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Author Topic: You Might BE The Cure for HIV/AIDS STIGMA!  (Read 1357 times)

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Offline Moffie65

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  • Posts: 1,755
  • Living POZ since 1983
You Might BE The Cure for HIV/AIDS STIGMA!
« on: November 10, 2008, 10:48:57 AM »
This is not a new subject, nor a new thread, but I thought it needed to be reposted because of the number of new members who have not read it, nor know the history of the birth of stigma in this society.  For those of you who have read it, a re-read isn't a bad thing and will remind us of our historical references in HIV/AIDS.

Recently, we have seen some posts and discussions about stigma, and disclosure.  Most of these assume that we are powerless to create our own destiny in our trip with this very engrossing bug; HIV. 

You know we always find our answers from those who went before, and in this case, I want to tell you a story about Bobbi Campbell. 

His infection started somewhere around the end of í79 or early í80.  He was the very first face of AIDS, on the cover of Newsweek Magazine no less.  He was very active in making every attempt to spend what short time he had after diagnosis focused on making HIV a priority nationally, and spoke out at every possibility.  He was my idol, and was an activist that I think of often in my HIV work.

I felt I needed to recreate this thread which will hopefully give you who feel cornered in society, some hope and a possibility for action instead of giving up.  What we ALL have to remember, is that we ALLOW stigma; we nurture it every time we hear or witness someone speaking of HIV+ís with malice and grouping us, and slandering us as a whole; and we do and say nothing.  In contrast, HIV+ people run the gamut of society, and I dare any of you heterosexuals single me out as a gay man when I am speaking publicly anywhere.  I almost always treat it as a fact of life to my audiences, and most times many of the people in the audience are a bit surprised because they simply assume I am a straight man who got it from being a Hemophiliac.  Those that know me are amused that anyone would miss the fact that I am a gay man, but many do.  I in turn almost always miss an IDU, simply because I donít know what one looks like.  Why am I going this far with this set up?  Well, we really need to remember that if Stigma is forcing us to stay in the HIV closet, it is simply our responsibility!  Hands down, we own Stigma, we own stratification, and we own everything society gives us.  We are the only ones that can do anything about it!  We are the ones, who are responsible for fixing it, or else nothing will ever happen, they will continue to separate and divide us and still it will get worse, and in the end, maybe they will send us all to Guantanamo Bay just like Ronnie Raygun wanted to do back in the early Ď80ís. 

Thank goodness, Bobbi Campbell gave us an example and a legacy of speaking out, instead of SILENCE! 

In 1983, he and some of his friends; as members of the advisory committee of the People with AIDS, drove from San Francisco to Denver, which was an accomplishment for these dying people.  They crashed a National Health Conference, which was well attended by many from Government.  They forced their way into the auditorium during the Keynote Speaker's address, walked out on the stage, and read the following.  I give it to you again, as it has been languishing in my Word files, and we need it now.

The Denver Principles (1983)
________________________________________
There is no better way to cite the history of the PWA self-empowerment movement than to quote the principles articulated in Denver in 1983. They are as relevant and powerful today as they were then.
 
THE DENVER PRINCIPLES
(Statement from the advisory committee of the People with AIDS)
We condemn attempts to label us as "victims," a term which implies defeat, and we are only occasionally "patients," a term which implies passivity, helplessness, and dependence upon the care of others. We are "People With AIDS."

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ALL PEOPLE

1. Support us in our struggle against those who would fire us from our jobs, evict us from our homes, and refuse to touch us or separate us from our loved ones, our community or our peers, since available evidence does not support the view that AIDS can be spread by casual, social contact.

2. Not scapegoat people with HIV/AIDS, and blame us for the epidemic or generalize about our lifestyles.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PEOPLE WITH HIV/AIDS

1. Form caucuses to choose their own representatives, to deal with the media, to choose their own agenda and to plan their own strategies.

2. Be involved at every level of decision-making and specifically serve on the boards of directors of provider organizations.

3. Be included in all AIDS forums with equal credibility as other participants, to share their own experiences and knowledge.

4. Substitute low-risk sexual behaviors for those which could endanger themselves or their partners; we feel people with AIDS have an ethical responsibility to inform their potential sexual partners of their health status.

RIGHTS OF PEOPLE WITH HIV/AIDS

1. To as full and satisfying sexual and emotional lives as anyone else.

2. To quality medical treatment and quality social service provision without discrimination of any form including sexual orientation, gender, diagnosis, economic status or race.

3. To full explanations of all medical procedures and risks, to choose or refuse their treatment modalities, to refuse to participate in research without jeopardizing their treatment and to make informed decisions about their lives.

4. To privacy, to confidentiality of medical records, to human respect and to choose who their significant others are.

5. To die--and to LIVE--in dignity



When Bobbi was finished reading it, he turned to excuse himself and give it back to the keynote speaker, but was stopped with a standing ovation of five minute duration.  They changed the whole climate of the Health Conference and in turn started a movement to move HIV/AIDS into the mainstream.  We need to help continue that by not hiding and not accepting negativity from anyone.  These principles are not negotiable and we have slept until we are very close to loosing them to apathy.  Letís not allow that to happen!

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 pozniceguy

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  • Niceguy Dallas
Re: You Might BE The Cure for HIV/AIDS STIGMA!
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2008, 12:29:46 PM »
A timely and poignant  reminder Tim...Thank you....

Nick
remember the good times...honor the past but don't live there
Le stelle la notte sono grandie luminose, nel cuore profondo del Texas

Offline BT65

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Re: You Might BE The Cure for HIV/AIDS STIGMA!
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2008, 01:13:43 PM »
Reading this brought tears to my eyes.  Thanks, Daddy Tim.
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline Moffie65

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  • Posts: 1,755
  • Living POZ since 1983
Re: You Might BE The Cure for HIV/AIDS STIGMA!
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2008, 03:55:37 PM »
Nick and Betty, yes, I agree with you.  One of the things as I was reviewing some of my very early posts that really got to me was the fact that we have actually seemed to be going in reverse in this country, and world.  It seems like there is more stigma, and prejudice now than there was in the beginning, but I am sure that is just my perception and not reality.  However, it is still very true that we can and must be bold in refusing to demean ourselves by accepting a position of obscurity in our struggle.

The day after Obama's election, we in Arizona received an invitation to attend a meeting to re-create Ryan White, in which the clients participation is very important.  It seems like he is going to really get on top of our HIV/AIDS crisis, and really change things for us, but our input is mandatory in this new day.   I trust all of the members of this forum who have the time should look for the planning meeting in their states for the new Ryan White and make every attempt to attend.  It will certainly make a difference because one of his major policy statements is the demolishing of HIV/AIDS stigma.  How refreshing!!!!!!!!!!!

For more on the Obama/Biden HIV/AIDS plan for the future, please click here, 
http://www.barackobama.com/pdf/issues/FactSheetAIDS.pdf

Thanks for the comments.
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 anniebc

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  • Posts: 5,937
  • AM member since 2003
Re: You Might BE The Cure for HIV/AIDS STIGMA!
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2008, 04:02:23 PM »
Thanks for that Tim, I have never been a shrinking violet when it comes to HIV and stigma.

Warm hugs
Jan :-*
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Never knock on deaths door..ring the bell and run..he really hates that.

Offline BT65

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  • Vegas baby!
Re: You Might BE The Cure for HIV/AIDS STIGMA!
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2008, 08:58:35 PM »
I forgot to say I remember Bobbi Campbell.  He was the "KS Poster Boy." 

What I find, at least in this area, is that some people don't think anyone with HIV gets sick anymore.  Even some people with HIV believe that.  And a lot of people live wrecklessly believing this. 

I'm calling tomorrow to see if my ASO knows anything about revamping Ryan White funding in this state.  Hopefully that will happen soon.  Thanks for the heads-up.
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline Moffie65

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,755
  • Living POZ since 1983
Re: You Might BE The Cure for HIV/AIDS STIGMA!
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2008, 07:56:04 AM »
Jan, I know for sure you are a stand out key to HIV/AIDS knowledge in New Zealand, and this kind of history even helps you guys on the other side of the pond, especially since Bobbi was a world image for HIV/AIDS.

Betty, This is the correct time for the new Ryan White because the last time the current president changed the timing from five years to three, and this is the first three year change since then.  It just happens to coincide with the new administration.  All in all, a stroke of good luck, however Obama is seemingly jumping on this with both feet.  I don't have a bunch of hope that all states are responding to the call, but I can assure you that our voices can certainly force some attention onto this first of the three year Ryan White cycles to come up now.  I also recommend that if you call your ASO and they are in the dark; go ahead and call your state health department, the HIV division would be the one to know the answers.  Also if you are in a large city, then the there will be a difference in the way it is handled, but still the input of the clients is mandated by RW.  Also ask them if the state is paying mileage to travel to the meetings, because they are supposed to.
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

 


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