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Author Topic: Anxiety when seeing or hearing the letters H. I. V.  (Read 12458 times)

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Offline ga1964

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Anxiety when seeing or hearing the letters H. I. V.
« on: April 23, 2008, 06:19:27 PM »
Its been a little over a year since being diagnosed HIV+ and I have noticing that I have gotting more sensitive when I see or hear the letters H. I. V., its even worse when someone else is around.  It doesn't matter wether its family, friends, or strangers, even my partner.  ( That's another issue in and of itself. ) 

Watching TV, when commercials for medications come on, and they say not to take it if you have advanced HIV disease, or birth control commercials that warn that it does not protect against the HIV disease.  Even the PSAs about HIV.  I know that it is for good of all, wether HIV+ or not, and that it is not to make someone feel uncomfortable.  But I get uncomfortable just seeing or hearing the letters H. I. V.

When I had to see a new doctor for the first time, he had an assistant taking notes for him, and the first question he asked was "Your HIV+?".  I just wanted to disappear.  I know he knew the answer, because my ID. had made the referral for me, but I guess he wanted me to say it.  This is actually the 4th time I've tried to make this post, but my Partner came home the last 3 times before I finished it, and I would get off the site.  I know he does not care about me being on this site, and he wants me to get all the help I can.  He has been very supportive for me since I was diagnosed, but I feel uncomfortable knowing he knows I'm on this site ( Yet another issue. ).

Has anyone went thru a period or is experiencing the same anxiety over these 3 letters, or am I loosing my mind?  Even when I go to my ID., the nurses are very nice and I feel that they and my ID. truly cares and wants to make sure that I stay healthy, but I get so anxious worrying if they have told someone that knows me about my status.  I know that they are not allowed by law to disclose patient information, but I still worry that they might.  I live in a small Southern town, and people like to get in everyone else's business.

I cringe when talking about my  HIV status to my parents, even if its good news.

My Partner just got back, so I'll end this now.

I must be loosing it.




Offline BT65

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Re: Anxiety when seeing or hearing the letters H. I. V.
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2008, 07:04:42 PM »
Ga,

I remember years ago, I ended up in the ER due to a very painful gallbladder attack.  The ER doctor stood at the door and loudly said "You have AIDS?!"  What an ass he was. 

I think what you're going through is pretty normal.  I've been dealing with this for years, and now I proudly wear my "AIDS" label.
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline dgr20002

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Re: Anxiety when seeing or hearing the letters H. I. V.
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2008, 09:35:07 PM »
I understand you being sensitive to the letters HIV and AIDS too for that matter. I doubt you are losing it. WHat has happened with your business and your insurance and stuff lately?

David

Offline ga1964

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Re: Anxiety when seeing or hearing the letters H. I. V.
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2008, 11:40:21 PM »
I understand you being sensitive to the letters HIV and AIDS too for that matter. I doubt you are losing it. WHat has happened with your business and your insurance and stuff lately?

David
The business is still going (for now), Thanks for asking.  Right now I still have insurance, but the medical cost I'm responsible for is quickly getting out of hand.  I have to choose between getting lab work done at a cost of $500.00 a round and then there are the meds, or making payments for my truck, the mortgage, food, ;life expenses, etc.  Oh, and lets not forget the insurance so I can get treatment if I get an IO or any illness.  I have no money left after trying to keep up with the expenses that come with this disease.  I'm scared that I might not be able to keep my insurance much longer.  I'm scared to think what kind of treatment I'll get if I loose my insurance.  I don't know how those without insurance survive.

Offline sharkdiver

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Re: Anxiety when seeing or hearing the letters H. I. V.
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2008, 07:32:28 PM »
I think what you're going through is pretty normal.  I've been dealing with this for years, and now I proudly wear my "AIDS" label.

I have to agree with sweet Betty; after awhile you'll get used to it. Just recently I was at my pharmacy and the pharmacist was discussing some medication with me that I was about to take. She said well I'm not sure what your medical condition is but this might react with this and that..... I blurted out loudly a matter-of-factly "Oh I have AIDS and we should check to see if it reacts to any of those meds." She paused, looked around and appeared to be a little uncomfortable as we went on with the discussion. I realized later how easily, comfortably and without shame did those words just roll off my tongue.

try to relax and just be with it

Sharkie


Offline ga1964

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Re: Anxiety when seeing or hearing the letters H. I. V.
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2008, 12:59:45 AM »
Thanks for the words of encouragement.   

I don't remember being too sensitive when I was first diagnosed, Don't get me wrong, after I was told I cried with my Mother in the room for what seemed like forever, but after that I don't remember feeling like I needed to get out of the room like I do now.  I thought I had dealt with those feeling and they were gone.  I remember seeing the commercials before  my diagnosis and it did not affect me, of course I did not know I had contracted HIV either, I assumed that since I had accepted the fact that I was the one at fault for exposing myself to HIV, things would not get to me like they have.

Shark...I have had panic attacks at the pharmacy picking up meds, worried that someone in line might over hear conversations about my medications with the pharmacist or the person checking me out at the pharmacy might say something someone might over hear.  I live in the buckle of the Bible Belt and everyone either knows your business or is trying to find it out.   Even my ID said not to tell anyone due to the way people react and run there mouths.  I couldn't do what you did, tho I wish I could.

I wish the anxiety would go away and I could feel at peace, for a little while at least.  Thanks for letting me vent and for your support.

   

Offline chm02

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Re: Anxiety when seeing or hearing the letters H. I. V.
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2008, 03:55:13 AM »
Hi ga-
It wasn't clear in your posts- are you seeing a social worker, therapist, or counselor?
I bet even in your neck of the woods, there are professionals who have had experience with hiv. You should put yourself in touch with them, talk with them. It would help you to not feel so much like you're the only one.
good luck
 :)

Offline ga1964

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Re: Anxiety when seeing or hearing the letters H. I. V.
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2008, 11:41:00 AM »
Hi GA-
It wasn't clear in your posts- are you seeing a social worker, therapist, or counselor?
I bet even in your neck of the woods, there are professionals who have had experience with hiv. You should put yourself in touch with them, talk with them. It would help you to not feel so much like you're the only one.
good luck
 :)

No I'm not seeing a social worker, therapist, or counselor.  I have asked my ID if there were anyone in my area that counsels people with HIV and he didn't know of anyone and told me about this site.  People on this site have been kind and helpfull, but it would be nice to sit down and talk to someone face to face.  I know there are other people with HIV here that my ID also treats.  I gave him permission to give my name and contact info to some of his other patients, but never heard from anyone.  When you live in a small town in So. Ga. nobody wants anyone else to know they are HIV+.  This town is so close minded that you can get fired from your job just for being gay, god forbid they find out your HIV+.  (The hell of living in the buckle of the Bible Belt.) 

Offline denb45

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Re: Anxiety when seeing or hearing the letters H. I. V.
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2008, 12:23:33 PM »
Thanks for the words of encouragement.   

I don't remember being too sensitive when I was first diagnosed, Don't get me wrong, after I was told I cried with my Mother in the room for what seemed like forever, but after that I don't remember feeling like I needed to get out of the room like I do now.  I thought I had dealt with those feeling and they were gone.  I remember seeing the commercials before  my diagnosis and it did not affect me, of course I did not know I had contracted HIV either, I assumed that since I had accepted the fact that I was the one at fault for exposing myself to HIV, things would not get to me like they have.

Shark...I have had panic attacks at the pharmacy picking up meds, worried that someone in line might over hear conversations about my medications with the pharmacist or the person checking me out at the pharmacy might say something someone might over hear.  I live in the buckle of the Bible Belt and everyone either knows your business or is trying to find it out.   Even my ID said not to tell anyone due to the way people react and run there mouths.  I couldn't do what you did, tho I wish I could.

I wish the anxiety would go away and I could feel at peace, for a little while at least.  Thanks for letting me vent and for your support.

   

Yeah.........I FEEL YA!   I also live in the Bible Belt even tho Albuquerque is the biggest City in the whole State...........I know the feeling!
every time I look, some bible thumber is always at my door telling me I'm going to HELL................ ???  not to mention the fact that I'm a Gay Male that lives with another man, that's NOT even POZ..........it's more than I can deal with most of the time  :-[
« Last Edit: April 27, 2008, 12:28:58 PM by denb45 »
"it's so nice to be insane, cause no-one ask you to explain" Helen Reddy cc 1974

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Anxiety when seeing or hearing the letters H. I. V.
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2008, 08:46:38 AM »
Dear GA,

I agree that it would be helpful to you to be able to talk with a professional who has understanding and awareness about HIV and related issues. How far away are you from Atlanta or any other city of significant size where there are AIDS service organizations? I'm wondering if it would be possible to get connected with one. Even an occasional phone session with a counselor or other professional could be helpful. You might also ask your doctor for suggestions.

When you mention your reaction to seeing something about HIV on tv or other similar situations, it tells me that it would be good for you to be able to express those thoughts and feelings instead of holding on to them in isolation and maybe shame and fear. You might think of keeping a private journal, one only for your own use in which you can any old way just write down your thoughts. It's only for yourself so you don't have to be concerned about how what you express comes out. Just a suggestion...

You're not "losing it." You're just dealing with a challenging situation that you have a lot of feelings about. Which is absolutely natural.

I'm glad you can talk about it here.

Cheers,
Andy Velez

Offline ga1964

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Re: Anxiety when seeing or hearing the letters H. I. V.
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2008, 11:42:10 PM »
Thanks Andy,

I'm about 4hrs from Atl.  Even tho the city where I live has just gained Metropolitan status, the closest thing that I have to a ASO is my ID.  I guess the closest Metropolitan city to me that might have an ASO is Jax. Fl. which is about 2hrs. a way.  Being able to write here helps with all the positive support from everyone, but there are times that I really like to talk to someone face to face that could understand the crap that goes through my head.

Offline thunter34

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Re: Anxiety when seeing or hearing the letters H. I. V.
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2008, 07:08:18 AM »
I was majorly tweaked about the HIV thing at the very first...and in a way that is similar to what you describe.  Heck...if you just do a search on the phrase "virus protection" here, you can get hits where I described this very same sort of panic.   

But my anxieties started diminishing once (1.) I started getting treatment, and (2.) I chose to actively embrace it. 

I came to recognize that, just as there wasn't any damn good reason for people to look down on me for being gay, there was no acceptable reason for them to do so over the HIV.  So I decided to wear it like a badge of honor.  I wear all my scarlet letters defiantly against people who have no real right to throw them on me in the first place.  And ya know:  lots of wonderful, beautiful, talented and loving people have gone down to this disease in days gone by.  If the AIDS label was good enough for them, it's good enough for me.

AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline Torey

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Re: Anxiety when seeing or hearing the letters H. I. V.
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2008, 06:46:58 AM »
I, too, experience this presently.  :'(

I cringe whenever I hear it spoken by someone that I know...maybe it's a bit like shock.  I'm unsure.  I have been only recently diagnosed, so I suppose I'm still going through the motions.  I am always unsure whether to actively embrace it or to put it out of my mind, ya know? 
Seroconversion 2006 (?)
Jan 08 - CD4 409 (28.5%)  VL-10,000
May 09 - CD4 297 (19.2%) VL-92,000
October 09 - CD4 244 (15.2%) VL-116,000
December 09 - CD4 239 (13.5%) VL-142,000
(No Meds)

Offline BT65

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Re: Anxiety when seeing or hearing the letters H. I. V.
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2008, 07:15:07 AM »
I, too, experience this presently.  :'(

I cringe whenever I hear it spoken by someone that I know...maybe it's a bit like shock.  I'm unsure.  I have been only recently diagnosed, so I suppose I'm still going through the motions.  I am always unsure whether to actively embrace it or to put it out of my mind, ya know? 

Torey, as you've read, what you're going through is perfectly normal.  In time, you'll adjust.  However, if it's giving you extreme difficulties, I suggest a good therapist who deals with people with HIV.  You might also contact your ASO (Aids Service Organization) to see if there are any support groups you could attend to help you get used to your diagnosis without cringing.
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline ga1964

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Re: Anxiety when seeing or hearing the letters H. I. V.
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2008, 01:09:59 PM »
Torey,  I'm not sure where you live, but I hope you have access to a therapist.  Due to the small town that I live in there are not anyone that I go to for help coping.  The people here have helped, but I would really like to have a therapist to talk to.  Sometimes I don't even want to leave the house.  I have second thoughts and panic about hugging my nieces and nephews.  I know that I can't infect them just from a hug, but I still freak out a little when I see them.  Hopefully you can get help to control your anxiety.

Take care.

Offline bearby

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Re: Anxiety when seeing or hearing the letters H. I. V.
« Reply #15 on: May 07, 2008, 07:21:07 PM »
Well all these  replies have their own insight in their own right  but (  now the other shoe falls ) I know what you are feeling first hand .
 I just today after having t go thru a court ordered refferal for  dui class had to admit it to the interviewer that I have AIDS .
 Now for as long as I have known that I was poz just uttering those three little letters made my skin crawl  :(.
 Altho when I got home I talked to my partner about the state of mind I was in and he did his usual walk over to me making m stand up and grabbed me and gave me a big ol dad bear hug and said " baby I knew that you would  be able to come to terms with your health status but I had to allow you to take the term and make it yours "
  Now of  course I was puzzled at his statement but then I came to the realization that i had used it for the second time within 2 hours and the second time it did not hurt nearly as much to hear it come out of my lips .
 Now here I am saying it ( OK putting it out in print ) and have not felt any thing but relief for being able  to come to terms with the use of it therefore I am empowering myself  not to be afraid to use it out loud and that just  makes things all the better since I have come thus far in my 48 years to know that hey just cuz I have aids I am not living out my death sentence  :D.
 I instead choose to live my life to it's fullest with the intent of returning back to the world of the working grunts once my unemployment  plays out but until then I am watching my health like a hawk and enjoying the time that I have left on this mortal plain .
Have you preformed your random act of kindness today ?

Offline ga1964

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Re: Anxiety when seeing or hearing the letters H. I. V.
« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2008, 01:44:56 AM »
Well all these  replies have their own insight in their own right  but (  now the other shoe falls ) I know what you are feeling first hand .
 I just today after having t go thru a court ordered refferal for  dui class had to admit it to the interviewer that I have AIDS .

I can't understand why that would be relevant for a DUI class, but if it had been me, I don't know if I could have told them.  I freak out when I have to admit it to a new doctor. 

I know several nurses, on both a personal and professional level, and I worry about them finding out.  I have had several bad experiences with people that I thought were my friends, some that I cared about like family, and to see them turn their backs and walk out of my life, turning their emotions off like a light switch. 

Even though my parents know, I don't feel comfortable talking about it, but I do keep them informed because I know they care.  I keep feeling guilt, because I'm the one who is responsible for bringing this into their lives.  I don't have the courage to tell my brothers and sisters, not because I fear that they will shun me, but because that would mean having to admitting to them that I f*cked up and was not faithful to my partner.  And through out all of this, he has stayed with me and has never left my side.  He gives me hugs even when I don't realize that I needed one.

I know how thankfull I should be for how well he has handled all this, and I am, but I can't help that there is a part of me that wants him to yell at me and tell me what a f*cking ass I was to put us in this situation.  I don't deserve to have someone like him.

Sorry, I went off in another tangent,  but thanks for the input.   

Offline Central79

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Re: Anxiety when seeing or hearing the letters H. I. V.
« Reply #17 on: May 10, 2008, 05:38:19 AM »
I was just the same in the first year of my diagnosis - I could pick the letters H, I and V out of a sign or paragraph of text and would see it everywhere. All of a sudden I noticed an estate agent in London called HAART. Fuck did I hate them!

Now I tend to forget I'm poz for periods of time. It's better, but can it can sometimes be a bit of a shock when I suddenly see a news story or if it gets mentioned when I'm studying on the wards: "... of course, HIV+ patients always have a low-grade fever that we can never really eradicate". Incorrect but a reminder. And once I almost broke down having to tell an occupational health nurse because I hadn't thought about it before going in and there was this wave of grief that just caught me by surprise as I said it.

So it changes and develops and has gotten better for me. Hope it does for you too. Please stop beating yourself up over the mistakes you've made. It's not the best place to look after yourself from. Everybody screws up and you were still unlucky to catch HIV and you deserve sympathy and love.

M.
Diagnosed January 2006
26/1/06 - 860 (22%), VL > 500,000
24/4/06 - 820 (24.6%), VL 158,000
13/7/06 - 840 (22%), VL 268,000
1/11/06 - 680 (21%), VL 93,100
29/1/07 - 1,020 (27.5%), VL 46,500
15/5/07 - 1,140 (22.8%), VL not done.
13/10/07 - 759 (23.2%), VL 170,000
6/11/07 - 630 (25%), VL 19,324
14/1/08 - 650 (21%), VL 16,192
15/4/08 - 590 (21%), VL 40, 832

Offline ga1964

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Re: Anxiety when seeing or hearing the letters H. I. V.
« Reply #18 on: May 22, 2008, 01:29:07 AM »

So it changes and develops and has gotten better for me. Hope it does for you too. Please stop beating yourself up over the mistakes you've made. It's not the best place to look after yourself from. Everybody screws up and you were still unlucky to catch HIV and you deserve sympathy and love.

M.

Thanks Matt for the kind words and advice. 

I hope this will get easier soon.  I have good days and bad days and the emotional roller coaster is testing my will.  I can have a day start off good and half way through, I crash emotionally.  I get to the point of giving up and I feel like whats the use continuing the fight.  I can no longer afford to LIVE life and feel like I'm just existing till this disease takes its final toll.  I thought I had my life planned out, work hard so I could enjoy life in my latter years.  Now my savings are gone, my credit is being destroyed, I don't know if I am going to loose my house and my business.  I want this to be over so badly at times I want to scream.  I don't know how the long term survivors have kept up the will to live when everything you have worked for your whole life is disappearing before your eyes just to cover the expenses associated with HIV.

Thanks for listening...It helps.

 

Offline BT65

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Re: Anxiety when seeing or hearing the letters H. I. V.
« Reply #19 on: May 22, 2008, 07:55:53 AM »
I don't know how the long term survivors have kept up the will to live when everything you have worked for your whole life is disappearing before your eyes just to cover the expenses associated with HIV.

Well, I think what it came down to for me (in the choice to take the early meds) was that I was watching everyone around me dropping like flies and I didn't want to be one of them. Outside of that, I consider myself one lucky person, because I didn't do a whole lot different than my friends who were dying. 

Oh, and I learned how to deal with the system without them fucking me over too bad. 
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline bear60

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Re: Anxiety when seeing or hearing the letters H. I. V.
« Reply #20 on: May 22, 2008, 09:15:53 AM »
Well, I think what it came down to for me (in the choice to take the early meds) was that I was watching everyone around me dropping like flies and I didn't want to be one of them. Outside of that, I consider myself one lucky person, because I didn't do a whole lot different than my friends who were dying. 

Oh, and I learned how to deal with the system without them fucking me over too bad. 
.......................................
Thats about it in a nutshell.
Except for me.....I am so fiercely independent....I dont deal with the system.  I hide from it at every opportunity.  Kurt on the other hand, got on disability as soon as his CD4 count dropped to 200. So we all have our ways of "dealing" with it.
Poz Bear Type in Philadelphia

Offline AlanBama

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Re: Anxiety when seeing or hearing the letters H. I. V.
« Reply #21 on: July 01, 2008, 09:21:05 PM »
honey,

your anxiety over the letters H.I.V. is perfectly normal....when it was all "new" to me, I felt the same way.....so imagine my dismay when I had to shift from that 'label' to AIDS....(they dubbed it "full blown AIDS" in that era).

I also live in a small southern town, so I do understand where you're coming from.    Don't be so hard on yourself, it's just an acronym.   It doesn't define who you are.

hugs,  Alan
"Remember my sentimental friend that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others." - The Wizard of Oz

Offline ga1964

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Re: Anxiety when seeing or hearing the letters H. I. V.
« Reply #22 on: July 02, 2008, 02:27:22 PM »
Thanks Alan,

When I was diagnosed my CD4s were 191 and they informed me that not only did I have HIV, but I also had AIDS.  Its hard enough telling doctors about my HIV status that I haven't even thought to tell them that I have AIDS.  I guess I have assumed that they would already have that info, but then again they still ask if I'm HIV+ ?  I just enrolled in a program that will pay for my insurance, but will have to change IDs.  I'm not really looking forward to that ( I have just recently become comfortable talking to my current ID. ), but I guess I will get past it soon enough.  I also hope that he is as experienced as my current ID.   

Offline northernguy

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Re: Anxiety when seeing or hearing the letters H. I. V.
« Reply #23 on: July 08, 2008, 02:43:41 AM »
I feel the same way.  I couldn't watch the movie The Constant Gardener, because of the HIV theme.  And I squirm when I hear it in a movie, or someone mentions it in conversation.
Apr 28/06 cd4 600 vl 10,600 cd% 25
Nov 8/09 cd4 510 vl 49,5000 cd% 16
Jan 16/10 cd4 660 vl 54,309 cd% 16
Feb 17/10 Started Atripla
Mar 7/10 cd4 710 vl 1,076 cd% 21
Apr 18/10 cd4 920 vl 268 cd% 28
Jun 19/10 cd4 450 vl 60 cd% 25
Aug 15/10 cd4 680 vl 205 cd% 27
Apr 3/11 cd4 780 vl <40 cd% 30
Jul 17/11 cd4 960 vl <40 cd%33
April 15/12 cd4 1,010 vl <40 cd% 39
April 20/12 Switched to Viramune + Truvada
Aug 2/12 cd4 1040, vl <40, cd% 38
Oct 19 cd4 1,110 vl <40 cd% 41

Offline tooltimer

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Re: Anxiety when seeing or hearing the letters H. I. V.
« Reply #24 on: July 26, 2008, 05:06:46 PM »
ga1964,

You have a long path ahead of you to travel. I had one sexual bi curious experience back in the 1990's. The guy said he had been tested and he said he was HIV-.  In 1997, I was having back surgery. As a precaution, the doctor did a routine HIV test because it was something some doctors do. I found out my t-cells were 166. I had no idea what so ever that I could be HIV+.  Initially, I freaked out. I had panic attacks. I could hardly wait the 5 days to have my first appointment to see an ID doctor. Besides prescribing the HIV drugs, he asked if I had any questions. I asked "What can I do to stay as healthy as possible, such as a healthy diet, etc." His comment was "You're dying so just eat anything you would normally eat."  I thought I must have misunderstood him, so I repeated the question and he gave me the same answer. I went home and spent the next several weeks searching the internet for medical advice. I learned there is way too much information to try to know it all. The first thing I did was to find a new ID doctor.  Luckily I found a wonderful doctor in a small town medical clinic.  I've had AIDS for 10 years now. there is not a day that goes by that I don't stop for a second and ask myself why I am still alive. I lived in West Palm Beach for 4 years. I had access to the HIV Health Clinic, I saw a counselor that called himself a Psychotherapist, and I attended HIV+ support groups. After living there 4 years, I just had to get away from the big city and traffic. So I moved to a small town about 75 miles north of St. Pete, FL.  I fell back into the same anti HIV environment I started in 10 years earlier.

But, I had one big revelation.  I was no longer exposed to support groups where a majority of the people whined and talked about their problems but never did anything to make it better.  The psychotherapist was a closeted married person who had not a clue what I was going through.  He just wanted me to teach him how to go on the internet and find gay porn sites.  So, my revelation was that I was a much happier person when I told myself I was probably not going to die tomorrow. I take my HIV med each day. I am as healthy as I was before I ever knew I was HIV+ 10 years ago and I now spend most of my time living what I call a normal life.  I socialize with my neighbors. Of course in FL, most are 80 years old, but they seem to be very nice. I help them with small chores and they do nice things to reciprocate. They've all figured out I am gay because I have a good friend that spends a couple weekends per month at my house.  None of them have a problem with the 'gay thing'. It's never been discussed, but it's just assumed and they all go out of their way to be friendly to me. I have an Evangelical minister that lives across the street. I recent found out that two of the families on this small deadend have sons that are HIV+. So what I have learned in the past ten year journey is that there are so many people all around us that are HIV+. We're all living in fear that someone else will know. I could tell you horror stories about medical treatments in hospitals about friends that are HIV+.  The knowledge of knowing that you are not alone is unbelievable. My solution was to setup all of my doctors in a county that is 50 miles from home.  Since I typically see a doctor every three months for a check up, it's worth the drive to know I am going to a doctor's office that is gay/HIV friendly.  The hospital there is also wonderful.

So, take a big breath, realize this disease has a stigma that goes with it, big otherwise it is no different than having diabetes or high blood pressure. If you take your medicines and they work, then just relax. Any other stress you are having is only being magnified because you are doing it to yourself. Create your own support group. It only takes 3 or 4 HIV+ people to do that.  Pick people that are positive and fun to be with.  Make the group a social outlet. Get out in public, go bowling, or out to dinner or a picnic.  Trust me, a social HIV support is much better than a group that meets every week, where you all sit around in a circle in a room and talk about all your problems. I did this for four years before I realized I felt better before the support group than after sitting there for two hours hearing all of these negative comments.

Maybe we live in the bible belt, but I guarantee you that the rate of HIV infection in their families is no different. You are quite lucky that you have a partner that knows you are POZ and also your Mom.  At least you have two people to talk to.

And last of all, there are free HIV retreats throughout the country. You spend a long weekend with people who are HIV + or are family or friends or volunteers that donate their time to offer counseling, accupuncture, massage, yoga, etc. I attend a retreat in north central Florida every year. It is open to anyone. You do not have to be a resident of FL. I'd be glad to share the information if you are interested.

I hope this helps you to calm your stress and overcome some of the fear.

Take care,
Don

Offline megasept

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Re: Anxiety when seeing or hearing the letters H. I. V.
« Reply #25 on: August 02, 2008, 05:29:46 PM »
I am dyslexic. I read backwards, mirror image, turned, just as well as forwards.  >:(

I never fail to notice (not CRINGE exactly): "IV, Rite-Aid, Rolaid, VH1, AID, Aides, Aid, Hart," etc.

After 17 years POZ stigma still bugs me more than our "bug". Some gay men attempt to escape the stigma of homosexuality by pointing out they are "clean". I heard a rap lyric, "You've got HIV dick", yesterday. Societal angst. No place, work site, lines, family gatherings, advertising, allows me total escape. I advocate 1) growing new layers of thick skin and 2) speaking up from time to time. If you are entirely "closeted" 2) is scary or impossible.
 
 8)  -megasept


Offline ga1964

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Re: Anxiety when seeing or hearing the letters H. I. V.
« Reply #26 on: August 19, 2008, 03:12:10 PM »
Thanks Don,

I would be very interested in going to one of the camps you suggested.  I live just North of the Ga./Fl. state line on I-75, so the one you were talking about in No. Central Fl. would be close enough for me to be able to attend.  I you can leave me some info on how to get in contact for the next retreat I would surely appreciate it.  I am now seeing a therapist ( 2 visits so far ) and hope that it will help me deal with my issues.  The visits so far has been discussing my past leading up to finding out my status. 

BTW...Do you have a sister named Larissa?

Offline kitchen midden

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Re: Anxiety when seeing or hearing the letters H. I. V.
« Reply #27 on: September 04, 2008, 08:29:32 PM »
It is for this reason that I have trouble reading this forum or going to HIV support groups or doing HIV activism. I know I need to be part of some kind of community of people living with HIV/AIDS, but sometimes I read people's posts, and all the really unpleasant, painful things that they're going through, and I can't help but think, "that could be me." That, combined with all the kooky misinformation out there, sort of puts me into this scared/avoidance state. Ugh.

Offline weasel

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Re: Anxiety when seeing or hearing the letters H. I. V.
« Reply #28 on: September 06, 2008, 09:34:25 AM »
INERESTING TOPIC !
 I pesonally do not care if neighbors know I am GAY !
 BUT if they were to know about  "it" ?
oh my , southern Missouri is a backwords place .

our support group is a happy group !
 no complaining !

   I have big issues with in-laws !
 they refuse to except their brother and I have been happy for 28 years !
He is NEGATIVE  and they are jelous of our relationship !

    I trust  medical professoanls  compleatly ! EXCEPT  my sisters-in-law , that are  in the medical
profession , because they put church in front of health !

     I have found the health department to have a wonderful councilor !
  POPLAR BLUFF , MO. is backwords , but there is freindly  help !

  good luck   to gal , it gets better !
 but i think  there is always a moment of crenge for all of us .

                                                   hope you find peace !
                                                                                   karl

                               
" Live and let Live "

 


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