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Author Topic: friends and Aids?  (Read 6927 times)

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Offline RWR

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  • Posts: 124
  • Nothing changes unless you change something
friends and Aids?
« on: April 26, 2008, 08:54:09 PM »
I have someone i have known almost 4 years my numbers are worse than his.  When i get down or need to talk He does not want to talk about it.  I like to stay up and positive but once in awhile i get scared.  What do You all think?  he is wonderful in every other way.
Hiv+ 1986
Isentress
Truvada

Bobby

Offline chm02

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  • Posts: 145
    • id est
Re: friends and Aids?
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2008, 02:29:05 AM »
Hi RWR,
I just read your post, and although i am not exactly sure of the question, I'll take a stab at an answer by saying that if this guy doesn't like to talk about it, then he doesn't like to talk about it. Maybe he is also scared, or in denial or whatever, but only he-and not you-can change that behavior in himself.

Does it put a limitation of your friendship? I would say yes, it does. If a friend-especially a poz friend- can't or doesn't want to be understanding and supportive of you when this disease gets you down, then that is a real limitation. Whether that limitation is acceptable to you or not is totally your call. You could certainly enjoy your friendship with this guy while also knowing that he is not one to count on to be a sympathetic ear when it comes to HIV problems.
In *my* book though, that kind of support is at the heart of a real friendship.

Best,
Mark

Offline BT65

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Re: friends and Aids?
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2008, 09:18:45 AM »
RWR, if this friend is someone you enjoy being around, then you don't need to stop the friendship.  You'd just have to look elsewhere for support when it comes to you dealing with your HIV situation. 
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline RWR

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  • Nothing changes unless you change something
Re: friends and Aids?
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2008, 01:54:46 PM »
Thanks You all i will keep things that bother me or make me scared for this and other hiv sites and keep my happy face on for everyone in person.  Thanks
Hiv+ 1986
Isentress
Truvada

Bobby

Offline BT65

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Re: friends and Aids?
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2008, 09:44:49 PM »
RWR, believe me, it's a problem I face as well.  At the support group at the ASO in my town, I'm the longest-term survivor in there. Sometimes I can talk about things, and the others have no clue what I'm talking about.  These boards are a wonderful, irreplaceable form of support for me.
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline ARMANDO

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  • Posts: 251
Re: friends and Aids?
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2008, 08:49:12 PM »
i recently quit a support group because i didn't want to hear the sad sorry desperate stories that everyone felt compelled to share.i have been living with hiv  close to 20 yrs now and it has been a strugle,i've had shingles twice,bells palsey ,pcp,pancreatitus and i've survived them all.I DID IT ALL ON MY OWN WITH NO HELP OR SUPPORT OF FRIENDS OR FAMILY .

Offline ga1964

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Re: friends and Aids?
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2008, 02:21:06 AM »
Thanks You all i will keep things that bother me or make me scared for this and other hiv sites and keep my happy face on for everyone in person.  Thanks

Hey RWR,

I feel your pain man.  I have not told my oldest and best friend.  I would like to tell him, but in the past when I have tried, he usually switches things to his problems and I end up counseling him.  I have a hard time talking to my partner, because of the guilt I have for bringing this into our relationship.  When I talk to my parents, I feel like I should be ashamed for getting this disease.  Its not that they try to make me feel that way, its more because I have to face them knowing that they know I was the one that strayed outside my relationship and brought this into all our lives. 

At work I put on a happy face to my clients so they don't know when I'm feeling down, but some of them have been long standing clients and know me well enough to know when I'm not feeling so great.  ( I guess all the years of working in a customer service industry, I have learned how to put on a good poker face ;D, or maybe not.  :'()  There are days that I mentally shut down just going through the motions to get through the day.  I have one client that has a brother that is HIV+ and I know she would be understanding, but I can't bring myself to tell her.

I really hope that your friend can learn how to talk about it with you, but he might not be able to.  If you like having him in your life, keep him as a friend, but know that you may have to find support elsewhere.  He might be struggling also and does not know where to turn for answers either.

Best of luck.

Offline lilguru

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Re: friends and Aids?
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2008, 12:38:50 PM »
I wonder why it is difficult for me [us] to disclose our hiv status to friends.  I have some great friends (for about 3 years now) and I am so afraid to tell them that I have hiv.  I have chronic diarrhea that makes it difficult at times when I am at dinner with them.  I even travel by car long distances with them, but I am afraid to talk about my status.  For all I know, some of them could be positive as well, but I find it strange that I am so afraid.
September 1987 - HIV+

Offline leatherman

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Re: friends and Aids?
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2008, 11:12:14 PM »
i recently quit a support group because i didn't want to hear the sad sorry desperate stories that everyone felt compelled to share.

that's one of the biggest reason I quit after one meeting. My story is even worse than the ones I was hearing so I knew that wouldn't be much help to me.  ;)

I wonder why it is difficult for me [us] to disclose our hiv status to friends.

think of it as having the "luxury" of being able to choose when, where and who to tell. If your partner dies, everyone will know (or assume) that you have it too. When you end up in a hospital nearly dying with an OI, most everyone you know will find out that you're sick and what you're sick with.  For some of us, there never was a chance to "not" disclose to those around us.

I'm a firm believer that if you have good friends, then you should have the faith to tell them. If they are truly good friends, they'll be concerned and want only the best for you. Otherwise, if they freak out or quit being your friend, then they've weren't really such "good" friends anyway, were they?

Then again disclosure is a tricky issue with whomever you're telling. Personally, I feel that not disclosing means that you (well, not you personally ;)) think some stigma is attached to this illness. Doesn't that only continue the stigma? If I had had cancer I would have told my friends and family; so of course, I told them about my hiv. However, I will admit that there is still stigma attached to having hiv, therefore, I'll say again that it's a tricky issue.  ;)

I have someone i have known almost 4 years my numbers are worse than his.  When i get down or need to talk He does not want to talk about it.

I wouldn't take offense at his not wanting to talk. It could be that he's in denial, or he could be too scared to talk about it, or it could just have become such a part of his life that he doesn't feel the need to discuss it much. I don't talk about my hiv/aids too much except to mention in passing to my friends whether my numbers are up or down. True, my friends are all straight and none of hiv+, so they have no clue what my life is really like to discuss my problems with me; but I also don't talk about it much because I've been living with it, and adapting to life with it, for over 16 yrs. My friends don't discuss their high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart problems that they've lived with for yrs, and I don't talk about my hiv.

Not all of my close friends are able to help me with all my problems either (and I talk to my friends about ALL of my problems - you never know who might have a solution). Some help me with some situations; and other friends help out in different situations. Maybe this friend isn't able to help you with this problem. Perhaps you could find a different friend to share you thoughts, worries and fears about hiv.

best wishes and good health!
mikie
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline tooltimer

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  • Posts: 14
Re: friends and Aids?
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2008, 05:42:21 PM »
It's so difficult who to tell. My best friend found out he was HIV+ back in 1992.  He lived in San Francisco at the time and his parents lived in the midwest.  He told his parents he was gay and also that he was HIV+.  They totally disowned him. Several years later he contacted his parents again. He informed them he had cancer. He wanted  to say his last good-bye to them. He was told he had less than 3 months to live if he did nothing. If he did chemotherapy he may live 1 to 3 years. He chose the chemotherapy.  When he told his parents they disowned him. But, when he said he had cancer, his parent's response was, "Please come home. We will take care of you while you're sick. As long as we can say you have cancer and not AIDS, we can lie to friends and family and not have to go through the stigma of having a gay HIV+ son." I have heard similar stories from other HIV+ friends.  I'd like to blame the parents for not stepping up to the plate. It is their son and he is sick. And I do think the parents were insensitive, especially since the father was a minister. But, I also feel our society has created the stigma and people become a product of that society. It takes more than education to get rid of the stigma. It takes having a direct one-on-one experience with someone you know.  Hopefully, if friends or family know you and like you as the person you are, they will see you as that same person,when they find out you are HIV+.

Offline Graywolf

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  • Posts: 47
Re: friends and Aids?
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2008, 07:49:18 PM »
He told his parents he was gay and also that he was HIV+.  They totally disowned him. Several years later he contacted his parents again. He informed them he had cancer. He wanted  to say his last good-bye to them. He was told he had less than 3 months to live if he did nothing. If he did chemotherapy he may live 1 to 3 years. He chose the chemotherapy.  When he told his parents they disowned him. But, when he said he had cancer, his parent's response was, "Please come home. We will take care of you while you're sick. As long as we can say you have cancer and not AIDS, we can lie to friends and family and not have to go through the stigma of having a gay HIV+ son." I have heard similar stories from other HIV+ friends.

This happend in my family, when I told my mother and sister I was HIV+ they attacked me, timing could not have been worse as my sister had just been diagnosed with lymphoma, which I was not told about. Dis-ease was a deep dark shameful secret in my Khristian family. I did receive blood transfusions in 1982 when I was hospitalized with blood poisoning from a knife cut, so after a while my mom and sis tried to be supportive begging me that if any of the relatives (a bunch of ignorant beer swilling rednecks) found out that i got it from a blood transfusion. I hate having to lie but to keep the family happy went along and felt like crap.

Something similar happend when I was with my late partner, His family took me in like family and knew all a
bout the HIV and knew we never did anything remotely unsafe. his gay friends were all very judgmental always trying to get him to dump me because of the hiv plus none of them would have wanted to sleep with me anyway and their reaction to me angered him a lot. He wound up with metastatic kidney cancer and I wound up taking care of him alongside his family for the last 18 months he was sick. When he died he weighed all of 80 pounds at at the wake and funeral his gay friends came up and hissed in my face, his family and you are lieing, we know you gave him aids and hope you rot in hell. We always told him you were a no good piece of shit. his family heard what they said and went apeshit, at them not me.

The only thing almost as bad as living with the pain of HIV is the stigma I have faced
"If we don't learn to live as brothers, we will perish as fools" - Dr martin Luther King Jr

Offline Joe K

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Re: friends and Aids?
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2008, 11:42:42 AM »
When I look to friends for support, I try and remember what capabilities, my friend, may have, to provide that support.  Just as we all differ, in how we approach our infection, others differ in their abilities to provide love and support.  I have some friends, who, even though they know I am poz, we do not talk about it much, because they just cannot.  They are dear friends and being that, I know that they support me, in their own way.  That is why I believe we must search for the support we need and sometimes you will face the prospect, of someone letting you down, but for me, that is simply part of life.

I can also identify with the support group issue.  I have moderated or attended, dozens of groups over the years and each group has a focus.  So if you feel a support group will help, you need to try any of them that sound of interest to you.  When I lived in Florida, we had about 8 different groups, each targeted to different segments of the HIV community.  And with that targeting, there seemed to develop, a "personality", for each group.  We had one group, comprised of LTSers, that was depressing beyond compare.  The members were bitter and angry, and try as I might, I could never tolerate the atmosphere.  The negativity was palpable and I felt worse after attending that group.  Other groups, were great, as we had one called "Positive Attitudes", that was for poz gay men and we talked about agreed upon subjects, that involved anything, but no whining or bitching was allowed.  We also did activities like bowling or pool parties, anything social, to focus on the fact that we are still alive and there is a life to be lived.

Sadly, I can also relate to the family issues.  I am an adopted, only child, and my parents were hard-core Roman Catholics.  When I came out, I died in their eyes.  When I became pos, they chose to bury me, in their hearts.  My parents, were in their 40s when they adopted me, at age 5.  My mother was overbearing, clingy and actually believed, that I was damned in the eyes of her God.  My father was always distant, the product of a abusive mother and he would never let me get close.  We had a major split, for almost ten years, when he refused to forgive me, for not wanting to take up golf... insert symbolism here.

My mother died in 1988 and my relationship with my father changed, or at least I thought it had.  My partner at the time, had said the eulogy at my mothers funeral.  I finally thought, my father would be able, to at least tolerate my being gay and having a mate.  Then my father, started dating my mother's best friend, who was also widowed.  Everyone was happy to see them both, find love a second time, and I was even asked to be the best man.  However, when the wedding invitation came, it was just for me.  When I asked why Mark was not invited to the reception, my father told me that it was a "family" affair.  Apparently code for "nobody knows you and Mark are gay".

I discussed this with Mark and we agreed to attend the wedding together, and Kate and I, would then go to the reception.  As much as I hated it, I tried to be there, for my father, but in the end, he trashed me.  When I entered the reception, I was introduced to the brides family and that included, the oldest daughter, who had BROUGHT A DATE, from her high school.  Apparently, her date was considered "family" quality, because they were straight, but Mark, my partner of four year, the man who gave the eulogy for my mother, was not.  At that point, I gathered up Kate and walked out of the reception.  My relationship with my father was gone and remained so, until his death a few years later.

The point is that parents must possess unconditional love, for their children.  You do not get to pick and choose, who your children are, but with the right love and support, most of us did pretty well.  I can understand, that you can become a product of your environment, but some things are timeless, and the most precious of these, is your relationship with your children.  So to me, no matter how bad things get, you never turn away from your own children.  Parents can use whatever excuse, they feel, makes them justified in their actions, yet in the end, they have failed as parents.

I have a daughter, Kate, and it would crush me, to think that she would not come to me, no matter what the issue.  I love her.  Period.  She is my daughter and I have great responsibilities as her father.  Yes I understand how environment can shape us, it certainly did me.  However, rather than judging my child, as my parents did me, I learned from their failings and mistakes.  I learned the value of true love and it is a lesson, that has served me very well. 
« Last Edit: October 23, 2008, 11:44:20 AM by killfoile »

Offline weasel

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Re: friends and Aids?
« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2008, 07:29:55 AM »
My partner of 28 years does NOT discuss  HIV/AIDS   period !

 I use the forums
We go to  the V.A. support group in Saint Louis .

 We go to the group in Poplar Bluff , He comes because it adds  to the volume of the group .

 We have a loving relationship , He will do any thing in his power to make my life better

 BUT refuses to talk HIV .

 I deal with it , most of the time .

 I must add he NEVER  discusses his heart Failure .

 His thought are for  life today , and just do it !

 We have a great life .

 So I have to look somewheres else for HIV talk , oh well .

 Nothing is perfect , and I am not going to dwell on ONE trait ,and over look  a thousand
good ones !

                                                        I just love him  :)

                                                                             Karl
" Live and let Live "

 


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