have to consider all opinions. On a more serious note I hope it was through the needle at least that way I have eliminated the chances of onward transmission prior to 1999. Although I always insisted on condoms. Coming from clean green nuclear-free New Zealand to England in 1987 I had already had enough paranoia instilled in me via the media prior to coming here. I have walked out of bedrooms when women have not had condoms but were willing to have sex anyway. My attitude was 'How many other guys have they said that to?' It is indeed a bitter irony considering the current behaviour of my 'presumably' negative straight friends, that I'm the positive one. But that's life.

I did not expect such an unsympathetic backlash and certainly did not expect to be threatened with censorship by way of being reported to the moderator. I think my comments are indeed most relevant to this thread even if they are a counter point to all the other doubters.

I think the thing that hacks other positive people off is this notion that I'm saying I've got 'Good AIDS' through an innocent accident. I am reluctant to tell this story to people in my support group for this very reason. All I'm doing is relating actual events as they occurred. You have to admit the timing is very suspicious. 6-8 weeks between both events, exposure in Oct 99 to sero-conversion illness in Dec 99.

Perhaps I should start another thread. The fact that people like me are not supposed to exist. I recently answered a plea from a Greek journalist from a conservative newspaper in Athens. She said that she has yet to meet a heterosexual positive man other than IV drug users. I explained that stigma stops them getting medical help let alone going to her support group. I pointed out that STRAIGHTS ARE TEN TIMES MORE LIKELY TO DIE THAN GAYS as they ignore the signs and present too late to be saved. That is why there are so few of us.

It suits all other parties to treat us as invisible. The Gay community see us as a threat to limited charitable funds and clinical resources. The governments don't want to throw cold water on the 'Commercialisation of Sex and the Sexualisation of Commerce' It suits big business and state alike to kept the numbers down by ignoring us or letting us die, and at the same time using sex to sell practically everything from ice cream to paint.

I think all affected groups need to come together to  broaden the debate and finally take this virus seriously. I'm not homophobic but I sense a certain heterophobia out there. I find this shouting down very counter productive.

Take care Aldous

Ann:
Aldous,

The backlash you received as a result of your first ever post in these forums was because it was quite possible that you were someone who only wanted to stir up trouble and frighten people in the Am I Infected forum. You have to understand that this has happened before now and some people are understandably wary, as a result.

I'm sure you will find that nobody on this side of the forum cares how you got infected. And I don't mean that in a snotty way at all. I mean - it just doesn't matter. We're all hiv positive and there's no point in haggling over how any of us got infected. That's in the past and what counts now is how we live our lives knowing we are hiv positive.

Anyway, welcome to the forum. If you haven't already, please check out the Welcome thread at the top of the Living forum as it will let you know all of what this website has to offer. The forums are only the tip of the iceberg, so to speak.

Ann

Dachshund:
I am afraid you put people off by using terms like "heterophobia" on a website dealing with AIDS. That's like white folks shouting reverse racism when discussing affirmative action...it won't work.

Ann is spot-on when she tells you no one cares how you became positive...we care about you because you are positive. There is no pecking order around here...look around a bit...we come in all shapes,sizes,colors,sexual preference and genders. To quote an old song, "We Are The World". A more tolerant site you will not find.

I hope you stick around and learn more about us, and in the process we learn more about you.

Peace,
Hal

Teresa:
Hi Aldous,

Hal was right when he said that there is no pecking order around here. We are all here because HIV is in our life. Whether we are HIV+, married to a HIV+ person, or a friend of a HIV+ person.

This is a great place with wonderful people. Hope you stay around and find that out for yourself.

Teresa

AldousOrwell:
Peace and Love to you too Hal

Ok so Heterophobic may be a bit strong but it gets people attention. Sometimes it pays to play Devil's Advocate.

I could have mentioned the Gay world's own treatment of positive people. My gay cousin had been a leading light in gay activism in the Sydney scene. He had been head marching boy at the Mardi Gras parade several years running. However when he starting looking thin the organisers thought it was bad PR for their image. The hypocrites. He died in 1994 feeling let down.

It just goes to show there are good and bad in all populations. I take your point about reverse racism, hell I may have even been on the end of that too. I just think Poz people need to put their differences to one side. People go on about not letting HIV define their lives but many let their sexuality do it.

I really have to couch my rhetoric when I go to my clinic. I was offered Psychotherapy/Counselling. I asked matter of factly if I could have a straight counsellor. In much the same way a woman can request a female gynaecologist. Next thing you know I'm up before the PC police. I explained that it very relevant to speak with a straight person , preferably male in order to open up fully. Instead the staff seized upon the chance to make an example of me. I laughed at the fact that I had been refused Anger Management counselling as I was too angry! What next for the health service? Telling Anorexics to come back when they have put on a few pounds.

It really is no picnic being straight and positive. A gay friend of mine conceded this reality. It boils down to having so few potential friends to empathise with let alone partners to sleep with. Hopefully forums like this will help end the isolation. We only have one fledgling support for straights. We even got into trouble by wanting to make it clear that we do not want to get bogged down in sorting immigration issues for Africans. We had described it as being for 'Culturally European Heterosexuals' . We get no government funding and Terence Higgins are indifferent to our plight. Making them unpopular.

The 'Pecking Order' thing is a quote from a facilitator in the group. He brought this up in a discussion one. The public only want to help the more 'innocent victims'. Even in the group there are certain cliques. Professional types not wanting to socialise with recovered junkies. I try to see the person not their current job or criminal past.

Hope this makes sense. I suppose in brief I feel like I'm being shot by both sides. The anti poz neg world and a hypersensitive poz gay world. People end up getting me wrong all the time.

Regards

Aldous

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