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Author Topic: Combative Responses in 'Am I Infected' Forum  (Read 3230 times)

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Offline MoltenStorm

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Combative Responses in 'Am I Infected' Forum
« on: July 18, 2006, 04:22:26 AM »
Recently, I posted a response to a question in the "Am I Infected?" forum, and a fellow positive individual replied to my post in a very insulting and combative style. Basically, I was accused of trying to promote an agenda and of "trying to pass anecdotes off as fact." Someone asked if oral sex was a risk for HIV transmission, and I answered saying:

Quote
Can HIV be transmitted through oral sex?

Yes. "Minimal" risk is still a risk. I got HIV through receptive fellatio (no ejaculation). Note, I was using a personal experience to support the previous medically correct statement.

Oral Sex is a risk of transmission even though popular belief likes to dictate otherwise. While it may not be as risky as unprotected anal or vaginal sex, it is still a risk.

This is the reply I received:

Quote
Moltenstorm, on this side of the forum we do not subscribe to "popular belief." We subscribe to first tiered peer-reviewed science.

it's rather insulting to suggest otherwise.

If you are here to help educate others with science-based HIV risk assessment and transmission education, then by all means please pitch in. If you are here to promote your anecdotal experiences as quantifiable fact, then I am afraid you have an uphill battle ahead.

This is not the support forum for the infected. This is the fact-based forum for the uninfected and the worried well.  On the other side of the forum, I do not care - to a tremendous degree - how someone got infected. On this side of the forum, I refuse to allow anecdote to pass itself off as science, no matter whose anecdote.

PS: I am aware that the only incursions into this forum seem to concentrate on spreading your personal story, and implying that the rest of us are following some sort of agenda by (rightfully) placing receptive fellatio exceedingly far down the risk higherarchy. That, to me, speaks rather strongly of an agenda. An agenda which first-tiered peer-reviewed science does not support.

My question: Is this the standard that we are holding poz members to in their conduct on the "Am I Infected" forum? Is it acceptable for one to flame another simply because they made a statement and used their personal experience to back it up?

There may be people who try to cause trouble in that forum, but does that give us the right to be so combative and insulting off the bat? Shouldn't we be held to a higher standard when interacting with that particular forum?

Granted, I realize that my "popular belief" comment may have been taken out of context, but instead of asking me either in PM or in the forum, this individual assumed that I was slandering others on this forum when, in fact, I was not. If this individual had stopped to ask me, the clarification would have been readily available and given. I would have gladly told this individual that I was referring to the general population's belief that oral sex is completely safe. Instead, this individual took a rather pompous and insultive style in his response.

Is this acceptable? I would hope not.

Your thoughts?
« Last Edit: July 18, 2006, 04:53:54 AM by MoltenStorm »
"Love is always patient and kind. It is never jealous. Love is never boastful nor conceited. It is never rude or selfish. It does not take offense and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people's sins, but delights in the truth. It is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes." - 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, adaptation in A Walk To Remember

CD4: 555 / 29% / Undetectable - 7 Nov 2006
CD4: 555 / 29% / Undetectable - 5 Feb 2007

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Combative Responses in 'Am I Infected' Forum
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2006, 02:50:34 PM »

I stand by my words in that forum. And yes, those were my words.

If I come across as harsh in that forum, it's because of the shitstorm that such anecdotal pronouncements bring about. Suddenly you get quoted all over the AM I INFECTED forum as though you are a scientific paper. Then worried wells take your post as permission to awwk you out in the LIVING WITH forum, to the point of posting there with intrusive and irrelevant questions.

The sanctity of the LIVING WITH forum is of great concern to me. Also of great concern is the accuracy and scientific-basis of the responses in the "AM I INFECTED" forum. Anecdote is not data. And putting one's own experiences in that forum is hardly providing scientific information. Especially when it contradicts the WELCOME THREAD and LESSONS sections, painstakingly put together by a tremendous collaboration of people.

I quote Andy Velez in a message today regarding oral sex. As one of the founders of aidsmeds, and one of the most respected experts in that forum, and along with Tim and Ann, one of the most meticulous researchers, his word reflects the science-based paradigm of the AM I INFECTED forum.

Take a good deep breath and relax. No kidding.

Giving oral is more of a risk in theory than in reality. In actuality there have been only a very small number of documented cases and even those are iffy. Whereas there is considerable evidence to support that it is not a risk, an even less of one when ejaculation doesn't take place.

I don't know that I would have considered it necessary to even get tested. You certainly have reliably tested negative even with the 4th one which was a few days shy of 13 weeks.

If you're sexually active it's a good idea to have a full panel of STD tests done at least annually and every six months is even better. There are a number of STDs out there which are much easier to acquire than HIV.

As to giving oral, you have to decide what level of risk you are comfortable with. I can tell you there have been longterm studies of sero-dystonic couples. There was lots of oral and protected vaginal & anal sex, the result of which was none of the sero-negative partners became infected.


I am sorry you were offended by my post. I do, however, stand by the words I chose. Apparently that has soured you on me regarding the site as a whole, since in a PM you referenced my discussion of my pets in this forum, and other discussions in LIVING WITH. If that is the case, I urge you to place me on ignore, so that my presence does not cause you undue concern. Trust me, I am well aware that my participation in the AM I INFECTED forum has alienated me from many members in the LIVING WITH forum. It's a sacrific I am happy to make, in the interest of scientific quantifiability and credibility that keeps aidsmeds head and shoulders over other HIV information resources.


« Last Edit: July 18, 2006, 06:18:45 PM by jkinatl2 »
"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 DingoBoi

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Re: Combative Responses in 'Am I Infected' Forum
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2006, 06:01:15 PM »
Quote
Is this acceptable? I would hope not.

It's not only acceptable, it's REQUIRED on this site to provide accurate, scientifically quantifiable information.

Offline otherplaces

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Re: Combative Responses in 'Am I Infected' Forum
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2006, 06:51:43 PM »

Jonathan,

I do not think Molten (or myself when you did it to me) had any sort of "agenda" other than trying to help others. I think this can be easily inferred by his posts in the "living with" section. He had no ill intentions and thus does not deserve to be treated with disrespect. All your points can easily be conveyed w/o such a condescending tone. Molten is not a worried well troll and doesn't deserve to be treated like one.

I'm loathe to get into a debate about oral sex other than to say I pretty much disagree with your position on it, and your position does not agree with the "Lessons" section.

Having said that, I do think you make some good points about the strangeness of the posters in "am I infected". I imagine a united front to these posters may be the best method. Again, being new one can't necessarily know this.

Well, that's my two cents, and have no worries...I don't go to the "am I infected" forum anymore.

Brian




Offline MoltenStorm

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Re: Combative Responses in 'Am I Infected' Forum
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2006, 07:05:09 PM »
Jonathan,

While I disagree with your method, you did lower your post to a personal insult when you stated:

Quote
PS: I am aware that the only incursions into this forum seem to concentrate on spreading your personal story, and implying that the rest of us are following some sort of agenda by (rightfully) placing receptive fellatio exceedingly far down the risk higherarchy. That, to me, speaks rather strongly of an agenda. An agenda which first-tiered peer-reviewed science does not support.

The rest of your post would have been fine had it not been for this little part.

And if you truly were to get technical... Science is merely the knowledge brought about through repeated anecdotes. Science learns from repeated "interesting events" which is what an anecdote is.

You owe me an apology. Whether or not you choose to give it, is your perogative. I will not put you on ignore since I have no other grievance with you.

I stand by the FACT that I am medically correct when I said "Minimal risk is still a risk." The FACT that there ARE documented cases only supports that. The lessons even state that. So, you were wrong, and out of line.

I bear no ill will, just don't insult me. You could still have said what you had to say without using the pompous tone you took and without the personal attack.
"Love is always patient and kind. It is never jealous. Love is never boastful nor conceited. It is never rude or selfish. It does not take offense and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people's sins, but delights in the truth. It is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes." - 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, adaptation in A Walk To Remember

CD4: 555 / 29% / Undetectable - 7 Nov 2006
CD4: 555 / 29% / Undetectable - 5 Feb 2007

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Combative Responses in 'Am I Infected' Forum
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2006, 07:05:57 PM »
All your points can easily be conveyed w/o such a condescending tone.


I'm loathe to get into a debate about oral sex other than to say I pretty much disagree with your position on it, and your position does not agree with the "Lessons" section.


My "tone" in the AM I INFECTED forum is logical and science based when at all possible. I am sorry if my mannerisms there come across as condescending. They are not intended as such.

As for my position disagreeing with the LESSONS, I find that amusing since I helped research and revise the LESSONS.

From the LESSONS:

Quote
Having unprotected oral sex is a theoretical risk, as it is considered possible, but has never been shown to be an independent risk factor for HIV infection.

Quote
There have been a number of studies that have closely followed MSM and heterosexual couples, in which one partner was HIV positive and the other partner was HIV negative. In all of the studies, couples that used condoms consistently and correctly during every experience of vaginal or anal sex – but didn't use condoms during oral sex – did not see HIV spread from the HIV positive partner to the HIV negative partner.

There have been three case reports and a few studies suggesting that some people have been infected with HIV as a result of unprotected oral sex. However, these case reports and studies all involved MSM – men who were the receptive partners (the person doing the "sucking") during unprotected oral sex with another HIV-positive man. There haven't been any case reports or studies documenting HIV infection among female receptive partners during unprotected oral sex. Even more importantly, there hasn't been a single documented case of HIV transmission to an insertive partner (the person being "sucked") during unprotected oral sex, either among MSM or heterosexuals.

It is the scientifically accurate and quantifiable position here at aidsmeds.com that receptive fellatio poses an exceedingly small risk for HIV infection, and many credible HIV counselors (including Andy Velez) would not recommend testing over that single activity. Vanishingly small risk does not mean zero risk, and I have never, ever claimed it as such.

If I seem on a high horse over this, it's because while you claim not to want to get into a discussion of oral sex, thats exactly what you are doing in this forum, which, being off-topic, is likely to be read by worried wells and infected folks alike.

I am absolutely NOT going to argue with YOU about how you got infected. I simply don't care. I will, however, defend the science which shapes our LESSONS section. Maybe that's hubris, since I played a role in shaping that section. So be it. The science is sound, and the LESSONS, to which I subscribe, are valid.

If you do not like my tone, you are under no obligation to read my posts. But I do tend to be very protective of the credibility of the AM I INFECTED forum, and have no intention of modifying my tone, especially when I perceive that the credibility of the forum is being undermined.


« Last Edit: July 18, 2006, 07:27:12 PM by jkinatl2 »
"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 jkinatl2

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Re: Combative Responses in 'Am I Infected' Forum
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2006, 07:10:18 PM »
As for an apology, Molton, you crossed a line in your private message to me, making references to my posts here about my pets and my other participation in these forums. I take my work, and my research in the AM I INFECTED forum quite seriously.

Please do not PM me again.

I stand by my words in the AM I INFECTED forum, and I stand by the LESSONS, which supports my assertions precisely.




"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 MoltenStorm

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Re: Combative Responses in 'Am I Infected' Forum
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2006, 07:17:48 PM »
Regardless of Jonathan, this style of responsiveness is rude and unnecessary. You can say what you have to say without coming across with such disrespect. Those that are so disrespectful need to be admonished for doing so and cease such action.

In regards to this supposed line I crossed with you, Jonathan, I did no such thing. You claimed I had an agenda in every post I ever made. I pointed out through examples that when his pet Ringo passed on, I replied with sympathy and caring, and I asked if there was an agenda with that, and I used some other examples. How is that crossing a line? That I brought up the past? Ok, I'll give you that one. Far less on the intrusive scale than claiming someone's sole purpose is to spread a personal story or agenda, don't you think?
« Last Edit: July 18, 2006, 07:22:23 PM by MoltenStorm »
"Love is always patient and kind. It is never jealous. Love is never boastful nor conceited. It is never rude or selfish. It does not take offense and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people's sins, but delights in the truth. It is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes." - 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, adaptation in A Walk To Remember

CD4: 555 / 29% / Undetectable - 7 Nov 2006
CD4: 555 / 29% / Undetectable - 5 Feb 2007

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Combative Responses in 'Am I Infected' Forum
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2006, 07:29:33 PM »
Quote
You claimed I had an agenda in every post I ever made

I claimed that your posts in AM I INFECTED reflected that. We have an excellent, if a bit cumbersome, "quote" function here. It allows our words to speak for themselves, barring post-editing.

I respectfully wiithdraw from further comversation.

"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: Combative Responses in 'Am I Infected' Forum
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2006, 07:50:10 PM »

Jonathan,

Please...just ease down a bit. My post was most definitely MORE about your tone than your content. Yes, I did state some disagreement with you...quite politely I might add. I think I have every right to do so.

And WATCH me not engage you in a debate about oral sex. :)

..........silence................

I have no intention in ignoring your posts. I find most of them to be quite interesting, which is why I don't quite understand this tone in the smaller fraction of time that you launch into people.

Go forth and be protective of the "am I infected" forum. I already said I don't go there anymore. I just think you could be more respectful at times.

brian

Offline MoltenStorm

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Re: Combative Responses in 'Am I Infected' Forum
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2006, 07:58:13 PM »
*laughing* I only made one post in that forum, Jonathan. That post was my first, so you had nothing to compare it to other than my posts in Off Topic and Living With.

I agree with otherplaces on your tone.

However, the best course of action is always avoiding problems rather than fix them, right?

I do have a question though. You said you helped put the information on the lessons together. Are you a health professional or an hiv researcher (scientist, in lab, working with blood; NOT just reading up on it)? If not, then your word doesn't carry much weight and should not be passed on as fact in the Am I Infected Forum. No one who isn't a health professional or HIV scientist should then if you really want to get high and mighty on who can and cannot say something in that particular forum.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2006, 08:03:47 PM by MoltenStorm »
"Love is always patient and kind. It is never jealous. Love is never boastful nor conceited. It is never rude or selfish. It does not take offense and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people's sins, but delights in the truth. It is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes." - 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, adaptation in A Walk To Remember

CD4: 555 / 29% / Undetectable - 7 Nov 2006
CD4: 555 / 29% / Undetectable - 5 Feb 2007

Offline DingoBoi

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Re: Combative Responses in 'Am I Infected' Forum
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2006, 08:02:47 PM »
except the thing is... that jonathan is right in the risk assessment.

all things being said, he actually was restrained in his response to you whether you choose to believe that or not.


Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Combative Responses in 'Am I Infected' Forum
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2006, 08:15:42 PM »
:) I know I withdrew from the conversation, but I was amused at the following:

Quote
You said you helped put the information on the lessons together. Are you a health professional or an hiv researcher (scientist, in lab, working with blood; NOT just reading up on it)? If not, then your word doesn't carry much weight and should not be passed on as fact in the Am I Infected Forum. No one who isn't a health professional or HIV scientist should then if you really want to get high and mighty on who can and cannot say something in that particular forum.

Is Peter Staley an HIV researcher? Is Andy Velez? is Ann?

No, and neither am I. Except that I have over eleven years in HIV prevention and education, including licensure and credentials in peer counseling, risk reduction, and education. I also ran Out There, Inc, a grassroots HIV education and prevention organization from 1993 until 2000. I have done extensive research in the field of HIV transmission and prevention, and have yet to make an assessment on aidsmeds.com that I cannot thoroughly back up with first-tiered peer reviewed science.

So in that sense, I am qualified. And so are you, if indeed you want to discuss things from the perspective of the first-tier peer reviewed scientific base.  My insistence is that ANYONE can be an "HIV EXPERT" if they know how to read and interpret the scientific evidence.

I do not pass my "word" on as fact in that forum. I reference first-tiered peer reviewed scientific data as the source for ALL my risk assessment. Something you would know if you bothered to read that forum for any duration of time.

I am not ashamed of my prowess in that area. It is something I worked, and continue to work, very hard to accomplish. I can't dance. I can do that.

But if I am not qualified to dispense risk assessment, I submit that neither is Ann or Andy.

So long as we are able to footnote and reference the sources for our assessements, our own credentials are immaterial to the accuracy of the statements we make.

Sorry, I try never to re-enter a conversation. But I won't be impugned, not on one of the few strengths I know I bring to this forum.

« Last Edit: July 18, 2006, 08:17:38 PM by jkinatl2 »
"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 jyngfilm

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Re: Combative Responses in 'Am I Infected' Forum
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2006, 08:22:46 PM »
wow
munchausen by proxy is not an out in my case

Offline DingoBoi

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Re: Combative Responses in 'Am I Infected' Forum
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2006, 08:35:50 PM »
wow

This is what happens when science meets personal anecdote.

The crux of which is that molten feels marginalized because his story of being infected by oral sex is not supported by the science, but to molten, he feels... nay.. he knows that he was (did I just say nay? wtf)

the science says it (broad stroke here) doesn't happen.   So that leaves us with either the science is lying or molten is. 

Jonathan doesn't question, nor care, what people self-report in the living with forum.  There, he is content to let people believe what they want in spite of the science.  

In the fears forum, since it is such an infintesimesiminally (is that a word?)  small risk, it is considered not even worth testing over and that is the accurate and correct advice to give. 

So now we have another bitchfest, prompted by molten, who I think was in quite poor taste in posting this in the first place. 

For me, do i believe you were infected by giving oral sex?   nope.   That's the science that leads me to believe that.  Is that the same as calling you a liar.  nope.  I just don't buy into all to frequent anecdote that it has occurred because the science... yah, you know, those studies that scientists do, hasn't resulted in one single case of transmission.... ever... ever .... ever.   So who is telling the truth.  Yah, can i buy a vowel?

So, is this a case that moltens feelings are hurt because you aren't believed or that the science doesn't believe you?   Jonathan won't say it, but I will.  I have less tact.   besides this is offtopic anyways. :)

kthanxbye
« Last Edit: July 18, 2006, 08:37:25 PM by DingoBoi »

Offline MoltenStorm

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Re: Combative Responses in 'Am I Infected' Forum
« Reply #15 on: July 18, 2006, 08:36:46 PM »
Dingo,

Jonathan's statement about how oral sex is less a risk than other activities is not being questioned here. What was being disputed is his choice of mannerism in portraying said information.

I wonder if I had simply stated, "Yes, minimal risk is still a risk" and had not mentioned that I got HIV that way, would I have received the same knee-jerk response?

My comment about him being "qualified" was pointing out how absurd he was being in trying to "lay down the law" of what can and cannot be stated in the AM I INFECTED forum.

I don't really care if he was being restrained. He really had no reason to behave the way he did.

Ok, so I'm lying?

Fact: during anal sex, I ALWAYS used a condom.
Fact: I always checked afterwards to see if there was any breakage - there never was.
Fact: I hardly ever gave blowjobs (just not something I like all that often)
Fact: I do not use needles or participate in using illegal drugs.
Fact: My mother was not HIV+ in giving birth to me.
Fact: I have not shared blood with anyone.
Fact: I have never received blood.
Fact: The only time there was a risk was I was bleeding orally and I gave "head" to someone who was HIV+.

And you're going to call me a liar? You both are really something.

What you are absurd in is that you are attempting to equate the word "rarely" with "never." While it has rarely been transmitted through oral sex, it can still happen. Science will even tell you that. Science also says you could go your whole life and never be struck by lightning, but it happens. Same thing. Just because it isn't the normal path of transmission, doesn't mean that it isn't one.

I was in poor taste posting about rudeness in a forum that is as delicate as Am I Infected? You're entitled to your belief.

Oh, and for the record, Dingo, you aren't all that good at knowing what I'm feeling or why I post something, so don't try, ok? :) I don't feel marginalized. I just call bullshit when I see it.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2006, 08:49:20 PM by MoltenStorm »
"Love is always patient and kind. It is never jealous. Love is never boastful nor conceited. It is never rude or selfish. It does not take offense and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people's sins, but delights in the truth. It is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes." - 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, adaptation in A Walk To Remember

CD4: 555 / 29% / Undetectable - 7 Nov 2006
CD4: 555 / 29% / Undetectable - 5 Feb 2007

Offline DingoBoi

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Re: Combative Responses in 'Am I Infected' Forum
« Reply #16 on: July 18, 2006, 08:39:08 PM »
i'll give you a moment to read my post because if it's a bitchslap ya want.  I'm giving them free today.

I never called you a liar.   I just said i didn't believe you.

*oh, these edits are tiresome.   It makes me grow weary because it does make the conversation rather difficult to follow.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2006, 08:48:31 PM by DingoBoi »

Offline DingoBoi

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Re: Combative Responses in 'Am I Infected' Forum
« Reply #17 on: July 18, 2006, 08:50:39 PM »
Quote
I just call bullshit when I see it.

hrmm... I believe i did too.

so we have something in common now :)


Offline MoltenStorm

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Re: Combative Responses in 'Am I Infected' Forum
« Reply #18 on: July 18, 2006, 08:56:25 PM »
Dingo, you're going on ignore because you really haven't contributed anything to this thread other than trying to pick a fight.
"Love is always patient and kind. It is never jealous. Love is never boastful nor conceited. It is never rude or selfish. It does not take offense and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people's sins, but delights in the truth. It is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes." - 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, adaptation in A Walk To Remember

CD4: 555 / 29% / Undetectable - 7 Nov 2006
CD4: 555 / 29% / Undetectable - 5 Feb 2007

Offline DingoBoi

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Re: Combative Responses in 'Am I Infected' Forum
« Reply #19 on: July 18, 2006, 09:03:19 PM »
oh, but we found such a connection here... we do have something in common.   It's sad really.   People who say they ignore... well.. they never really do.... because they just HAVE to know what the other person will say.

Now you say that I haven't contributed anything.  I think I pretty well summed up the situation.   You are pissant wild to say it's a risk... 'because you were infected that way'.

The science doesn't support you sweetie.  I don't believe you were infected that way.   I rather doubt most here do.   They just don't bother pointing out the science to you because it might wreck your world.

You want condescending.  i'll give it to you here.  You brought the subject to the table... now eat it.


Offline Peter Staley

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Re: Combative Responses in 'Am I Infected' Forum
« Reply #20 on: July 18, 2006, 09:04:29 PM »
okay guys, I'm locking this thread.  Don't you dare pick this conversation up in another thread.  let it go.

Peter

 


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