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Author Topic: Pecking Order - Druggies at the bottom, Babies at the top  (Read 15696 times)

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Offline AldousOrwell

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Pecking Order - Druggies at the bottom, Babies at the top
« on: July 14, 2006, 10:04:16 AM »
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

Offline Ann

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Re: Pecking Order - Druggies at the bottom, Babies at the top
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2006, 10:23:07 AM »
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
« Last Edit: July 14, 2006, 10:26:14 AM by Ann »
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Dachshund

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Re: Pecking Order - Druggies at the bottom, Babies at the top
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2006, 10:49:56 AM »
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

« Last Edit: July 14, 2006, 11:09:40 AM by Dachshund »

Offline Teresa

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Re: Pecking Order - Druggies at the bottom, Babies at the top
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2006, 11:41:54 AM »
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
Hubby HIV+ 5/5/06
CD4:320
  %: 26.7
 VL: <20
Atripla (started it 8/24/06)
 

Offline AldousOrwell

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Re: Pecking Order - Druggies at the bottom, Babies at the top
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2006, 11:49:20 AM »
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

Offline Dachshund

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Re: Pecking Order - Druggies at the bottom, Babies at the top
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2006, 12:58:41 PM »
"people end up getting me wrong all the time"

People end up getting you wrong because you come off wrong...don't lecture homosexuals about discrimination. As a heterosexual male you have no idea what it is to feel true discrimination and homophobia. For every example you have of perceived discrimination I can give you a thousand more examples. Don't play that card...you will lose. "Culturally European Heterosexuals" might be an appropriate term when addressing the Klan, but it has no place here. It reeks of racism. I hope you find a therapist of your choosing...I think you have other issues you need to address.

I was going to give you the benefit of the doubt, but I smell bullshit, and I ain't stepping in it.


Offline Moffie65

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Re: Pecking Order - Druggies at the bottom, Babies at the top
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2006, 01:09:31 PM »
Aldous

I suggest you read your offerings here in the mirror to yourself, as the only venomous statements made so far, are by yourself.

Have a wonderful day, and welcome to unvarnished truth.

In Love.
The Bible contains 6 admonishments to homosexuals,
and 362 to heterosexuals.
This doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals,
It's just that they need more supervision.
Lynn Lavne

Offline Lisa

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Re: Pecking Order - Druggies at the bottom, Babies at the top
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2006, 01:34:07 PM »
Welcome to the fora.
IMHO you could work a little harder at getting over yourself.
No Fear  No Shame  No Stigma
Happiness is not getting what you want, but wanting what you have.

Offline Cliff

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Re: Pecking Order - Druggies at the bottom, Babies at the top
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2006, 01:37:01 PM »
I think you bring up some important discussion points, in terms of the level of services available for heterosexuals.  The problem is, you throw in all this other crap that does nothing but inflame the reader, and you end up losing everyone.  The Culturally European thing is a prime example....although, I'm not even sure what the hell that means.

You could take the approach of working with other groups to improve the level of services for heterosexuals or you could just bash everyone and accuse everyone of being out to get straight folks (or straight men).

I've never heard of a counseling center deny people the right to choose a counselor based on sex or sexuality.  I think you aren't giving us the full story here.  If they sent you away because you had too much anger, then perhaps that says you need to look at your approach and how you phrase your thoughts.

It sounds like your agenda is not to improve services for heterosexuals or drug users, but to antagonize other groups (gays, Africans, etc..) and those in positions of authority whom you perceive to be persecuting you.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2006, 01:39:29 PM by Cliff »

Offline kcmetroman

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Re: Pecking Order - Druggies at the bottom, Babies at the top
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2006, 02:35:58 PM »
Quote
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

Is there such a thing as good AIDS?

Being a heterosexual man with AIDS, I take issue to your attempt to classify us as anything but PEOPLE , humankind, living with HIV/AIDS.  I was welcomed here and in my community with open arms and have developed some very strong relationships with gay men.  My best friends. For you to make such statements appears to be an effort to put yourself in your own elite classification.  HIV clearly does not discriminate, and what makes a man with "good AIDS" any more deserving than one with "bad." 

Why is it so important to have a straight counselor?  Personally, I would want someone who has humanistic traits, and frankly, I have seen more of those characteristics in gay men than hetero.

There are others here that have been infected by needlestick and have no such arguments.  I think that your issues lie deeper than you let on.

Fighting a battle against stigma, with stigma is a losing venture.

I wish you luck my friend
« Last Edit: July 14, 2006, 02:42:18 PM by kcmetroman »

Offline ACinKC

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Re: Pecking Order - Druggies at the bottom, Babies at the top
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2006, 02:45:46 PM »
"people end up getting me wrong all the time"

People end up getting you wrong because you come off wrong...don't lecture homosexuals about discrimination. As a heterosexual male you have no idea what it is to feel true discrimination and homophobia. For every example you have of perceived discrimination I can give you a thousand more examples. Don't play that card...you will lose. "Culturally European Heterosexuals" might be an appropriate term when addressing the Klan, but it has no place here. It reeks of racism. I hope you find a therapist of your choosing...I think you have other issues you need to address.

I was going to give you the benefit of the doubt, but I smell bullshit, and I ain't stepping in it.



I was just thinking the same thing.  Or someone who hasn't come to terms with themselves!  I wouldn't LABEL myself as a TOTALLY heterosexual man, but Im definitely more straight than anything and I am the first person that will tell you I have NO CLUE what real discrimination is.  Even with HIV, I only get discrimination if i CHOOSE to.  I choose who I tell and how I tell or IF i tell.  I am not judged by ANYTHING anyone can see, like a lifestyle choice or the color of my skin.  I think you will find that the others on this site are the MOST inviting and accepting individuals out there. 

There is more I'd like to post, but arguing and flaming(no pun intended my rainbow clad brothers and sisters) serve no purpose!
LIFE is not a race to the grave with the intention of arriving safely
in a pretty and well-preserved body, but, rather to skid in broadside,
thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming--WOW! WHAT A
RIDE!!!

Offline newt

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Re: Pecking Order - Druggies at the bottom, Babies at the top
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2006, 02:48:48 PM »
"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."

In short, yes.  And quite rightly too.

It may be a draggy queer who posts that key bit of information that, er, sorts your crap combo your good-fibred doc has given you, or gives you an insight into a complicated disclosure to a good bright, cool new gal who you really like or summat.  Us bad virus people have our uses, and demand our respect.  In return you get such generosity of spirit, it humbles the whole damn world.  But it's not a right....

Or it might be someone who got the virus via a needlestick injury.   You will still get such generosity of spirit, it humbles the whole damn world.  But it's not a right....

If you don't belong with the druggies and the queers go hang with the babies.  They get kinda interesting about 5.  Alternatively you can embrace your varied, new-found viral brethren and discover the depth of human character.  But it's a two-way street in a residential area.  So no speeding.

In the meantime, welcome, I am sorry to hear of your diagnosis, welcome to the virally screwed club. It's not that important, this virus, compared to being a human being.

- matt

(Sorry if I left out some bad AIDS group also human and useful - too much sun n a hot boy just sent me a txt msg)
« Last Edit: July 14, 2006, 02:52:45 PM by newt »
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"

Offline Ann

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Re: Pecking Order - Druggies at the bottom, Babies at the top
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2006, 03:01:07 PM »
As someone who is straight and hiv positive in the UK, I have a pretty good idea what Aldous is talking about. Groups that help and support gay men and African immigrants are plentiful, but support for the non-African, non-gay heterosexual is pretty much absent. I do not begrudge these other groups, not in the least. They provide needed services for deserving people. However, it's difficult to try and access support as a straight positive person of European Judeo-Christian descent. Are we not entitled and deserving of support as well?

What makes it even harder is that anytime someone tries to get some support for our group, we get accused of racism or homophobia. The fact is, we all have different concerns even while we have the same concerns. If I want to go for support in a woman's group, precedence is often given over to immigration concerns. I am not trying to minimise those concerns, but it feels like MY concerns are sacrificed for theirs - when in fact, EVERYONE'S concerns should be addressed.

It is a difficult subject to talk about. As I said, it is all too easy for it to turn into a "racists" or "homophobic" or yes, even "heterophobic" mire when that isn't the issue at all. It's not that we want to take away gay or African support, we just want some of that support too.

It is very true that this place, this forum, doesn't have these issues. That's one of the fantastic things about this place. However, the state of face-to-face support in the UK for heterosexuals of non-African descent is sorely lacking. That's been my experience anyway. I'd like to emphasise I am talking about my experience in the UK. I'm not presuming to speak for heterosexual everywhere - or anywhere for that matter.

I fully understand that at least part of the reason we don't get support is because we don't get involved. We're too frightened of the stigma. Maybe through websites like Aidsmeds, we can begin change this sad state of affairs.

And by the way, maybe I'm reading Aldous differently from others. What I'm getting isn't that he wants to perceive himself as someone who got "good" aids, but that he senses that others may perceive hiv infection this way. I don't get that he's doing anything other than despair at the support system for hiv positive people in the UK.

I think Aldous is angry and feeling let down by the system in the UK. Maybe I'm getting this from his post because that's how I feel - marginalised. I think maybe Aldous and I feel the same anger and frustration. Anger not only with the system, but ourselves as well. Frustration that to speak up and try to get appropriate support is met with raised eyebrows and accusations of being against others who ARE getting some support.

It's a minefield. It's bound to make a person angry. Now we need to channel that anger. I know I do.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline newt

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Re: Pecking Order - Druggies at the bottom, Babies at the top
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2006, 03:17:54 PM »
Good point Ann(n)

But in truth the support options for gay men an Africans in the UK are mostly crap too, even though they get a reasonable amount of money.  They are not for me or anyone I know.  I (and I have a professional perspective on this too) have come to the conclusion most UK HIV charities exist to meet the needs of their staff and volunteers and a miles away from HIV-positive people of any kind.  Dismal. There are notable exceptions.  I ain't gonna post a roll of honour (or dishonour) though.

- matt
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"

Offline clarke

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Re: Pecking Order - Druggies at the bottom, Babies at the top
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2006, 03:30:16 PM »
Frankly, I think the word "discrimination" has been thrown around too much and too lightly.  I've been "discriminated" against because of my height (I'm 6' 5"), my race (Caucasian), my hair when is was down to my shoulders, because I'm a male, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Then, when diagnosed as having AIDS, I (my family) caught it from many different sides.  Got it from the Gay men (what are you doing with our disease?).  From the "Straights" for having the "Gay" disease. Got it from certain MD's (Dentists, Vision, Ob-Gyn etc.). Yadda, yadda, yadda and so on and so on.

I was the only "straight" male in the "support" group I helped start mediate in West TN. (and also the only non addict).  So, they always wondered and b____ed about a "straight" male in the group.  

Now, after moving up here, we get "treated" better by the medical profession up here as opposed to West TN., but we have no support group, nor are we desiring to start one.  We go to our MD, do what we're supposed to do, and work hard at staying under the radar.

Offline Cliff

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Re: Pecking Order - Druggies at the bottom, Babies at the top
« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2006, 03:55:51 PM »
I can't imagine it's any easier being straight with this disease in the West.  And yes, I'm sure plenty of gay men can be jerks about it.

But it's probably only natural for the "system" to provide support for those who are most impacted by the disease.  There are limited funds and "systems" have a way of making sure funds are funneled to the areas/populations that need it the most.  I saw a profile on a woman (black) in the LA who was going to have surgery to remove her hump.  She was HIV positive and when she was diagnosed she discovered that there were no support services/groups available for black women.  So she went to a gay men's group, (almost entirely white), to get support and more importantly to learn how to start a group of her own.  She then started her own support group.  If you wait for the government or for service organizations to do something about it, you may be waiting a long time.  I doubt the services currently available for gays or Africans (in the UK), were started without the fact that many gay men and Africans stepped up to the plate to get (no...demand) attention/action.  The message I got from her "story" is that we can all learn from each other, no matter what our backgrounds are.  And sometimes you have to put yourself out of your comfort zone, to get what you want (deserve).

I do agree with Matt, in that the offerings aren't all that spectacular and often the support groups are dated and stale.  But they do exist.  

Cliff

P.S.- HIV marginalization probably impacts a lot more people than one would think.  What about Britains/UK residents who are straight and black, (i.e., not from Africa, not an immigrant, but born and raised in the UK).  I've seen no support groups for this segment.  What about Indians?  Pakistanis? Asians? Folks from the Carribean?  Eastern European? Arab/Muslim? There are bound to be folks who are positive from all of these communities, who may feel that an "African" or a gay support group is not relevant to them.  I've even heard one person say that the gay group he attends isn't relevant to him, as a professional gay man.  He felt that most of the services/groups were focused on people who were on disability.  I suppose to him, there aren't any services (or at least the right kind of services) available.  This is an interesting (and complex) issue.

Offline Dachshund

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Re: Pecking Order - Druggies at the bottom, Babies at the top
« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2006, 03:56:02 PM »
I guess everybodies perception is just that...their own. It is difficult for people that have been marginalised all their lives...gays and people of color...to feel much empathy for a white heterosexual male talking "racism" and "heterophobia". Our radar goes up from years of living with discrimination and the legal status of second class citizenship. We know discrimination...we live it, we breathe it, we endure it.

We know your anger oh so well...we had it when we took to the streets demanding action. We felt your same isolation when we formed grassroots organizations to help those who could not help themselves. We quilted and prayed, educated and persevered. Why did we do it? Because no one else would...and for the most part, we turned no positive person away. We felt the shame of being shunned by society, but reclaimed our dignity and continue the struggle to this day.

I also sense the anger in Aldous...maybe it comes from how he was infected...even more than being infected. I would still trade his access to health care for mine. He would really have something to be angry about.

Peace,
Hal


Offline Moffie65

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Re: Pecking Order - Druggies at the bottom, Babies at the top
« Reply #17 on: July 14, 2006, 04:46:13 PM »
Shitty care and support from an outdated and unloved charity system, aka. ASO's; whether in the U.S., England, France, Spain, South Africa or any where else on the planet, is not something that is or can be defined as "Straight, or Gay".  Shitty service and funding is pretty much Global, and isn't getting any better.  Any quarrels we have here are going un-noticed by the "New Professionals" that populate such organizations.

Just my view.

In Love.
The Bible contains 6 admonishments to homosexuals,
and 362 to heterosexuals.
This doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals,
It's just that they need more supervision.
Lynn Lavne

Offline DCGuy511

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Re: Pecking Order - Druggies at the bottom, Babies at the top
« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2006, 05:22:37 PM »
Welcome to the group. I hope that we can be a welcoming community.  Since I am a white, gay man with good health insurance, I cannot truly feel what it is like to have this disease as a straight person, or a person of color, or someone who needs public assistance to get their meds. However, I appreciate that there are different experiences than my own.

I see a therapist regularly. She is a straight, Jewish, woman.  I find her incredibly helpful and the time that I spend with her is very productive. But other than being a sympathetic ear, she does not understand the issues I have as a gay man or what it was like to grow up with the big secret. She may have felt a similar prejudice as a woman or as a Jewish person, but when we talk about sex between men or the dynamics of gay bars, it is me providing the education to her. She can empathize, but does not know the crazy house I grew up in with an abusive Pentecostal stepfather. Overall, I like my therapist and feel that what she does provide me is very beneficial, but I can totally relate to the need to find a case manger or social worker "like yourself." 

My only support group was one set up for the newly diagnosed through the local ASO. It was 20 gay white men and one straight black woman. I'm sure it was difficult for her at times. She’d have to listen to us, complain about things as only gay men can. Sometimes she would share something that we could not relate to either.  I remember a number of occasions when she told us that clinic workers just assume that she was some sort of addict- because the stereotype says that HIV is a disease for gays and drug addicts. Public health workers saw that she was not a gay man, so they treated her as an addict.

I think that because the gay community was the first affected by this disease, the gay community took action and many of the ASOs sprung from that activism. Even though this disease affects everyone, the gay community is still very involved in it. HIV is affecting more women, people of color, and straight men than before, maybe the resources available will start to reflect the population with the virus. I don’t know.

I appreciate your remarks about the contradiction between the sex that is used to sell us stuff and the sex that is used to bang us over the head for getting this disease.  I find it incredibly ironic that big business economic conservatives and evangelical nazi’s have come together in George W.’s and Karl Rove’s bed here in the U.S. The republican message is: buy hot clothes, wear seductive cologne, talk dirty… but only hold hands in the back of that gas-guzzling SUV unless you’re married and have accepted Jesus as your personal lord and savior. Amen.

I did not sense any angry in your post.  I sensed frustration. I’ve felt it too, many have. I lost two very close friends, both gay men with HIV, because we did not/do not understand each other.  While each of us have had a different experience, there are a lot of similarities. There is a lot of information out there and I find these forums useful to screen out the bull, find out what others have experienced, gain knowledge from those who’ve been there before, etc.  Thank you for sharing and welcome. 
Steve
Infected/Diagnosed Fall 2003
"No Man Is An Island" - J Donne

Offline otherplaces

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Re: Pecking Order - Druggies at the bottom, Babies at the top
« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2006, 08:05:28 PM »

Aldous,

Welcome to the forums. I can definitely empathize with some of your comments. I consider myself straight, but I'm sure your average hetero American wouldn't consider me straight at all.  I'll spare you the details, but I do love women deeply, and having HIV does make for a precarious position to be in as a straight man. But I also believe these days are quickly coming to a close as more and more straight men will be entering our ranks due to poor prevention strategies by the gov't.

HIV will hop in you anyway it can. I also had a pretty random exposure myself, and was also sliced and diced on the 'am I infected' forum. I understand their point of view. It is best to rely on what science tells us, but I also definitely understand how you probably felt. Over here it's a pretty moot point. We're just here for each other no matter who or why.

I do believe some of your comments were a bit combative which is why you got some of the bristled responses. I think it's important to understand that the gay community took this one on the chin, and thanks to their courage we have alot of the hope, support and drugs that exist today. As for reverse discrimination...I feel alot more isolated from my straight friends than any gay people I've met after my diagnosis. I'm thankful they're there.

I would also ask you to reconsider your choice of therapist. I saw a gay therapist for quite awhile after my diagnosis and was thankful for his knowledge about HIV. He had been in the trenches long before HAART and I had alot of respect for his opinion.

I wish you the best,
brian



Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Pecking Order - Druggies at the bottom, Babies at the top
« Reply #20 on: July 14, 2006, 09:39:31 PM »
Aldous, I can appreciate that you have thoughts and feelings about how you may have been infected.

That maybe something you will want to pursue with your doctor and/or other appropriate persons.

Here the focus is on where you are at today in terms of your health, physically, emotionally and sometimes spiritually.

You're always welcome to ask questions and to discuss anything that's on your mind. As to speculating on how your infection occured -- well that I think you may well find a mixed response to.

In a sense this is a pragmatic setting where the focus is on getting and/or staying healthy rather than ex-post-facto detective work.

Please clarify if I am missing or misinterpreting something here.

Cheers,
Andy Velez

Offline AldousOrwell

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Re: Pecking Order - Druggies at the bottom, Babies at the top
« Reply #21 on: July 15, 2006, 08:08:53 AM »
Dear Andy

If you read all my postings you'll see that I started out just relating a story about my freak needle stick incident in response to one person's worries about the likelihood of getting infected this way. The whole thing has escalated into a debate on a separate thread about treatment and support for 'culturally' white straight people. When I use inverted commas I do it for a reason by the way. Some people fail to notice this like when I wrote 'Good AIDS'. I did it to poke fun at the tabloid mentality of the general public.

We all know that there is no such thing as Good or Bad AIDS, just AIDS, now correctly branded as HIV the virus that can now, more rarely than ever, lead to AIDS. On this subject I was pleased to see that the famous 'The Day Today' sketch with Chris Morris and Mark Heap taking the piss out of the public's attitude as to who they should help, made the top ten of TV's funniest comedy moments. This cheered me immensely. Poor old Chris Morris, he later got crucified for his Brass Eye special about how the media reports emotive issues in a deliberately sensational way. He chose the most sensitive topic of them all 'Paedophiles'. He was almost banished as a result of just the sort of reaction he was making the programme about. Oh the irony. I kind of feel similar when sticking up for Poz Hetero rignts.

I never wanted to put down gay or black people just 'big up' straight people. We are a minority within a minority. I've speculated already why we are treated like an embarrassment by the establishment.

The group I've alluded to is called Str8Talk. It is totally Positively run and even negative partners are excluded to guarantee confidentiality. One respondee wrote of wanting to 'Stay below the radar' they can with us. I have not named it before as I'm not an official spokesperson just a regular member. I may as well take this opportunity to extend a warm invitation to straight people out there suffering in isolation and silence. We meet the 1st and 3rd Weds of each month. If people want more info they can search online for an excellent article in Positive Nation magazine last Feb. It pretty well covers it's raison d'etre. I contributed one of the quotes, I'm called 'Gary'.

The range of replies to my 'cat amongst the pigeons' provocative statements were very wide. After I posted the second comment I went offline and came back to about 4 comments which were very scathing and rather reactionary. People of differing orientations seized upon the chance to add a right wing spin to my words. Christ I only read the Guardian. I don't think I was particularly venomous as one person wrote. An example was when I mentioned about describing Str8Talk as being for 'Culturally European Straights'. Other straight people from London knew exactly what I meant and I was grateful to finally get some understanding after the initial replies. In reality we have a good ethnic mix with about 40% of members being 'People of Colour' as Oprah would say. Our policy is that if the other groups are not for you then give us a try. Race does not seem to divide people in the group. However get people on to the subject of disclosure or sero-dischordant relationships then you get real fireworks! I guess gay groups have similar heated debates.

We estimate that there may be as many as 2000 people in need of our service in London alone, based on Health Protection Agency figures. Time will tell if this is too conservative an estimate. Where are these people?

We have decided to try to raise the profile of the group as we see a real safety in numbers and economy of scale benefit. The only way to get funding and recognition is to prove numbers, so we are grateful for as many new members as possible. We have over 70 registered with a typical turn out of 20-25 per meeting with a 60/40 Male to Female split. I can guarantee a warm welcome to any new members. Many just turn up in time to go to the pub afterwards. For me the first pub visit was like stepping back in time to my carefree negative days. I never thought a trip down the boozer would end up being the highlight of my fortnight. I call it respite care.

Many straight people turn in on themselves as there is no real alternative. This can lead to further denial and sadly some cases of 'Reckless Transmission'. It took me 2 years to seek help, which was fairly typical and when I did I was amazed to find that it did not exist in practical terms. There was a group called Straight Forward on the UKC site, when I clicked it said it had folded. I visited UKC and was told of a group called The Sesame Club. That too was now defunct, however at the time of my enquiry in Nov 2004, it had been resurrected as Str8Talk. I had joined at just the right time as two new Positive faciltators had been recruited and there was a new spirit of enthusiasm. Here at last was a viable support group for mixed heteros in the biggest city in Europe. It is not a dating club per se but 'Love at first sight' is always a possibility.

Currently we are seeking help to have our own forum/chatroom and perhaps a dating site. We have a range of skills within the group already. We don't want to make a profit or at the same time compromise anyone's confidentiality. I see this 'discrete approach' as key to increasing the uptake. The level of paranoia can not be overstated. I thought any initiative that encouraged Poz people to 'pair off' would be just the sort of thing the NHS or community groups  would bend over backwards for. A 'Holy Grail' in terms of Health Promotion by limiting new infections, reducing isolation induced mental illness and even providing jobs for a few. The silence so far has been deafening. It really stinks. 

We would really appreciate practical help in terms setting up the above Web service.  Of course not everyone has web access and may even be too paranoid to log on in an Internet Cafe or in a flat share situation. These people need to come to the meetings instead. Don't worry you will not be photographed coming and going from the building. If you are that worried wear a disguise or become a 'Hoodie'.

Since joining I've made some really cool friends. There is something edgy about many of the people. Some of the stories will blow people's minds. I now have friends to go to gigs with etc. Before I would buy tickets and end up staying home due to depression. Everyone with HIV has varying degrees of post truamatic shock.

I'll sign off with a quote from Joe Jackson, who I saw last week with a Spanish mate. He played the rather controversal 'Real Men' written in 1982. I've interpreted the lyrics as relating to the onset of HIV.

"Kill all the blacks , kill all the reds, and if there is war among the sexes there will be nobody left" .

The other lyrics about sexual identity had him attacked as a homophobe. I'm not sure if he is gay or straight, it should not matter. Interesting to note that this song was omitted from his greatest hits album, probably for this reason.

Cheers Aldous ' Brave New World' Orwell. Down but not out in London.
 

Offline Dachshund

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Re: Pecking Order - Druggies at the bottom, Babies at the top
« Reply #22 on: July 15, 2006, 09:14:01 AM »
Just one more question and I will leave you alone. What is the difference between "poz hetero rights" and "poz gay rights"?

I think I would have understood you better if this had been your first post on AIDSmeds. You failed to mention before that you were part of a group that caters to heterosexuals...I for one have no problem with that. I do think it a bit disingenuous of you not to mention that fact before hand.

I wish you luck with any endeavor that helps poz folk. Oh and one more thing...even dumb ol' 'mericans have heard of Aldous Huxley.

Peace,
Hal

Offline AldousOrwell

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Re: Pecking Order - Druggies at the bottom, Babies at the top
« Reply #23 on: July 15, 2006, 09:39:57 AM »
Dear Hal (Open the airlock doors please)

Always glad to chat with a fellow Huxley fan.  I did not start out writing about Poz Straight rights, I kind of rose to the bait when my Needle Stick story raised so many hackles.

I laughed at your stepping in the bullshit line, while looking at your Sausage Dog pic. It would surely be 'Death by Chocolate' with those little legs.

I hope there are no hard feelings, I'm usually a pretty peaceable affable person.  I just think this Us and Them Gay Straight thing is playing into the hands of this 'New Breed' of policy makers as one insightful person wrote. Ever heard the Husker Du song 'Divide and Conquer' ? Bob Mould is my hero turns out he is gay but refused to come out as he did not want to be politicized. He is now more of an activist. Check out his Boblog.

Take care Aldous

Offline clarke

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Re: Pecking Order - Druggies at the bottom, Babies at the top
« Reply #24 on: July 15, 2006, 01:37:45 PM »
I think we all do really need to realize is that there is always going to be someone predjudiced against something or someone.  It's something I've observed throughout my life and travels in this country, Mexico and Canada.  Black, White, Native American, South and North, there are just going to be things and/or people who don't like you (for whatever reason, it doesn't matter), and things/people we don't like.

I think if we look at ourselves, we are all guilty of "predjudice" about something or someone, from everything as minor as "ohh gawd, look how that person is dressed" to "sheeesh, look at that nut driving like that while using the cell phone".

Nothing is as cut and dried as we would like to have it.

Hmm, guess I'd better "Google" who Aldous Huxley is.

Offline AldousOrwell

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Re: Pecking Order - Druggies at the bottom, Babies at the top
« Reply #25 on: July 16, 2006, 01:58:29 PM »
Reply to Andy the Moderator

I have already started doing many of the things others have suggested like working with the established (Originally gay) NGOs and have been given another Psychotherapy/counselling appointment for this week. I guess it will be with a gay counsellor. I acknowledge the historical reasons. My clinic is located in an area of London with a high gay population. A more interesting question would be if I had insisted on a fellow 'Poztoid' counsellor rather than specifying a straight one. The way I see it, it's the same argument. I need someone with a shared insight.

Re-reading the comments has been interesting. I've learned a few things and empathise more with some of the early gay respondees. Some seemed to have softened their stance after Ann articulated my thoughts from her more neutral stand point. I was encouraged to read a coming together over how many of the support groups only serve to keep themselves in work without achieving much. Apart from giving the  governments a bit of window dressing in terms of things 'being seen to be done', when the reality is piss poor for many, gays included.

I hope we can build on this mutual support in the future. I think these forums (fora) do work. Sorry if my approach was a bit confusing and 'raw nerve touching' for some. 

If I were gay and positive I think I would be keen to highlight overlooked groups. It need not be at the expense of gay oriented services. For instance a new separate clinic for straights, as politically incorrect as it may at first seem, would shift the burden away from the original now over stretched clinics. Such clinics could offer appropriate services for straights not some 'bolted on'  token service. I suggest nothing more controversial than a left handed person wanting a special can opener, of course once sex enters the equation people's personal prejudices get in the way.

Acknowledging that straight HIV is more prevalent than Joe and Joanna Average might preceive, could help give more sympathy and in turn release more tax dollars and pounds. It could attract more charitible donations. My bestfriend who donated to Terence Higgins Trust, before his untimely road accident death, would turn in his grave if he knew that none of his money went to help me and my group of people who fall between the cracks. On a purely practical note, people are more likely to give to a service, either through tax or donation, if it is something they are more likely to need to access themselves in the future. It's human nature. We need to exploit this growing 'Self obsessed , me me me culture'. We need to show it is in everyone's personal self interest.

A general 'de-gaying' is in order, even though  there is a rapid rise in gay infections amongst the under 30's who feel unrealistically safe. Once the spotlight is moved from the Gay and African communities stigma may be reduced in time.

Why has this blindingly obvious strategy not been used before? Resistence from the establishment of course for reasons of cost primarliy and ego, not wanting to admit defeat in the war so far. Non African, Non IV Drug using Straight people like me represent the dawn of the nightmare scenario. A watershed moment or tipping point. It's a bit like the advice about investing in the stockmarket. Once you hear the Office-boy has started buying shares the market is about to crash. I think general public health may be on the brink of a similar 'crash'.

Cheers Aldous

PS Going back to my chastising for requesting a straight counsellor there is something I did not mention at the time.

When it was brought up during a routine visit to my HIV specialist it was done in a very insensitive way. I doubt it was deliberate but who knows?

My doctor said before giving me my readings ( Undetectable VL, CD4 410) he had 'another matter' to discuss. All very ominous and made all the worse when a senior nurse was called in, not a Psychotherapist by the way. I'm thinking "Hello what's this a Bereavement Counsellor ?", " Ok Doc hit me with the bad news what have you found and how long have I got left?" . I was shitting bricks. You can imagine my relief when the real reason was explained. After that scare I was so pissed off I argued my case as in the previous postings.

I felt my Doctor was a pawn in all this and our up until then good relationship had been wrecked. All in the name of ensuring a 'happy unthreatening environment for all people to work in' . Whatever happened to the patient's needs being paramount? I thought this little anecdote might add a little more background. I guess we all need to learn to compromise a bit and give ground.


Offline Dachshund

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Re: Pecking Order - Druggies at the bottom, Babies at the top
« Reply #26 on: July 16, 2006, 03:41:49 PM »


Aldous, we already have your nightmare scenario happening in Africa. Move to Africa try accessing their health-care services and then you have something to complain about.

I think you are using the AIDSmeds forum to promote a personal agenda, and I find it reprehensible. I will no longer be part of this discussion, because as I said before, "I ain't stepping in it".

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Pecking Order - Druggies at the bottom, Babies at the top
« Reply #27 on: July 16, 2006, 03:55:04 PM »
Heterosexuals? Well whatever. What a lot of carry on over the most privileged group in society. Yup, you read that right. PRIVILEGED!

Seems to me that this whole "we're more disadvantaged than the fags" thing is pretty much manufactured and I'm more than a bit annoyed to see the queers playing into it. And before you spouting off about how HIV is globally a heterosexual/woman thing - go and live in Botswana.

Then I'll care.

Until then, Aldous Borewell/Fuxley or whatever you think is a clever name -- you've had your flame bait and even the moderators here have bought into it. Well done!

You must be very proud of yourself.

MtD

Offline newt

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Re: Pecking Order - Druggies at the bottom, Babies at the top
« Reply #28 on: July 16, 2006, 05:38:05 PM »
In my experience, no HIV clinic in the UK is set up for queers, it just happens to be that they are heavy users, given that HIV is rifling through the gay people at an rate of oh, say, 1 in 8 in London, 1 in 7 in Brighton etc etc. When HIV is no longer the unspoken enemy within among the gay community, maybe then a "A general 'de-gaying' is in order".  But until that time, gay men in clinics in large numbers there will be.  Blessed are you to be on the margins of the epidemic, not personally, no, for sure not that, but community-wise, cos hopefully, if the models are correct, there won't be a widespread HIV epidemic in white straight people in the UK.  I appreciate that this puts people in this group with HIV in a very marginal position, and creates specific needs, but I do not see how it justifies a general 'de-gaying' of clinical services. Indeed, the general 'de-gaying' of prevention work going on now is likely to make the case even slimmer.
- matt
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"

Offline Cliff

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Re: Pecking Order - Druggies at the bottom, Babies at the top
« Reply #29 on: July 16, 2006, 06:16:23 PM »
There is no need for a heterosexual HIV clinic in London or anywhere else.  And surely that would be illegal, since it is discriminatory.

If you attend a clinic near a large gay population in London, then you and I quite possibly go to the same clinic.  I have never seen anything in my clinic that would indicate that homosexuals, (or Africans for that matter), receive special treatment.  All I see are posters about various health stuff, (stop smoking, getting vaccinated, STI information, etc..), all of which applies to everyone no matter who you sleep with.  And the doctors and nurses are focused on treating your disease not knowing your sexuality, (except for when it may impact your treatment, in terms of testing for specific STIs).  I can't comment on how you are personally treated by professionals, but I find it hard to believe that every single organization/personnel you come into contact with discriminates against you because you are white and straight.  In fact, if the stigma is as great as you say it is, they are probably just as likely to believe that you are gay and would have no reason to discriminate against you (unless you announce your sexuality to everyone you come into contact with).

Instead of focusing on improving outreach services for heterosexuals who are HIV positive, you seem intent on proving that there needs to be a reduction in services for homosexuals and Africans.  This doesn't have to be a zero-sum game.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2006, 06:18:03 PM by Cliff »

Offline AldousOrwell

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Re: Pecking Order - Druggies at the bottom, Babies at the top
« Reply #30 on: July 16, 2006, 10:46:53 PM »
Well curb your enthusiasm.

STRAIGHTS ARE NOT BIGGER VICTIMS THAN GAYS, AFRICANS, BABIES OR DRUGGIES. Happy now. We are just different victims not special victims. And yes things could be a lot worse. 

I was only hypothesising what form future services may take. Like you rightly pointed out it would never happen for reasons of percieved discrimination. This idea does not seem to stop us having separate Faith Schools though and I think they are a good idea.

By and large I'm happy with my current level of care and don't mind rubbing shoulders with Gays and Africans. I'm just suggesting tweaking things a bit to allow for this growing new group. Logistical reasons maintain it best to have universal HIV services under the one roof.  The least I would expect is for the nursing staff to enquire as to my emotional well-being. Then suggest a group most appropriate to my needs. Some only now know of Str8Talk since I mentioned to them. There is clearly a gap in services and knowledge. Things like starting a family as a positive straight man for instance.

I think we are kind of debating at crossed purposes. I'm not suggesting a conspiracy to conceal our true numbers. I do however think the averted epidemic for straights could still happen, just look at other STIs in the 16-24 age group. I also think the situation worldwide is deplorable as is the UN response, tied down as it is in politics. Much like this 'civilised' online debate is becoming. I have a friend who works for the UNDP in Iran of all places. She does not even get her meds provided as they don't want to subsidise Iranian Healthcare due to politics. She has to rely on the blackmarket, I even sent her some of my left overs for her and her clients, mainly women already ostracised. The men get them through the detox clinics though. It's a funny old world.

Could you honestly imagine me sitting in on one of your support group meetings if Str8Talk did not exist and mentioning some of these pertinent points. It would go down as well as Beenie Man at G-A-Y except with ultraviolence. Would I be expected to sit there and nod knowlingly about gay culture and other alien subjects? Listening to news about a thriving poz only dating scene. Thinking gosh wouldn't it be great if we had the  (visible) numbers for a straight version.

What if there was a law saying you cannot descriminate when it came to who you shared your flat with, renting a spare room to a straight guy by mistake then asking him to leave upon finding they are not gay. I had gay prospective lodgers asking me point blank if I were gay before coming to view. When I said no they said that's cool but they were no longer interested. I did not play 'Mr Right On Liberal'. It's a case of feeling comfortable around people. I know these people don't hate straight people , they have straight parents, brothers and sisters after all. 

No way would I let the government get away with reducing existing services for gays. You make me sound like a person wanting to jump the council housing list ahead of immigrants, when all I want are more and better houses. All positive people owe everything to the Gay Community in terms of fighting for basic human rights in relation to HIV. The refined drugs that keep me alive only do so because of trial and error by gay volunteers many now deceased sadly. I've probably overstated my case and inflamed people, but in much the same way I can't walk in your shoes, you can't walk in mine. The fact that we are viewed as already having our fair share of the breaks becomes irrelevant post diagnosis. I don't consider myself 'Priviliged', but perhaps 'well endowed' (joke).

The thing is all services are already being frozen and eroded. Ever since the government lifted the 'Ring-Fencing' and let PCTs reapportion recurrent funds. A typical boardroom conversation might go along the lines of 'We need a new neo natal unit Mr Chief Exec!" " No problem we can top slice 10% off HIV/AIDS by shortening appointments." " We can pat ourselves on the back for making an efficiency saving and get good PR. Hell we can even get Elton John to open it. Just to show we still love gay people"

If you read what I wrote and restrain your knees from jerking, I emphasised no loss in resources in the existing clinics. People in London will know of the cut backs already occurring. Shortened hours are making appointments harder to get for all people for alll services, psychotherapy, dental, the lot.  My consultant advised me that the clinic's patient numbers have gone from 2000 to 2500 in twelve months. Isn't it a bugger that we are having the cheek to live longer since 1996.

I'm arguing for the tailoring of support services and involving all groups more. I was out drinking just last night with an African lady (well five actually!) who was taken on as a vocational guidance cousellor as all existing ones were gay men. The NGO made the sensible decision that this advice would be of more practical help coming from another black lady when addressing the needs of black women. I have no problem with that. Why is that when I merely suggest similar services for straight people I'm called a homophobe? Christ a former gay workmate once described me as 'Gay Friendly'. I took it as a compliment. Yet some of those who attack me would have him branded a traitor like those who were less scathing of my earlier comments.

I wrote of raising mainstream awareness and launching another publicity campaign. I think plans are already afoot. I read of a need to 're-gay' efforts as under 30's gays are not heeding the warnings. I agree with this too. Both schemes need not be mutually exclusive but should work in tandem for added impact.

I know I'll never get through to some people. They seem to think 'If it ain't broke don't fix it'. But many straight's seeTHT for instance as 'pulling the ladder up'. Don't let anyone else in the life boat or we will all sink.

I seem to be a lone voice in amongst the cacophony of gay voices particularly on this Forum. Apparently this makes me reprehensible. It's no wonder so few straights speak up as I have done, if this is typical of the treatment metered out to them in the past.

Stigma kills and I can't for the life of me see why the African situation will not be repeated worldwide if we don't overcome it.

Cheers Aldous

PS I was not being clever with my 'alias'. I just think both Huxley and Orwell would not be surprised at days world. Both wrote of dystopian societies by now. 








 

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Pecking Order - Druggies at the bottom, Babies at the top
« Reply #31 on: July 16, 2006, 11:25:53 PM »
Please.

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline otherplaces

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Re: Pecking Order - Druggies at the bottom, Babies at the top
« Reply #32 on: July 17, 2006, 01:24:56 AM »

I'll speak from the wasteland of being a rather straight transvestite (where's my support group???). I think Aldous' heart is in the right place and perhaps some of you are being a bit hard on him. Of course his rather verbose posts leave alot to piece apart. Shit is fucked up and it's hard to deal with. I imagine it's pretty hard on straight people. People have thought all sorts of stupid shit about me for years...so as to HIV or the fact that I like to wear dresses...whatever!!! I stopped paying attention a long time ago. I'm sure it ain't so easy for your average straight person. I took part in a newly diagnosed group of all gay men. I thought they were great, but it definitely got weird when I tried to explain my sexuality in as few words as possible. And that sucks. You're just left out and suddenly not sure if you belong there...and some kind of made me feel that way, it wasn't just a weird feeling in my head. I still love those guys though.

Nonetheless, my gut feeling is that as far as support, money or whatever goes it shouldn't matter, and we should all hang together...gender/sexuality whatever.  My position may not help me meet cute girls, but not much else is. :)

brian

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Pecking Order - Druggies at the bottom, Babies at the top
« Reply #33 on: July 17, 2006, 01:38:44 AM »
Brian, show me the heterophobia on this site. Show me where this site deserves the vitriol and the combative posting. Show me where gay guys shut out straight guys here.

Here.


HERE.

I have no problem with people bringing perceived problems with HIV support and recognotion to the forums. But the poster in question came out swinging, and presenting misinformation in the FEARS forum, and making sweeping generalizations that, well, swept this site as well.

I have never been to the UK. I have ZERO knowledge of the support systems in place in that country. hell, this one either.

But I DO know that this forum remains a bastian of comaraderie for anyone who chooses to partake in such. Had the original poster bothered to read the forum before making his first.. second, third posts... he would have seen this place for what it is.

I have zero tolerance for someone who comes to this place with an obvious agenda, who does not bother to read or understand the forums before making assumptive posts.

 I submit that one does not have to be HIv negative to be a troll. We have had several people online who have joined this site for disruptive reasons, and the HIV status is ultimately immateral in those cases.

Read the damned forums. Read the damned site.

Then show me where we participate in heterophobia, racism, or sexism. Seriously.

Just saying.





"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline otherplaces

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Re: Pecking Order - Druggies at the bottom, Babies at the top
« Reply #34 on: July 17, 2006, 02:27:28 AM »

Jonathan,

I can't show you any because I happily haven't seen any. I totally understand your point. I don't think Aldous has spoken about this site specifically. Just what he's dealing with in the UK.

And I definitely can't say I agree with him on all his points, but also I feel if there was a straight support group in Chicago I'd probably go to it even though I probably wouldn't fit in there either.

I don't know, Aldous did come out swinging...we all have our faults. I do understand why he pissed some people off. But if he's doing this work with his support group...I think it's good and I commend him for his activism.

I have no idea what he said in the fears section. I don't go over there anymore. And I couldn't care less how Aldous contracted HIV. I imagine the opposition to his posts goes beyond what I've read on this side of the forum.

Just giving my buck fiffy.

brian

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Pecking Order - Druggies at the bottom, Babies at the top
« Reply #35 on: July 17, 2006, 04:57:57 AM »
I seem to be a lone voice in amongst the cacophony of gay voices particularly on this Forum. Apparently this makes me reprehensible. It's no wonder so few straights speak up as I have done, if this is typical of the treatment metered out to them in the past.

What the fuck? Few straights ever speak up? You lot never shut up. Wherever we turn in the world we're bombarded with what the breeders think. Society is organised suit the heterosexuals. So please save me the "poor picked on straights" routine.

You can dress this up however you want but you're just another dip shit homophobe. Pure and simple and anyone who disagrees with me about it is a liar or an idiot.

Or both.

MtD

Offline purplerain

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Re: Pecking Order - Druggies at the bottom, Babies at the top
« Reply #36 on: July 17, 2006, 05:31:59 AM »
WOW WOW AND WOW
I am newly diagnosed (06/20/06) so also very new 2 this site and all I can say after reading all of this is I am not sure if I will be coming back.  I thought this was going 2 be a great place 2 come and find a sense of belonging in a world that all of a sudden has been turned upside down and now I almost feel more confused then ever.  4 the record I am a gay man living in America who is half white and half black got the disease from unprotected sex and have also dealt with my share of substance abuse.  Going thru the 12steps I had 2 deal with homophobia and discrimination which in turn led me 2 leave the group I will be damned if I will be a part of that here as well.  I wish everyone the best black white poz neg straight or gay and I will continue 2 search out people who feel, think and act like myself.
Thanks 2 those people on here that have helped me out during the first few days after finding out I will always appreciate it.
JAG

Offline carousel

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Re: Pecking Order - Druggies at the bottom, Babies at the top
« Reply #37 on: July 17, 2006, 05:55:28 AM »
Hi Aldous

I hope that you understand that many people reading your responses have reacted to your posts with disbelief and are calling you homophobic.  They are correct, your words are riddled with prejudice and deserve to be shot down in flames.

I simply do not believe that in approaching a counselling service, that a request to see a heterosexual therapist would not be considered to be fair.  In the past, I have always had Gay Counsellors.   My current one is a woman and I think is probably straight, but I can’t be bothered to ask.  I am having my counselling through THT.

Although there are problems with funding in the NHS, my experience of using HIV services in London has been generally very positive.  There is also the possibility that if you do not like one service, you can go somewhere else as I have already done once.

That you do not feel comfortable using services that are currently pre-dominantly by gay men and the black comminutes: Well hard fucking cheese.  Welcome to wonderful world HIV. 

Aidsmeds.com is used by many people with different sexualities, genders, cultural and religious backgrounds, nationalities, abilities and dis-abilities, political views etc, etc.  This site is full of people with different experiences of living with HIV.  Why not join the conversation and learn something about the way people cope with living with this virus.  If you have different experiences, share them as others do. 

Offline Moffie65

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Re: Pecking Order - Druggies at the bottom, Babies at the top
« Reply #38 on: July 17, 2006, 06:22:10 AM »
For those of you who are of the Heterosexual bent; please be aware that if it was not for the gay population of the United States, and of Europe and England, there would be little progress with HIV/AIDS services or research.  KNOW YOUR HISTORY, BEFORE YOU COME HERE WITH ALL YOUR HETEROPHOBIA COMMENTARIES. 

As far as gay people putting down the straight population of HIV positives; PALEEEZ.  Can I bring up the nasty straight people in my town that threatedned to shoot me because I am Gay?

This thread is definately reaching for the sewer.

In Shock and Awe.
The Bible contains 6 admonishments to homosexuals,
and 362 to heterosexuals.
This doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals,
It's just that they need more supervision.
Lynn Lavne

Offline manchesteruk

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Re: Pecking Order - Druggies at the bottom, Babies at the top
« Reply #39 on: July 17, 2006, 08:04:24 AM »
I have to say some of the things Aldous is saying about HIV Support systems in the UK are correct but he is going about it in completely the wrong way.  When I found out I was poz I tried to find a heterosexual support group in my area because thats an environment I think i'd feel more comfortable in and there wasnt any.  This is nothing to do with heterophobia or gay biased services though.  Rather than complaining about the lack of support services to us have you ever considered approaching THT or a local GUM clinic asking if you could set up a hetereosexual support group yourself?
Diagnosed 11/05

"Life is too important to be taken seriously" Oscar Wilde

Offline joemutt

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Re: Pecking Order - Druggies at the bottom, Babies at the top
« Reply #40 on: July 17, 2006, 08:15:42 AM »
quote Aldous "another de-gaying is in order"
Where did I hear that the last time, someone remind me pls. :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\

Offline Dachshund

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Re: Pecking Order - Druggies at the bottom, Babies at the top
« Reply #41 on: July 17, 2006, 08:24:45 AM »
quote Aldous "another de-gaying is in order"
Where did I hear that the last time, someone remind me pls. :-\ :-\ :-\ :-\


It was either, Jesse Helms, Jerry Falwell, or Hitler. >:(

Offline AldousOrwell

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Re: Pecking Order - Druggies at the bottom, Babies at the top
« Reply #42 on: July 17, 2006, 08:47:14 AM »
We are all equal but some are more equal than others.

The problem with this medium is that it is very flat. It is all too easy for others to read between the lines of my 'verbose' comments. Gay hardliners want to project certain homophobic stereotypes on to me, as a way of countering my 'third way' ideas. I write a lot because I have a lot to say and much time to kill.  I am only echoing many positive straight peoples views. You accuse me of homophobia and virtual heresy. I'm just telling it like it is and as usual the truth can hurt.

You should not fear me. It's the Neo-Cons and Neo-Thatcherites pushing their own agendas and holding the purse strings, that we should fear and save our vitriol for.

So tell me what you want me write? Cos I'm fucked if I can figure it out. I'm told 'hard cheese' about mixed clinics when I clearly wrote I'm not bothered. I'm virtually told to fuck off and be grateful for my free meds when I ask about additional support by the NHS.

I was advised by other straight activists that I would encounter such rebukes. They have virtually given up on THT help. When I went to see them two years ago about legal advice they told me I did not qualify for help.The rules stipulated that they will help if you have home equity of less than £90000 and savings of less than £3000. At the time my equity was about £30000 but my savings were £3200. So they said sorry. I pointed out that this £3200 was borrowed against my credit card which had a debt balance of £5000, making my net position -£1800. Had the £5000 been secured against my home I would qualify. The same goes for Benefits means testing. Again all this is true and verifiable.

So what was I expected to do re-mortgage to free up equity? I enquired but I could not while on benefits. So now I'm trying to find work. My HIV specialist told me I'm not in a fit state to work I must priortise my health. But the two are inextricably linked. The brief assessments I've had all say the same. I'm sane and all my problems are environmental and revolve around not earning anymore. So a 'Catch 22'

I have a strong CV and have done the rounds of NGOs offering my services. Of course many employ gay people for obvious historic reasons. I feel even if I did get a role I could be made to feel unwelcome as a 'Breeder' not that I have or am likely to have kids. Should I interpret 'Breeder' as a heterophobic slur? I don't but if I call you guys 'fags' all hell would break loose.

Yes I hate Bullshit as much as Dachshund I also hate dogma. I think it is time for some 'Lateral thinking' time to get real but not to get scared. And I do know my history by the way, I try to find a balance by expressing gratitude. I'm trying to play ball and am now getting hit on the head with the bat.

Being HIV positive should not force me to adhere to the rules of a private gay members club. It should be a broad college.

This slanging match is turning people off. I never wanted to do that. As I wrote further back all I did was read about a Needle Stick query while filling my empty pennyless womanless days. Now I'm accused of devising some Marchiavellian plot to undermine the status quo when all I was doing was trying to be pro-active.

So where can I go to have an operation to become gay? Shit life would sure be easier.

Peace and Love Aldous Borewell Fuxley



 

Offline David_CA

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Re: Pecking Order - Druggies at the bottom, Babies at the top
« Reply #43 on: July 17, 2006, 08:48:33 AM »
Guys, I think most of you are getting your panties (or under shorts) in a knot for no reason.  Go back and read Ann's post... I was going to post a similar opinion, but didn't when I read hers.  Aldous does bring up a lot of controversial points... Good AIDS /  Bad AIDS, 'Culturally European Heterosexuals', etc.  I think we all know what he's talking about regarding the Good/Bad AIDS.  The sympathies of the general public do not usually fall on those with diseases most commonly contracted through sex or IV drug use.  The Ryan Whites of the world are the ones who get the general public's sympathy.  Obviously, this is not right, but it happens.  HIV- gay people are very discriminatory towards HIV+ gays; what would make anybody think they wouldn't be towards HIV+ straight folks?  Blacks and whites?  I think that most would admit that the experiences of each group are not generally shared with the other.  

How can we argue with someone else's experiences?  Who can say that their feelings aren't correct?  We can say that some of Aldous' expressions may not be PC... but really, does it matter?  Almost everyone who has blasted him has posted equally controversial (or worse) statements, opinions, etc.  I know I would rather have a gay counselor, if I had one.  Hopefully, he'd understand a bit more about gay relationships, gay society (locally, it's very cliquish and opinionated), problems that gays and lesbians have that straight folks don't (lack of rights guaranteed by marriage, etc), and any number of other issues.  I can imagine how difficult is would be... I know I don't really feel comfortable when my ID Dr. asks something about sex.  It seems so clinical, and he's actually very professional and non-judgemental, as most of his HIV patients are gay.  He's been treating HIV and AIDS since the late '80's.

Who can argue with "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."?   I would think that most of us assume that HIV/AIDS is still considered a 'gay disease'.  I'm sure most living with it in the US, Canada, and Europe (with lots of other areas) are gay, but statistics show that most new infections are not gay men.  Stereotypes are not easily changed.  Hell, even some guys who identify as 'straight' became infected while experimenting with another man.  I can only imagine that a straight man who's HIV+ would be stigmatized due to the HIV but also as gay, or at least bi.  My ID Dr. asked me if I was gay when I first went to see him.  Hmm.. maybe it's because HIV is still a 'gay disease'.

David
Black Friday 03-03-2006
03-23-06 CD4 359 @27.4% VL 75,938
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  Atripla started 12-01-2006
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06-03-10 CD4 768 @34.9%
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01-10-11 CD4 908 @36.3%
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Offline Cliff

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Re: Pecking Order - Druggies at the bottom, Babies at the top
« Reply #44 on: July 17, 2006, 08:51:40 AM »
Quote
quote Aldous "another de-gaying is in order"
Where did I hear that the last time, someone remind me pls.
I thought 'de-gaying' was when you were in college and your parents were driving up to visit you, (well really checking to see where all their money was going), and you needed to remove all indications of your gayness from the apartment.  My 'de-gaying' usually consisted of throwing my gay books/magazines, lube, condoms and the Barbara Streisand concert video in my underwear drawer.

Sadly my poor attempt at 'de-gaying' backfired once, when I forgot to get the Barabara video.  My dad saw it and made some off-hand remark that black men shouldn't have a Barbara Streisand video in their place.  

Damn you Barbara!  But you did put on one helluva concert.

Offline Dachshund

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Re: Pecking Order - Druggies at the bottom, Babies at the top
« Reply #45 on: July 17, 2006, 09:46:15 AM »


....." So where can I go to have an operation to become gay? Shit life would sure be easier"

Aldous you try and come across as pious, and yet you continue to make inflammatory statements. Why don't you cover all bases and have an operation  and become a black lesbian? They have it made. You know what you are doing...and for the most part you have succeeded. Some of us do see through your agenda. So far there is one thing on which we can agree...this is bullshit, and you know it.

Before I say something I regret I must remove myself from this discussion, and I hope others do the same.

 



Offline AldousOrwell

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Re: Pecking Order - Druggies at the bottom, Babies at the top
« Reply #46 on: July 17, 2006, 09:55:14 AM »
I was sent this link by a fellow Str8Talker at THT. It makes for interesting reading.

I could do without people twisting my words and associating 'De-Gaying' with extermination. Mr Streisand Fan is nearer to the mark. The article below gives a real case study about St Ive's. The 56% Hetero new infection rate further backs my claims for 'De-Gaying'. I'm not bloody stupid we all know that being  careless while sexually active and  being gay or an MSM, increases the odds but this new ratio is very worrying. Most new infections are from people who are untested yet us responsible ones who got tested bear the brunt of blame.

I wrote to the Minister for Public Health Caroline Flint. I was equally non-mincing with my words to her too. The real attention grabber was " Based on my experiences I honestly would advise against getting tested until they are at death's door", of course recommending people practice safe sex. I suggested that stigma and a lack of services to soften the fall after diagnosis remain a disincentive. Not to mention criminalisation.

Of course those against me will like to 'Cherry pick' this one line in isolation to brand me an irreponsible fool when read outside the context of my well intentioned letter to a person who has the chance to be a 'Winston Churchill figure' in the fight against the biggest threat since Hitler. At present she is acting more like Petain or Quisling and appeasing the chattering classes.  


http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2099-2260751_1,00.html

Enjoy , Aldous

PS I have some Streisand records does that make me gay?

Offline AldousOrwell

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Re: Pecking Order - Druggies at the bottom, Babies at the top
« Reply #47 on: July 17, 2006, 10:00:27 AM »
Dear Dachshund

Am I not allowed to be OBVIOUSLY sarcastic anymore either. It's better than going too far with Hitler comparisons.

Please chill out stress reduces the benefits of ARVs.

Aldous

Offline newt

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Re: Pecking Order - Druggies at the bottom, Babies at the top
« Reply #48 on: July 17, 2006, 10:25:19 AM »
This thread is getting unproductive n I hope it drops off the screen soon.  This is not to say somewhere under the wrangling there's not some good points here, but to the bottom of the screen I hope this goes, mainly for the sake of all the new people turning up here who;s having their perceptions of this forum coloured by this discussion.  It is based on two perceived notions of equality and all the statistics in the world won't help. (Indeed, as always, newt has a study or two on this he could post, on this very dynamic, but I don't feel like sorting out the link and posting it just now). 30% new UK infections in gay men won't help. 56% new UK infections in non-gay men and women won;t help.  A doubling of new infections among injecting drug users in the UK won;t help (who they then? obviously not people in the first two groups).  Correct, consistent and appropriate condom use among sexually active people would help but it is not in my power to deliver that.  What is in my power is some work to offer my expertise to anyone to sort out their treatment & start it well without too much anxiety, regardless of who they are, and some work to improve access to treatment information in UK clinics, and some work to contribute in some way to better understanding of HIV in my own community in my home town, and meet an ace man and fall in love and grow a damn good garden.  This is my next few years sorted out. This is within my power.  First though, I have to go see a very special woman who's just passed out of my life, and in spite of this event I find myself in a surprising graceful and sober mood today and perhaps will do so the next day if I see this thread falling down the screen.  - matt
« Last Edit: July 17, 2006, 10:50:50 AM by newt »
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"

Offline Ann

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Re: Pecking Order - Druggies at the bottom, Babies at the top
« Reply #49 on: July 17, 2006, 10:53:56 AM »
So lots of people want to see this thread fall off the page - I don't. This thread is a perfect example of what happens all too often when the issue of heterosexual hiv/aids support comes up. The straight people who want to see better services for all - INLCLUDING straights - get shouted down and accused of homophobia.

Here's a concrete example of how straight folks are marginalised in every aspect of hiv. In the clinic I attend, the waiting room is also used for the general STI clinics. In this waiting room, there are posters that deal with hiv. There are ones that do it from a gay perspective and there are ones that do it from a black African immigrant perspective. And that's it. Not one poster that speaks to a white eighteen year old straight lad or a newly divorced and dating again woman. And it is any wonder why the British public thinks that hiv is only a gay or African problem? I asked one time why there were no posters that addressed these segments of society and I was told "because no such posters exist".

And I find being called a "breeder", with a sneer that comes across even in print, extremely offensive. I didn't choose my sexuality any more than anyone else did. There is no call for comments such as these on this forum and I see no reason why that language directed at straights should be tolerated.

I'm very surprised at Moffie as well. Tim, you yourself have noted that the straight, white population is not being reached with hiv prevention efforts. That lack of targeting does not stop when a diagnosis is made. I would have thought you of all people would have seen that.

Ann
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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

 


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