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Author Topic: HIV in college class.  (Read 5712 times)

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Offline Mouse

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HIV in college class.
« on: February 20, 2009, 08:38:06 PM »
So, I'm taking a literature and sexualities course right now. I love my professor, etc, etc. The class is great.

We're starting Angels In America next week and we watched And The Band Played On to sort of set the scene for the era in which the play was produced. My professor made a sort of sweeping statement to the class, "Well, we need to watch this because YOU guys didn't grow up when all of this was happening like I did so you wouldn't understand."

Which. You know. Kind of upset me. I know many things I don't understand because when I was diagnosed I wasn't told to get my affairs in order or anything, but her assumption that all of her students were a) negative or at least b) blindly ignorant about HIV really bothered me. Especially since she's teaching a course on gay issues.

I love her, don't get me wrong. She is awesome. But I guess this just made me feel uncomfortable. And since I'm not openly HIV+ on campus the class is going to be awkward for me for a little while, I think... (as well as my new boyfriend, who is negative but obviously might feel a bit awkward not being able to say anything about dating someone who is positive when we're going to be turning in writing assignments on HIV and stuff).

Offline skeptik73

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Re: HIV in college class.
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2009, 08:56:24 PM »
Actually, I don't think we (you and I) really do understand, and I actually was alive watching it unfold on the news and in Time magazine.  I had some sense of what was going on, but I was like 10 and very sheltered.  Its really not the same.  I have friends that were six or seven years older who literally watched ALL their friends die.  Our concept of it is just not the same -- we didn't live through it.

She might assume that you're all HIV-, but I wouldn't bet on it, unless you have more evidence than that.

Offline Mouse

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Re: HIV in college class.
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2009, 09:07:11 PM »
Actually, I don't think we (you and I) really do understand, and I actually was alive watching it unfold on the news and in Time magazine.  I had some sense of what was going on, but I was like 10 and very sheltered.  Its really not the same.  I have friends that were six or seven years older who literally watched ALL their friends die.  Our concept of it is just not the same -- we didn't live through it.

She might assume that you're all HIV-, but I wouldn't bet on it, unless you have more evidence than that.


She told the class that we needed to watch it to understand AIDS and the effects it has on the gay community. And I was like. Um.

It's not the not understanding of the time period that I'm contesting. I was born in 1990. Of course I don't. But her implication that we don't understand HIV, etc, really bothered me.

Offline mecch

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Re: HIV in college class.
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2009, 09:08:08 PM »
"Well, we need to watch this because YOU guys didn't grow up when all of this was happening like I did so you wouldn't understand."

what is the name of the class - the topic of the course??

If I were in your shoes I would feel put off by her self-centered statement.  Is she teaching about her experience, or about some historical moment?  Her remark is clumsy but if you like her and shes generally a good teacher just let it pass.

However the other and real issue is that yes indeed it must be uncomfortable to be in a gay studies course in college, and be HIV+, and not have people know. You must remember your good reason's for being discrete and just stick to them and deal with the assumption that everyone must be HIV-. So there will be more uncomfortable moments.  

There's aways the "one of my friends is" tactic but hey people arent stupid
or "well, we seem to assume that everyone on campus is HIV-, but that might be the case" but hey you'd still be attracting attention to yourself and it would be uncomfortable.

Take heart that this happens to all different kinds of people for all different reasons.  When we are personally implicated in a topic that is being treated in class.  So, I guess you just have to deal with it.

Enjoy the class.

And share with us your thoughts on those two movies - I'd like to hear them!
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline mecch

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Re: HIV in college class.
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2009, 09:12:17 PM »
Well, another option is to visit her in her office hours and tell her how it made you feel. And you could be really sophisticated about it and keep it impersonal, using that "well you seem to assume that everyone is negative but that may not be the case" if you dont want to reveal your status personally. She'll get the point and maybe also you two can have an interesting convesation about that very generational difference - afterall, thats what she and the topic are there for. Also, rember, teachers learn from students. It is NOT a one direction process!
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline LTSurviver

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Re: HIV in college class.
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2009, 11:37:25 PM »
She is addressing a student population who was born during the pre-HAART days and has no idea whatsoever what it was like in the 80s and early 90s to be diagnosed HIV+.  The average age in college is 20.

She is addressing a class that, statistically, has a probablitlity of being 5-10% gay and less than .01-.05% chance that one is positive.

She is addressing the vast majority.  She is not meaning any slight to you.

Sit back and listen, do the work, get your A... and move on with your life.

Offline Mouse

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Re: HIV in college class.
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2009, 01:16:53 AM »
She is addressing a student population who was born during the pre-HAART days and has no idea whatsoever what it was like in the 80s and early 90s to be diagnosed HIV+.  The average age in college is 20.

She is addressing a class that, statistically, has a probablitlity of being 5-10% gay and less than .01-.05% chance that one is positive.

She is addressing the vast majority.  She is not meaning any slight to you.

Sit back and listen, do the work, get your A... and move on with your life.



I know she isn't meaning anything to me personally. She doesn't even know I'm HIV+. But, I feel like in a class that is focusing on sexuality, more care needs to be taken when discussing those issues and making sure not to alienate any students, especially people like me that might feel uncomfortable discussing those issues in class because they have personal interest in them. ESPECIALLY something like HIV.



Or maybe I'm just feeling sensitive because I feel so disconnected with other people my age and this is sort of tightening that feeling. But whatever.

Offline YaKaMein

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Re: HIV in college class.
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2009, 02:07:26 AM »
Mouse,
your feelings are very valid! Here's an idea: simmer with them and follow through with the course.

Put those ideas and feelings in a constructive direction for the class in terms of your performance. You're far more expert at this than anyone else in your class I'm sure. See this like taking a Spanish course when your a native Spanish speaker; you'll excel and be a star with great insight.

After the course, if you wanna befriend her, then do it. In the meantime, try to see it from another's less enlightened perspective and build from there.

Enjoy the exchange of ideas even when they fall short of the mark. You're doing great. A Bf, oh my! :)
09/11 Endocrine Consult
08/11 CD4 328 14.9% VL 0
 Disc'd Bactrim DEXA -3.1 Tscore
03/11 CD4 338 14.7% VL 0
11/10 CD4 300 14.3% VL 0 <20copies
07/10 CD4 336 14.0% VL 0 DEXA -2.7 Tscore
03/10 CD4 308 13.4% VL 0 Vit D normal
01/10 Began FOTO
11/09 CD4 274 13.7% VL 0 Chol 173 Trig 131
07/09 CD4 324 13.5% VL 0 DEXA -3.1 Tscore lumbar
03/09 CD4 207 10.9% VL 0
11/08 CD4 227 10.3% VL 0 Chol 176 Trig 156
04/08 CD4 228 9.5% VL 0
01/08 CD4 194 9.0% VL 0
09/07 CD4 176 8.3% VL 0
03/07 CD4 130 9.5% VL 0 Chol 261  Trig 227
12/06 CD4 109 6.4% VL 0
09/06 CD4  88 5.5% VL und desens'd rtd to Bactrim
08/06  Began Atripla
07/06 CD4  59 5.0% VL 145 Chol 117 Trig 104
06/06  Bactrim rash, X2 Dapsone
 EFV & Truvada Chol 128 Trig 131
05/06 CD4  6 (2.0%) VL 78667 only V179D mutation Dx PC MAC

Offline AndyArrow

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Re: HIV in college class.
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2009, 05:39:23 AM »
I'm working on the assumption that you have gone to at least one caseworker at sometime in your past.

So, without having to lie or go into your personal life, I would mention at some point in class that when you were in high school you visited with a caseworker at a local Aids Service Organization and that gave you a better understanding of the disease.  You might even mention that someone in your extended family is HIV+.  This way you can talk about HIV with more knowledge than a lot of your classmates without everyone knowing your status.  Hopefully, with this knowledge she will be more careful how she phrases things.

I hope this helped ... even if you still shun me for what I read.  :D
AA
It is not the arrival that matters.  It is the journey along the way. -- Michel Montaigne

Offline LTSurviver

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Re: HIV in college class.
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2009, 07:05:22 AM »


I know she isn't meaning anything to me personally. She doesn't even know I'm HIV+. But, I feel like in a class that is focusing on sexuality, more care needs to be taken when discussing those issues and making sure not to alienate any students, especially people like me that might feel uncomfortable discussing those issues in class because they have personal interest in them. ESPECIALLY something like HIV.

Or maybe I'm just feeling sensitive because I feel so disconnected with other people my age and this is sort of tightening that feeling. But whatever.

More care needs to be taken for what?  You cannot possibly know what it was like to be diagnosed in the 80s.  The hysteria, the fear, the ignorance.  Kids being burned out of their homes, people being run out of towns or arrested simply for suspicion of spitting in food.  AIDS was in the news back then about as much as Iraq is now the hysteria was so thick.  And the ignorance, even in the news casts and TV shows was APPALLING.  Hell, I was asked to leave a restaurant and became persona non-grata in the town I was diagnosed in.  It was so bad, I was forced to move and put my status firmly in the closet.

And then there was the fear of death.  The death all around you.  Nothing but total despair and wating to die.  Support groups with weekly funerals.  Hell, of the support groups I attended in the 80s I can't find a single person still alive.

And finally, the guilt of surviving.

Being diagnosed in the 80s was like living through the holocaust without the camps around you. 

Sit back and listen instead of getting all upset.  Sometimes the best way to learn is to put aside all you THINK you know and be objective.

What she said is TRUE.  Poz or neg, gay or straight, someone in their teens or 20s CANNOT understand what it was like back then.

Offline YaKaMein

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Re: HIV in college class.
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2009, 12:49:53 PM »
Being diagnosed in the 80s was like living through the holocaust without the camps around you. 

Sit back and listen instead of getting all upset.  Sometimes the best way to learn is to put aside all you THINK you know and be objective.

What she said is TRUE.  Poz or neg, gay or straight, someone in their teens or 20s CANNOT understand what it was like back then.


And I bet you hardly know what the Holocaust was like either. Mouse is not implying having lived the 80's with AIDS. Empathy is not a substitute for compassion. I'd be uncomfortable and mildly sensitive too in a class setting.  Remember being a teen and in your 20's??

Don't displace YOUR anger onto Mouse, who is, BTW, getting on with a life that includes HIV in the present not the past.
09/11 Endocrine Consult
08/11 CD4 328 14.9% VL 0
 Disc'd Bactrim DEXA -3.1 Tscore
03/11 CD4 338 14.7% VL 0
11/10 CD4 300 14.3% VL 0 <20copies
07/10 CD4 336 14.0% VL 0 DEXA -2.7 Tscore
03/10 CD4 308 13.4% VL 0 Vit D normal
01/10 Began FOTO
11/09 CD4 274 13.7% VL 0 Chol 173 Trig 131
07/09 CD4 324 13.5% VL 0 DEXA -3.1 Tscore lumbar
03/09 CD4 207 10.9% VL 0
11/08 CD4 227 10.3% VL 0 Chol 176 Trig 156
04/08 CD4 228 9.5% VL 0
01/08 CD4 194 9.0% VL 0
09/07 CD4 176 8.3% VL 0
03/07 CD4 130 9.5% VL 0 Chol 261  Trig 227
12/06 CD4 109 6.4% VL 0
09/06 CD4  88 5.5% VL und desens'd rtd to Bactrim
08/06  Began Atripla
07/06 CD4  59 5.0% VL 145 Chol 117 Trig 104
06/06  Bactrim rash, X2 Dapsone
 EFV & Truvada Chol 128 Trig 131
05/06 CD4  6 (2.0%) VL 78667 only V179D mutation Dx PC MAC

Online leatherman

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Re: HIV in college class.
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2009, 01:20:52 PM »
but her assumption that all of her students were a) negative or at least b) blindly ignorant about HIV really bothered me. Especially since she's teaching a course on gay issues.
I think you're probably just being a little too sensitive as this is subject (hiv/aids) is "near" (but not especially "dear") to your heart. That quote from your teacher is almost exactly what a professor of mine said once before showing a film about the Korean war ;). It's good to keep an eye out for misinformation and bad teaching, but don't think that behind every throw-away comment there lies an evil plot. ::) :D

According to stats, your teacher probably is assuming a few things, that have at least a 90% chance of being true:
1) the vast majority of the students are hiv NEG; and 2) a good majority of students are ignorant about hiv/aids. She can even assume, since only 10% of the pop may be gay, 3) that the vast majority of the class is straight and has NO concept of "gay issues". (that's probably why they even have a course like this one, by the way ;))

Being one of the minority, you already have a leg-up in this subject, and as such, sometimes you have to hear information that you may already know, while your under-educated less-informed straight classmates are brought up-to-date on (gay) issues that, quite frankly, aren't part of their lives and don't affect them on a day-to-day basis.
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


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Oh my friends, my friends forgive me
That I live and you are gone.
There's a grief that can't be spoken.
There's a pain goes on and on.
Empty chairs at empty tables
Where my friends will meet no more.

"Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" from Les Miserables

Offline LTSurviver

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Re: HIV in college class.
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2009, 02:06:09 PM »
And I bet you hardly know what the Holocaust was like either. Mouse is not implying having lived the 80's with AIDS. Empathy is not a substitute for compassion. I'd be uncomfortable and mildly sensitive too in a class setting.  Remember being a teen and in your 20's??

Don't displace YOUR anger onto Mouse, who is, BTW, getting on with a life that includes HIV in the present not the past.

 I know what the pre-HARRT AIDS holocaust was like.  He doesn't.  He can't.

No displaced anger here.  Just a reality check.  His being upset over her saying "Well, we need to watch this because YOU guys didn't grow up when all of this was happening like I did so you wouldn't understand." is absurd because she's right. 

Poz or neg, gay or straight it doesn't matter.  He lives in the age of HAART and has no idea what it was like pre-HAART.

And, like I said, she is teaching to the majority.  At least SOMEONE is out there trying to teach the masses about this.

No matter how I look at it I can't find a reason to justify his being upset.  Sorry.

Offline PeteNYNJ

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Re: HIV in college class.
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2009, 02:43:56 PM »
Mouse

I understand what you mean...maybe take her aside and tell her your thoughts in confidence

LTS

Mouse may not have known what it was like in the pre-haart which I caught the tail end of when I first came out.  On the other hand - read a little of Mouse's story and try to imagine what it was like to be a very young teen with it living at home in a body you didn't love.  This kid has more heart (no pun) then any other young man I have ever met.  If there 10x more "mouses" out there, our community would be lucky.

Pete

Offline Mouse

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Re: HIV in college class.
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2009, 08:25:32 PM »
LTS, do get over yourself. This isn't an HIV pissing contest. I'm hardly going to feel guilty for being born in the '90s, or being infected in 2004.

My professor obviously knows no one in her class will ever experience these things first-hand (early days of HIV), so it's silly to assume that that is what she is going for. All I can imagine that she is going for is for us to understand the facts - what occurred, why it occurred, and why it is relevant to our class. I want my classmates to come away from these things with empathy and understanding. We're on the same page.

Of course I'm GLAD she's touching on it. It isn't the coverage of the topic that is bothering me, it's the assumption that none of us know these things already. I don't like being spoken down to, especially on an issue that I've had to deal with for a large chunk of my life. There is a big difference between showing us these films to set the stage for the texts we're reading and showing us these films with the attitude that all of us are ignorant about it. How is that going to get a class to respond to these issues in a positive, forward way? Especially in a class that is made up of probably 80 percent GLBT students? Even though I'm the only HIV+ person in the class that I know of (that I know of being the relevant thing here, she does not know and she shouldn't assume she does, just as I don't know and don't assume), I know from our discussions in class that many other students are more than just familiar with HIV, what it is, and what was happening when it was first discovered. I think that sincerity in knowing these things and taking an interest in why those things occurred and how to keep something like that happening again is all that can be expected for people in my age group.

None of us have experienced it and none of us WANT to, for God's sake. That doesn't mean we don't respect the people that have and want to keep improving things for those of us who continue to struggle.

I'm simply not going to be insulted for being infected when I was. That is beyond ridiculous.

Offline LTSurviver

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Re: HIV in college class.
« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2009, 03:29:19 AM »
I'm not insulting you.

You're getting upset because she is teaching to the majority.  Get over myself?  Get over yourself.

Instead of taking this as an opportunity to ace a course, you get all emo over the situation and act as if she's insulting you.  She's not.  She's teaching a course to a VAST majority who know little to nothing of this disease.  Do you think her knowing you're poz will change how she teaches?  Why should it?  She still needs to teach to the majority who have no clue.

She HAS to assume the obvious:  The vast majority of people are not poz and have varying levels of ignorance when it comes to HIV.  What do you want her to change?  How she teaches that vast majority because doing so upsets you for no rational reason?

What should upset you is that she HAS to teach this way, not that she DOES teach this way.

And here you act as if I'm insulting you for being young and infected in a time when HIV is no longer the holocaust it once was.  Again, get over myself?  NO, get over yourself.  Be THANKFUL you didn't go through that.  It was a horrible experience I wouldn't wish on anyone.  Be thankful you're young.  Getting old sucks.

Offline Mouse

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Re: HIV in college class.
« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2009, 04:14:06 AM »
You are completely missing the point.

It bothers me because one of the most harmful things about HIV is the fact that so many people are not willing to admit that it can happen to anyone. Assuming that an entire group of people must be HIV- is seriously not cool, especially since it's a class of young people and particularly a class of mostly gay young people who need to realize that any one of them can be HIV+. I shouldn't HAVE to disclose in order for them to realize that.

A friend of mine actually approached my boyfriend and I and a couple of other people after the movie and said something like, "God, that was TERRIBLE to watch. Let's none of us become HIV+, okay?"

I would've appreciated a disclaimer at the beginning of a blanket statement like that, or, when discussing something about how HIV positive people are perceived, "Pretending for a moment I can assume you are all HIV-negative" if she wants to address the class in a way that will cover the majority, which will be negative. Just something - a reminder - that we can't make assumptions about anyone's status.

This isn't just about experiencing the early days of HIV. This is about understanding the effects of HIV then and now. How would you feel if someone who was HIV-negative began drilling information about HIV at you without bothering to realize that they couldn't assume anything about your status, the entire time making it sound like you were ignorant? That's what is bothering me. The assumption that we are all HIV-negative. The class has about 20 students. It's not really the environment to make statements like that, it's not like it's a lecture hall with 80-100 students on an impersonal subject with a classroom full of people that have no personal connection to the material being taught.

I'm not asking her to change how she teaches, I'm asking her to change the assumptions she makes about her students.

Quote
And here you act as if I'm insulting you for being young and infected in a time when HIV is no longer the holocaust it once was.  Again, get over myself?  NO, get over yourself.  Be THANKFUL you didn't go through that.  It was a horrible experience I wouldn't wish on anyone.  Be thankful you're young.  Getting old sucks.

And Christ is this part patronizing. Of course I'm thankful I didn't go through that - I think I may have even said that a couple of times.

Young doesn't equal ignorant. I may have not experienced THAT, but I've experienced other things and I would really appreciate being spoken to like an adult. And furthermore don't tell me what I should or should not be thankful for. I am pretty capable of making those distinctions myself.


Edit -

Quote
Instead of taking this as an opportunity to ace a course, you get all emo over the situation and act as if she's insulting you.

PS: This makes it really clear to me that you just don't get it.

When it comes to HIV, the bigger goal here isn't to get an A in a course. Don't even start that "emo" bullshit with me.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2009, 04:18:32 AM by Mouse »

Offline LTSurviver

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Re: HIV in college class.
« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2009, 04:34:34 AM »
It's called rational thinking.  Less than 0.37% of the country is HIV positive.  Just 1 in 272 people.  Of COURSE she is going to teach to the majority.  Of COURSE she is going to assume the vast, VAST majority of her students are HIV-... because they are.

When she said "assuming you are all negative" it was a statistically safe and logical assumption.  What would her knowing you're poz change?  Nothing at all.

Try thinking with logic instead of emotions and being so damn insulted by everything.  When you let everything insult you you let eveything control you.

You are in a class to learn.  Not to teach.  Of COURSE she assumes people are ignorant, that's why they are in school:  To learn.  If you think you already know the subject matter sit back and get your easy A instead of getting all twisted over nothing at all.

Offline Mouse

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Re: HIV in college class.
« Reply #18 on: February 22, 2009, 04:40:55 AM »
It's called rational thinking.  Less than 0.37% of the country is HIV positive.  Just 1 in 272 people.  Of COURSE she is going to teach to the majority.  Of COURSE she is going to assume the vast, VAST majority of her students are HIV-... because they are.

When she said "assuming you are all negative" it was a statistically safe and logical assumption.  What would her knowing you're poz change?  Nothing at all.

Try thinking with logic instead of emotions and being so damn insulted by everything.  When you let everything insult you you let eveything control you.

You are in a class to learn.  Not to teach.  Of COURSE she assumes people are ignorant, that's why they are in school:  To learn.  If you think you already know the subject matter sit back and get your easy A instead of getting all twisted over nothing at all.

She DIDN'T say she was assuming we were all negative. She simply spoke as if we all were.

If she could say, "I'm not assuming anything about any of your sexualities" on the first day of a class about sexual orientation and gender identity, she could do the same in regards to HIV status at the beginning of a unit about HIV. Why is that important? Because acknowledging that everyone in the room might not BE HIV negative is a big deal.

Once again, it's not about the A. If my classmates are going to learn about HIV, I want it to be done properly. Just because she's in an authority position doesn't mean she has all the answers. I'm sure we've all experienced THAT.

Offline LTSurviver

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Re: HIV in college class.
« Reply #19 on: February 22, 2009, 04:46:32 AM »
acknowledging that everyone in the room might not BE HIV negative is a big deal.

Why?  Will that change the subject matter she teaches?

Has she been factually incorrect about the subject matter?

Sorry, but I just can't see the insult here.  She made a statistically logical assumtion and is teaching to the masses.  Must she add a disclaimer to EVERYTHING she says?

Offline AndyArrow

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Re: HIV in college class.
« Reply #20 on: February 22, 2009, 04:57:42 AM »


What should upset you is that she HAS to teach this way, not that she DOES teach this way.



She doesn't HAVE to teach that way.  She chooses to teach that way.  

To Mouse's complaint is that he doesn't like being talked down to.  

This is the same reason I don't watch much US produced news programs.  I tend to watch news produced by either the CBC or the BBC or more often than not I'll just read the news.  I don't need the news "dumbed - down" for me, in fact I find it insulting.  I don't need a news correspondent to explain to me what a politician just said.

A far more effective form of teaching is to operate under the premise that people who have taken an elective course have at least a basic understandings of the subject.  Professors should strive to get their classes to participate and ask questions when they don't understand something rather than dumb things down to the point of assuming people are completely ignorant.  With that in mind she should never make assumptions about someone's life experiences.  Her job is to open peoples minds to new ideas and thoughts not help enforce stereotypes or prejudices.

A teacher should NEVER tell someone they can never UNDERSTAND something.  If that was the case then why bother learning?


It is not the arrival that matters.  It is the journey along the way. -- Michel Montaigne

Offline anniebc

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Re: HIV in college class.
« Reply #21 on: February 22, 2009, 06:13:32 AM »
She doesn't HAVE to teach that way.  She chooses to teach that way.  

To Mouse's complaint is that he doesn't like being talked down to.  

A far more effective form of teaching is to operate under the premise that people who have taken an elective course have at least a basic understandings of the subject.  Professors should strive to get their classes to participate and ask questions when they don't understand something rather than dumb things down to the point of assuming people are completely ignorant.  With that in mind she should never make assumptions about someone's life experiences.  Her job is to open peoples minds to new ideas and thoughts not help enforce stereotypes or prejudices.

A teacher should NEVER tell someone they can never UNDERSTAND something.  If that was the case then why bother learning?

Thanks Andy, that's worth repeating.

Mouse, those of us who have known you since your diagnosis have no problems understanding what it was you were trying to say to us, and we certainly have no doubts about your intelligence, you probably know more about HIV than i do..and there is a 40 yer gap between us.. ;)....and I don't believe we have to live through bad times in order to respect and understand those who did.

Hugs
Jan :-*
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Offline LTSurviver

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Re: HIV in college class.
« Reply #22 on: February 22, 2009, 07:21:31 AM »
Ya know what?  Forget everything I said.  I just had to quit smoking again, I'm not sleeping and I'm a bit bitchy.

Apologies.

Offline Ann

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Re: HIV in college class.
« Reply #23 on: February 22, 2009, 07:50:52 AM »
I agree that the teacher shouldn't have started this unit with the unspoken assumption that everyone in the class was hiv negative. That kind of attitude is why the pandemic continues apace. It would have been a far more enriching learning experience if she used the disclaimer Mouse suggested. It would have got the students thinking - and who knows, maybe even got them testing.

We see it again and again here in the pages of these forums (albeit mainly in Am I). An assumption is made that a person is hiv negative based on their age or looks or whatever. The only assumption that really should be made is that the person you're talking to just might be poz.

I had a similar experience a few years ago when I took an hiv awareness course at the local nursing college. I took it mainly to get the piece of paper (qualification) that would enable me to do pre and post test counseling - but also to see just what they're teaching the nurses about hiv. I disclosed to the class during the second session, mainly because of the same exact assumption that everyone in the class was hiv negative. Being out enabled me to squash some of the outdated information and assumptions about living with hiv that were being bandied about.

During the last session, I was thanked by most of the class for being open and honest about hiv. I know for a fact I changed some attitudes - some of the students were absolutely horrified when I disclosed but as the course went on, they actually began to see people living with hiv as just that - people, instead of statistics and victims, patients, or let's face it, people on death row with no social life or loves. It put a human slant on what was being taught as a very cold and clinical subject - even though the whole point of the course was to try to improve attitudes and relations.

Sorry if what I've written is a bit disjointed - I'm in a hurry but wanted to have a say.

But anyway, yeah, Mouse, I totally get what you're saying.

Ann

Oh, and PS - A few of the nurses got tested for hiv as a result of hearing about my experience. It never occured to them that by having unprotected intercourse with men of unknown hiv status, they'd put themselves at risk... and yes, this goes back to that old assumption thing that the men they were with couldn't possibly be hiv positive because they weren't gay or African.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2009, 08:54:15 AM by Ann »
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Offline Buckmark

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Re: HIV in college class.
« Reply #24 on: February 22, 2009, 11:07:29 AM »
My professor made a sort of sweeping statement to the class, "Well, we need to watch this because YOU guys didn't grow up when all of this was happening like I did so you wouldn't understand."

My concern with statements like this are two-fold.  First, saying "you wouldn't understand" can be conversation ender.  Of course you weren't around back then.  But presumably people are in the class to learn something, and your professor is there to help you all learn.  A statement like seems to preclude the possibility of learning at least some of what it might be like.

Second, this statement strikes me as a way for your professor to separate herself from the class.  Specifically, putting herself in a superior state of knowledge, and you (at least from her perpective) in a position of needing her to learn and undestand what it was like.  Feh.  Your professor may need a reality check on her teaching style.  For anyone to assume that they know more than you is at the very least self-centered.  I wonder why she feels the need to reinforce this.  No one likes to be talked down to.

I can't imagine a professor of, say, ancient Greek history making a statement like this.   ::)  Perhaps she has her own bad memories and experiences of this particular time, and thus feels the need to teach people to remind them. That's understandable.  If she's a good professor, she should really appreciate you coming to her and sharing your background, if you choose to do so at one point.

I don't blame you for being uncomfortable, and I think it's good for you to state that rather than suppress it.  If nothing else, perhaps you can use this experience to learn that professors like everyone else are only human, and have their failings too.

Regards,

Henry
"Life in Lubbock, Texas, taught me two things:
     One is that God loves you and you're going to burn in hell.
     The other is that sex is the most awful, filthy thing on earth and you should save it for someone you love."
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Offline unknownsir

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Re: HIV in college class.
« Reply #25 on: February 22, 2009, 11:50:06 AM »
i think at the least if she wanted to impress upon the class the importance of the issue she should have started with an introduction.  say how things were in the past then work in there how important it is to understand that though things have gotten better there still needs to be a vigilance and that young people are a big percentage of all new cases and that they need to be educated and take steps to protect themselves.  great time for a pulpit speak, imo.

Online leatherman

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Re: HIV in college class.
« Reply #26 on: February 22, 2009, 12:03:41 PM »
I would like to make just a couple of points, hopefully avoiding the whole "you'll never understand the holocaust" part of this argument.  ;)

The only assumption that really should be made is that the person you're talking to just might be poz.
I have to disagree with that. Only a small minority of the world is infected with HIV. The most probable, that means higher percentage of being true, assumption is that someone is NOT infected. Just like another probable assumption is that someone you just met is NOT gay.

If you are a gay person, you might already understand this. How often does some stranger actually think you're gay upon meeting you? Or do they first think that you are straight until you tell them? Or do you continue to hide your true face and "pass" as straight? I'm not making a judgment call here, because all gay people have to make this kind of decision constantly when meeting and dealing with people. And many choose to let the new person continue their assumption that we are straight.

It's like this in everything. Notice the ads on TV today. You'll be hard pressed to find one "gay" commercial. Why? Not because there are no gay people; but because the majority are straight. So advertisers assume (correctly) that the majority are not gay, and advertise to all the straights. Biology demands that society be pro-straight [pro-breeding] to continue the species, and that's something we'll never be able to eradicate. So the only safe assumption for anyone to make is that majority of all people are straight. Another safe assumption is that someone you meet does not have HIV either.

It sucks being in a minority; but part or what it means to be in a minority is that no one assumes that you're NOT in the majority. So if you let them, they will always be offending your sensibilities because they are probably not going to be thinking of you as "different" from them.

To Mouse's complaint is that he doesn't like being talked down to.
and this is where I think Mouse is too sensitive. Mouse is still quite young and is in college. If he doesn't like being talked down to, well, I hate to say it Mouse, but it'll keep happening until you're done with college. Until you're as smart as the professors, or upper classmen, someone is going to be talking down to you.

And it'll happen when you get out into the world and the workplace too. (raise your hand, if you're working for a jerk that talks down to you :D) Usually about the time you start to reach about 35, it finally begins to stop and you get some respect for being an adult; but even when you get to that age, strangers will still be assuming that you are straight and HIV- when they first meet you.

If you get anything out of this thread, Mouse, that would be the lesson. People are always going to be assuming that you are neither gay or poz. (I came out 26 yrs ago and have lived with AIDS for 16 yrs and still have to explain to people that I'm gay, much less poz  ::)) You need to think about how you plan to deal with that as it will be happening throughout the rest of your life. To be honest though, the best way to deal with that is on a case by case situation. In some cases you won't correct the assumption as it might lead to an attack. But in other cases, like maybe this with one your teacher, you might speak with the person and try to get another person to learn to be a little less discriminatory. It's hard to know sometimes, who will attack and who respond politely, so I urge caution. ;) But I also urge you to be as "out" as possible. Short of getting our parents to not stigmatize us, being out about your homosexuality and HIV is probably one of the best ways to fight back against the stigma. ;)

Specifically, putting herself in a superior state of knowledge, and you (at least from her perspective) in a position of needing her to learn and understand what it was like. 
I agree with your basic premise, Henry, that this isn't the best way to teach; but the teacher does have a "superior state of knowledge" than the students. That's why the students are paying for the education from the teachers. Otherwises why bother with a class? Just learn the material on your own. Teachers do deserve respect for their authority in a classroom and for their superior knowledge. (the teachers I know worked hard and paid dearly to be smart enough to earn their positions in instructing students)
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


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

Oh my friends, my friends forgive me
That I live and you are gone.
There's a grief that can't be spoken.
There's a pain goes on and on.
Empty chairs at empty tables
Where my friends will meet no more.

"Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" from Les Miserables

Offline Grasshopper

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Re: HIV in college class.
« Reply #27 on: February 22, 2009, 12:09:27 PM »
"Well, we need to watch this because YOU guys didn't grow up when all of this was happening like I did so you wouldn't understand."



If I may rephrase the above:
Since YOU guys didn't grow up like I did when all of this was happening, we need to watch THIS to be able to understand.

sounds better ? less feelings hurt ?

Offline Mouse

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Re: HIV in college class.
« Reply #28 on: February 22, 2009, 02:29:50 PM »
Leatherman -

What I think Ann is getting at, and what I agree with entirely, is that it's safer to assume everyone is HIV+ than HIV-. People should obviously do this when they have sex with someone and therefore use protection, and I think that should carry over to education.

Talking about this subject as though it was something that occurred in the past makes it sound as though it's something that isn't happening NOW, and that is really bad. A lot of kids in that class probably aren't even entertaining the notion that someone in their class might be HIV+. In most of their classes, hell, that assumption is probably correct, but it just so happens that it isn't in THIS one, and that is a big deal. It actually does happen to people their age - it happens to people YOUNGER than them, like I was. If we're studying LGBT literature that includes HIV people need to acknowledge this and talk about it in the class. Seriously.

And I  really hope you don't think minorities don't show up as much on TV and other popular media just because there's less of them. :( Think about how gay people ARE portrayed in the media when they do show up.

A correct assumption about someone's sexuality, or someone's HIV-status doesn't make it the 'safe' assumption.

My argument would be that people need to stop feeling comfortable making assumptions about other people's bodies.



And yes, almost all of the time professors are going to know more than me, but for example, this same professor acknowledged to me that she knew very little about transgender people and transgender literature even though she was teaching a course that was supposed to include transgender people. That bothers me - and her slant in this course is definitely towards lesbian women, even though it's supposed to be all-inclusive, so you can see where things like this get a bit muddled.

So let ME rephrase myself. I don't like being spoken down to when I obviously know more than the speaker.




Offline Dachshund

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Re: HIV in college class.
« Reply #29 on: February 22, 2009, 02:58:58 PM »

I agree with your basic premise, Henry, that this isn't the best way to teach; but the teacher does have a "superior state of knowledge" than the students. That's why the students are paying for the education from the teachers. Otherwises why bother with a class? Just learn the material on your own. Teachers do deserve respect for their authority in a classroom and for their superior knowledge. (the teachers I know worked hard and paid dearly to be smart enough to earn their positions in instructing students)

The many, many, good university professors I know invite divergent views of thought. Encourage a student to think for themselves and welcome debate. A good teacher is not afraid to have their "superior knowledge" challenged. Socrates had it right. Knowledge in the classroom is rarely advanced through authority and rigidity. None of the teachers I know would ever want to teach college in such an atmosphere.

Mouse don't stagnate your college experience by ever being reluctant to ask questions.

Offline mecch

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Re: HIV in college class.
« Reply #30 on: February 22, 2009, 05:28:05 PM »
Dachshund is correct about what makes a great teacher in this context. Its a fine to look at something like Angels or And the Band Played on but they are movies, afterall, so a history or cultural studies professor shouldn't be relying only on that "reproduction" of history to help learners understand a historical moment - especially with "you need to watch this to understand" mentality.

Neither are even documentaries, they are entertainments (good ones though). Angels is pretty lyrical. Considering that a lot of poster here are arguing that, or concerned that, the "horror" part of the AIDS -80's has not been transmitted clearly enough to the younger generation, why don't they pipe in with some suggestion on books, tv, films that show that. Or the best ACT UP political documentary.  Its a very large subject, after all.. 

Finally, there is the time honored tradition of guest speaker. So if this Prof doesn't have AIDS, and it is falsely assumed that noone in the classroom has hiv/aids, then why not a FILM + INVITED speaker, older Person Living with Aids, who can give his/her reaction to the film and the students questions and his/her own experience. 
This is how history is "constucted"

« Last Edit: February 22, 2009, 05:29:48 PM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline BT65

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Re: HIV in college class.
« Reply #31 on: February 22, 2009, 06:55:08 PM »
If he doesn't like being talked down to, well, I hate to say it Mouse, but it'll keep happening until you're done with college. Until you're as smart as the professors, or upper classmen, someone is going to be talking down to you.

This is an entirely false statement.  Since I've returned to college, not one of my professors has talked down to the class-read none.  I'm sure there are some that do, but I believe that's mostly because they either: a) have an ego problem; or b) have extremely low self esteem.

Mouse, Dachs is right.  Speak up whenever you feel you should.
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline J.R.E.

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Re: HIV in college class.
« Reply #32 on: February 22, 2009, 07:23:01 PM »


Invite the teacher to come on this site.  Lets here her side of the story.


Ray
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http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=40802.0

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http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39722.msg495621;topicseen#msg495621

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Offline Dachshund

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Re: HIV in college class.
« Reply #33 on: February 22, 2009, 07:25:45 PM »
Jaser, I've thought about you all day. I think this poem by Langston Hughes conveys what I really wanted to say and beautifully speaks to what you are feeling.

 
Theme for English B
  
 
  The instructor said,

Go home and write
a page tonight.
And let that page come out of you--
Then, it will be true.

I wonder if it's that simple?
I am twenty-two, colored, born in Winston-Salem.
I went to school there, then Durham, then here
to this college on the hill above Harlem.
I am the only colored student in my class.
The steps from the hill lead down into Harlem,
through a park, then I cross St. Nicholas,
Eighth Avenue, Seventh, and I come to the Y,
the Harlem Branch Y, where I take the elevator
up to my room, sit down, and write this page:

It's not easy to know what is true for you or me
at twenty-two, my age. But I guess I'm what
I feel and see and hear, Harlem, I hear you:
hear you, hear me--we two--you, me, talk on this page.
(I hear New York, too.) Me--who?
Well, I like to eat, sleep, drink, and be in love.
I like to work, read, learn, and understand life.
I like a pipe for a Christmas present,
or records--Bessie, bop, or Bach.
I guess being colored doesn't make me not like
the same things other folks like who are other races.
So will my page be colored that I write?

Being me, it will not be white.
But it will be
a part of you, instructor.
You are white--
yet a part of me, as I am a part of you.
That's American.
Sometimes perhaps you don't want to be a part of me.
Nor do I often want to be a part of you.
But we are, that's true!
As I learn from you,
I guess you learn from me--
although you're older--and white--
and somewhat more free.

This is my page for English B.

~Langston Hughes
 

Offline fearless

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Re: HIV in college class.
« Reply #34 on: February 22, 2009, 07:43:22 PM »
WOW. Talk about reading a lot into one tiny statement.

I actually agree with LTS. The teacher was simply making a statement that if you weren't there in the 80's you wouldn't understand. And, as she is teaching a bunch of kids I assume she is 100% correct - you weren't there and fact of the matter is no matter how much others tell you about it or what you watch you really can never truly understand what it was like.

For you, Mouse, to get all huffy about it was perhpas a little more a response that reflects your own circumstance. Reading between the lines, I'm thinking there is a little bit of 'yeah, i guess i truly can't understand what it was like back then, but guess what, you really can't understand my experience with this'.

I hope the day comes when you feel comfortable enough in class to be in a position to reveal your unique perspective on this.
Be forgiving, be grateful, be optimistic

Online leatherman

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Re: HIV in college class.
« Reply #35 on: February 22, 2009, 08:30:01 PM »
Knowledge in the classroom is rarely advanced through authority and rigidity.
ah! there's the difference. ;)
I went to a Baptist college for half my education where all was taught by authority. :D
the other half of my college tenure was at a state university; but in the math/comp sci department, it's all about the rigidity of the rules and forumlas  ;D

This is an entirely false statement
I've been talked down to by my superiors all my life. :D First my parents told me what to do regardless of my opinions. Then my teachers, then my bosses. ::) Now I get human service workers and cable repairmen talking down to me. :D Easily offended people will have great difficulties in the world.

Injustices just can't perceived where there are none. I personally didn't think that his teacher was "talking down" to him as much as he perceived and reported here. I just wouldn't have been bothered by those classroom statements in the first place.

Speak up whenever you feel you should.
amen, Betty. :) Mouse, a good dicussion/debate is always a great way to hear the other side and come to reasonable conclusions.

What I think Ann is getting at, and what I agree with entirely, is that it's safer to assume everyone is HIV+ than HIV-. People should obviously do this when they have sex with someone and therefore use protection, and I think that should carry over to education.
As you posed this topic for advice, I have to tell you that though I agree with that sentiment entirely, it ain't a perfect world and that's not what the world believes. Every new member here proves it as they must have "believed" that everyone else what hiv-. Every straight person that passes me on the street (and that'll be about 90% of the people) will look at me and, if they think about it all, assume that I'm straight and probably assume that I'm neg. By my clothes, they'll make other assumptions; by my speech, even more. I can rail against all these injustices of assumption; but that won't stop the next person from making those exact same assumptions. It would be nice, as you said, if this was not so; but that is the way it is, and as such, I suggest you not be so troubled about small "trangressions" ;)

Talking about this subject as though it was something that occurred in the past makes it sound as though it's something that isn't happening NOW, and that is really bad. A lot of kids in that class probably aren't even entertaining the notion that someone in their class might be HIV+.
oops. thought I would scrape past the "holocaust" stuff but...
but what was happening in the early 90s is NOT, I repeat, NOT happening now. About the only similarity to being treated for HIV in 2009 compared to be treated in 1992 is that there is a diagnosis of HIV. The first treatment I received in 92 was AZT monotherapy and it nearly killed me before my, much sicker, partner died from AIDS. Starting on Atripla today is nothing like that at all. So, there is a very big, huge difference in learning you had aids in the 90s compared with in the 00s.

Even finding out in a hospital (in the US) that you have "full blown aids" is better now than 15 yrs ago. Fifteen yrs ago a doctor told you that you were already dead cause there was no more treatments, no cure, and no meds. Today, here at the site, "newbies" are encouraged to continue living as the medical science has turned the horrors of the 80s-90s into an almost "chronic manageable disease" for the 2010s.

Though I do believe that you'll be able to comprehend the history of that time and may have even lived through some similar incidences, you will, thankfully, never understand the enduring mental, emotional anguish that those years scarred many of us with. You'll never suffer through the years and years of survivor guilt after watching friends die, drift away, or just disappear. Sixteen years later, I have no friends left from my life that was. I know you haven't lived through this kind of misery because you really are too young to have lived then, when the death rate was much, much higher. Having lived through it myself, I can only advise you to go live a full life with many friends and hold them dear. You never know when the next epidemic or natural disaster could take them, and your whole life, away.

And I  really hope you don't think minorities don't show up as much on TV and other popular media just because there's less of them. :( Think about how gay people ARE portrayed in the media when they do show up.
Yes, I would expect as a member of a smaller demographic to see less of a representation of myself in the media. Forty-seven years old (next month. Woohoo!) gay men with aids on disability is such a small demo, that we aren't represented at all. ;)

talking about the protrayals of gays in the media, well now that really is a whole other topic. ;) (most of that protrayal hasn't been too good IMHO;) )

And yes, almost all of the time professors are going to know more than me, but for example, this same professor acknowledged to me that she knew very little about transgender people and transgender literature even though she was teaching a course that was supposed to include transgender people. That bothers me - and her slant in this course is definitely towards lesbian women, even though it's supposed to be all-inclusive, so you can see where things like this get a bit muddled.

So let ME rephrase myself. I don't like being spoken down to when I obviously know more than the speaker
ah! now there's the root of your problem. :D You're going to find there are some profs that don't know their head from a hole in the ground. But you're paying for this education, so it is in your right to take charge of your education. If you don't think you're getting educated properly in that class, switch instructors, take a different elective, or worse case scenario, try another school. Although I would point out that educators, like people, are "hit-n-miss". You'll probably get another prof, any where you go, to say something that'll bug you much more than this somewhere down the line. ;) :D

I am sorry for such a huge, sweeping post :-*; but I tried to address as many issues as I could. ;) You people just chatted up a lot :D while I was out playing a few games of eucher.
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


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

Oh my friends, my friends forgive me
That I live and you are gone.
There's a grief that can't be spoken.
There's a pain goes on and on.
Empty chairs at empty tables
Where my friends will meet no more.

"Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" from Les Miserables

Offline YaKaMein

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Re: HIV in college class.
« Reply #36 on: February 23, 2009, 01:03:26 AM »
I totally get your points, Mouse. -YaKa

FYI to others, the Holocaust is capitalized ... just like AIDS or World War II in referring to a specific event.
09/11 Endocrine Consult
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 Disc'd Bactrim DEXA -3.1 Tscore
03/11 CD4 338 14.7% VL 0
11/10 CD4 300 14.3% VL 0 <20copies
07/10 CD4 336 14.0% VL 0 DEXA -2.7 Tscore
03/10 CD4 308 13.4% VL 0 Vit D normal
01/10 Began FOTO
11/09 CD4 274 13.7% VL 0 Chol 173 Trig 131
07/09 CD4 324 13.5% VL 0 DEXA -3.1 Tscore lumbar
03/09 CD4 207 10.9% VL 0
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04/08 CD4 228 9.5% VL 0
01/08 CD4 194 9.0% VL 0
09/07 CD4 176 8.3% VL 0
03/07 CD4 130 9.5% VL 0 Chol 261  Trig 227
12/06 CD4 109 6.4% VL 0
09/06 CD4  88 5.5% VL und desens'd rtd to Bactrim
08/06  Began Atripla
07/06 CD4  59 5.0% VL 145 Chol 117 Trig 104
06/06  Bactrim rash, X2 Dapsone
 EFV & Truvada Chol 128 Trig 131
05/06 CD4  6 (2.0%) VL 78667 only V179D mutation Dx PC MAC

Offline Mouse

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Re: HIV in college class.
« Reply #37 on: February 23, 2009, 01:38:13 AM »
WOW. Talk about reading a lot into one tiny statement.

I actually agree with LTS. The teacher was simply making a statement that if you weren't there in the 80's you wouldn't understand. And, as she is teaching a bunch of kids I assume she is 100% correct - you weren't there and fact of the matter is no matter how much others tell you about it or what you watch you really can never truly understand what it was like.

Maybe I should've elaborated, but I used that statement to sum up what was going on in the class. It obviously wasn't the only thing she said on the subject. She said other things that made it clear that she thought we were all ignorant teenagers that knew nothing about HIV. She also made it clear that she isn't gay and isn't HIV+. Yes, she lived at the same time all of these issues were going on, but as far as personal experiences of being HIV+ while it was going on? She is as ignorant about that as I am.

I've already said that I can't understand what it was like. But no one can unless they lived through it. Expecting me to understand that is ridiculous, so obviously the only other than that can be expected from teaching what was happening during that time was to understand the events and why they happened and what the ripples were of that (in literature, for this specific course).

Of COURSE it should be taught, but on the larger topic of HIV, she began speaking about it as though none of us knew anything about it, and couldn't know anything about it because of our age. Our age being the biggest issue here. I'm eighteen, so what do I know about HIV? You can see where I have a problem with that.

Quote
For you, Mouse, to get all huffy about it was perhpas a little more a response that reflects your own circumstance. Reading between the lines, I'm thinking there is a little bit of 'yeah, i guess i truly can't understand what it was like back then, but guess what, you really can't understand my experience with this'.

I hope the day comes when you feel comfortable enough in class to be in a position to reveal your unique perspective on this.

Actually, my problem really is just with this. She's assumed that none of us have dealt with HIV. That's, to me, the same thing as teaching a class and having the subject of poverty come up and assuming none of the students in the class have lived below middle-class.

And the most worrisome thing is this - I know how I felt after she assumed that, because of our age, none of us could have dealt with HIV. Embarrassed. Strange. Alien. If she thinks that, then what does that say about me, someone that has? Not only someone that has dealt with HIV as an abstract, but someone who is close with people that HAVE lived through the early years of HIV? It made me uncomfortable. That's not the best way to encourage students to feel connected to a text. This is a literature course, after all.

Offline fearless

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Re: HIV in college class.
« Reply #38 on: February 23, 2009, 02:54:42 AM »
Don't worry Mouse we're are thinking the same way. I just wouldn't get too worked up about it. Trust me, she will not be the only bad professor you encounter whilst at Uni.

You just have to learn to deal with them and not get worked up about it.  Most professors have no or little teachnig skill, they're academics, and you just have to learn to deal with them.
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Offline bocker3

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Re: HIV in college class.
« Reply #39 on: February 23, 2009, 07:43:22 AM »
I've been holding back for a couple of days, because I know what I'm about to say isn't easy and I'm not saying that you should do this if you aren't ready, but.......

The best way to stop others from making assumptions is to point out exactly how and why that assumption is false.  Coming here and complaining about it, while it gets it off you chest so that you can move forward, will not help this professor challenge her assumptions.  If no lets her know that she's wrong, she will certainly make the same sweeping assumption next semester.

Easy -- NO.  Would I do it -- not sure, it's hard to truthfully declare one's actions in a hypothetical situation (hypothetical for me, not you).

Mike
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Offline dixieman

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Re: HIV in college class.
« Reply #40 on: February 23, 2009, 09:44:14 AM »
Mouse... it seems everyone on this board is assuming the proffessor is HIV-... she may also be hiv+ one never knows?

Offline Ann

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Re: HIV in college class.
« Reply #41 on: February 23, 2009, 11:27:24 AM »

Mouse... it seems everyone on this board is assuming the proffessor is HIV-... she may also be hiv+ one never knows?



She also made it clear that she isn't gay and isn't HIV+.



Quote from: Ann on Yesterday at 12:50:52 pm
The only assumption that really should be made is that the person you're talking to just might be poz.


I have to disagree with that. Only a small minority of the world is infected with HIV. The most probable, that means higher percentage of being true, assumption is that someone is NOT infected. Just like another probable assumption is that someone you just met is NOT gay.


We may be a minority, but consider this... I live on an island with a population of around 80,000. The population of the town I live in is approximately 4,300. Many a time I have sat in a pub with 25 or so people in the room, all from my town, and as many as five or six of us were hiv positive. If someone from out of town walked into the pub, they'd probably make the assumption that everyone there was hiv negative, all the while a fifth of the people present were positive.

And yes, Mouse was right when he said


What I think Ann is getting at, and what I agree with entirely, is that it's safer to assume everyone is HIV+ than HIV-. People should obviously do this when they have sex with someone and therefore use protection, and I think that should carry over to education.


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

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

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Re: HIV in college class.
« Reply #42 on: February 23, 2009, 01:30:52 PM »
We may be a minority, but consider this..
sure, twist the numbers and toss in the special case of your group of hiv+ers meeting a pub. Your special situation still doesn't change the statistics of reality that the majority of human beings are not gay and are not positive. If you're just going to make up abnormal situations and try to protray that as the norm then we can't have an honest discussion about this.

I live in a county in Ohio with approx 379,000 people (my city with less than 75000 is sorta similar to your island, Ann). the cdc says that there are only 266 people here "living with hiv/aids". That means less than 0.0007% of the population has HIV and that explains why I'm never met another poz person in the 20 yrs that I've lived in the area (no ASO, no support groups and only one ID doc, where I didn't assume that the 70 yr old man I saw leaving the office had HIV at all. All I could assume was that he saw the ID doc.) Since you'd be safe more than 99.99% of the time here assuming someone you met on the street was not hiv positive, I sure wish we had that pub of yours here. ;) :D

Obviously some of you believe that the nice young Mouse should be offended by a stray comment from one of his teachers, who will probably be the one teacher to be the least discriminatory against him for being gay or poz (she's gay and teaching a gay studies class). I just think he'll be burned by worse comments from teachers, bosses and the rest of the world and oughta just "butch up" and deal with this teacher's misspoken statements. I never said he shouldn't talk with the teacher about his concerns; but he might have to out himself (on purpose or by accident) to make her understand his concern.

Mouse asked our opinions and I see his options as
1) shrug it off like a million others things he'll hear throughout his life
2) discuss this with his teacher and educate her
3) come here, complain instead of ask opinions, and get sympathy from a bunch of much older adults telling an 18 yr old to question the authority and experience of his teacher. A teacher who only assumed the obvious: at least 90% of her class is probably straight; there are probably no poz people in her class; and that 18 yr olds are all too young to have experienced enough of life to understand the AIDS epidemic of the 80s-90s.

and by the way, I would like to point out that Mouse is also of another minority - a poz person under 20! I just don't see why he would expect his teacher to think that it was normal to have "children" that young sitting in her class who might already be poz. In his very unique situation, he really needs to not be so sensitive and give others the benefit of the doubt.

I am very sorry to have been talking around and about you here in my replies, Mouse. I am sorry for my rudeness; but I think what you should do and what older adults think about this situation are two different things. If you're out and proud enough to take up the battle, then by all means confront this teacher (nicely of course) and try to educate her. But if you don't have the fortitude to blow off a trivial comment like the one from this teacher, then you're going be in for a world of heartache as you get older, because the rest of the world outside that college campus is a lot more hateful - and violent.

And yes, Mouse was right when he said
and i agreed too; but that's a nice dream world. You and I both know that the majority of people in the world don't think that way. I read those posters in the Am I Infected? forum. Until those people began to feel guilt for the sex, they never assumed the other person to be be hiv+. The assumption by the majority of people in the world is that the person that they are looking at, or talking to, or screwing is NOT poz. Later on when they realize their inital assumption (of hiv-) could have been wrong, then they come asking for your guidance and reassurance in that forum.

One day there will be a cure, and one day there will be no stigma;
but I seriously doubt a day will come in America when people will assume by looking at you that you might be gay and/or poz, and take you into consideration to not offend you. I seriously doubt that people will ever assume that in a classroom of 20 year olds that any of them are positive. (God! I hope that kind of infection rate is never a reality!) Instead the assumption will always be that you are part of the majority which is not poz and not gay. To be offended by that assumption is just egotistical, stupid, and blind to the reality of society and life around us. (unless of course your reality contains nothing but an amazing pub filled with gay poz people ;) )
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


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

Oh my friends, my friends forgive me
That I live and you are gone.
There's a grief that can't be spoken.
There's a pain goes on and on.
Empty chairs at empty tables
Where my friends will meet no more.

"Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" from Les Miserables

Offline Dachshund

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Re: HIV in college class.
« Reply #43 on: February 23, 2009, 06:21:15 PM »
It's so condescending to assume a twenty year old in not entitled to their experiences and how they relate to the here and now. The kid was throwing something out there for discussion and at the end of the day I doubt seriously he's lost much sleep over it.

The kid knows what the world might offer. He's not as naive as some assume. He lived a lifetime of hatred in high school. Forced to home school or face continual violence because he was transgendered. He could have made excuses, withdrawn and become bitter and disillusioned. Thankfully, he chose to study hard, achieve a scholarship and attend college. So far he seems to have navigated around drugs and alcohol that consumed so many around here when they were his age.

I think he'll do fine with or without our sage advice. He'll get a great education, hopefully a job he loves and live a fullfiling life, contributing to society in a meaningful way.

I know the kid doesn't have the time or inclination to sit around doing nothing.

Offline Winiroo

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Re: HIV in college class.
« Reply #44 on: February 23, 2009, 08:21:33 PM »
My first thought. If you are still feeling passionate about what your teacher said and how you feel about it you should write the teacher a note. You have expressed yourself wonderfully here in this post.
You don't need to out yourself with any personal info to the teacher. But maybe a little note written in a way that is non combative would help your teacher be better at what they do.

You impress me with your passion and you are very good at expressing yourself in writting. Use it to your advantage. Good luck with what ever you choose.


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Offline Ann

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Re: HIV in college class.
« Reply #45 on: February 23, 2009, 08:37:45 PM »
Mike,

1 - Not all of us in my town who are poz are friends and although we often find ourselves in the same pub at the same time, never have we been a "special case" of "hiv+ers meeting in a pub". You make it sound like a social night out for a poz support group and nothing could be further from the truth.

2 - My reality does not include an "amazing pub filled with gay poz people". None of us are gay (although I do identify as bi), most of us are women and we don't quite manage to "fill the pub". Hmm... one of  those tricky assumptions again - that most poz people are gay. In fact, there are more het poz people world-wide than there are gay poz.

And I wasn't trying to "twist" anything. I was merely trying to provide some food for thought.

But whatever. I've come to realise that either you get what Mouse is talking about or you don't. Mike, you obviously don't. ~shrug~

I'm outta here.

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

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

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

Online leatherman

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Re: HIV in college class.
« Reply #46 on: February 24, 2009, 03:30:14 AM »
And I wasn't trying to "twist" anything. I was merely trying to provide some food for thought.
Well, the original discussion was about an American classroom and the assumptions of that teacher on hiv status and sexuality of the students. I think that bringing up the "statistical oddity" of your pub as a rule of measure against the basic assumptions of the majority of Americans, concerning sexuality and HIV status, was a little too confusing for me. Though I did consider your idea of a world in which no one assumes sexuality (though how I'm supposed to get laid if no one can think of my homosexuality is something I haven't figured out yet :D) and everyone assumes that everyone else is infected. Kind of a grim world view :'(; but scads safer I'm sure, and more than likely to help end the infection rate. ;)

But rather than dreams of what would be happening in a perfect society and other "food for thought", I was more intrigued by the statistics and actual numbers of Americans vs. gay Americans vs. pozzies vs. pozzies under 20. I just thought the teacher wasn't intentionally talking down to her young students by making comments that might possibly have been misconstrued by less than a 1% of the students that she'll ever meet.

But whatever. ;)

But whatever. I've come to realise that either you get what Mouse is talking about or you don't.
I've noticed that too. ;)
I've also noticed that the same thing applied in reverse. Some people didn't get what I said either. Others did. Go figure. ::)  :D Sometimes it sounds like we're all talking from totally different planets. ::)

I'm just a conservative almost 47 yr old ex-Baptist from NC living among the "Yankees" in Ohio :D, with AIDS for 16 yrs while losing 2 long-term partners. I just thought it was odd for somebody to think they were being "talked down to" because their teacher assumed that 18 yr olds didn't know enough about HIV and the AIDS epidemic.

Isn't every one that I've heard of on the forums that speaks in a high school not also assuming that the 18 yr olds seniors do not know enough about HIV or that most, if not all, of them are still neg? (why speak to them if they know enough or if they are already poz?) Silly me. Obviously it's "safe" to assume that all 18yr olds know all about hiv, and that's why the infection rate is down so much when they move into the 20-25 age group.  ::)

FYI to others, the Holocaust is capitalized ... just like AIDS or World War II in referring to a specific event.
since I was referring to a mythical event of the "holocaust of AIDS in America in the 80s and 90s", it didn't have to be capitalized.

just a quick highjack/sidebar here, if you please ;)
by the way, the spellcheck here doesn't help with capitalizing "hiv" or "aids", the letter "i" that I have missed occassionally, or even the small "b" that started this paragraph. :D Although it did correct "american" to the proper capitalization. It doesn't mind the weird capitalizaton I put in my name; but it does think "mikie" is not a word.  ::) ;D Personally, since none of what I'm writing here is of "scholarly importance" and basically just me texting with a lot of other people from around the world, I don't always follow the rules of punctuation, capitalization and grammar. If those are anyone's standards for having a discussion with me, then I suggest you put me on ignore, cause I ain't perfect. ;) LOL

mIkIE
(who often doesn't capitalize "hiv" or "aids" because for all the trouble and death that they've brought to my life, they don't deserve the respect or power of being capitalized)
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


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

Oh my friends, my friends forgive me
That I live and you are gone.
There's a grief that can't be spoken.
There's a pain goes on and on.
Empty chairs at empty tables
Where my friends will meet no more.

"Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" from Les Miserables

Offline Ann

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Re: HIV in college class.
« Reply #47 on: February 24, 2009, 08:43:35 AM »

mIkIE
(who often doesn't capitalize "hiv" or "aids" because for all the trouble and death that they've brought to my life, they don't deserve the respect or power of being capitalized)


Well, now that  we do definitely agree on! ;)


Sometimes it sounds like we're all talking from totally different planets. ::)


Yes, you're on planet MIkIE and I'm on planet Ann. ;D But that's ok by me, diversity and differing opinions are what make whatever planet one lives on interesting. I'd hate for everyone to think in the same exact way. What a boring life that would be!


Mouse, Do you have an update on this? Did you by chance decide to talk to the prof? Just wondering...

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

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

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

Offline Dachshund

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Re: HIV in college class.
« Reply #48 on: February 24, 2009, 08:57:30 AM »
Unfortunately, responding to any thoughtful, divergent opinion with the attitude or response that your opinion doesn't matter because the poster hasn't experienced an AIDS related death makes an open discussion virtually impossible.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2009, 08:59:30 AM by Dachshund »

Online leatherman

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Re: HIV in college class.
« Reply #49 on: February 24, 2009, 12:20:17 PM »
because the poster hasn't experienced an AIDS related death makes an open discussion virtually impossible.
no, making up tales about what other posters have said makes a discussion about reality totally impossible. "Divergent" comments, like yours, that add nothing to the conversation makes it impossible to have a discussion. Neither LTS or I said anyone needed to experience aids-related deaths, so I have no idea what you are talking about.

but, in response to your post, I would say that the opinions of someone about the yrs of 1985-1995, that wasn't even born until 1991, are less factual/valid/important than the opinions of someone, in their 30s-40s, that actually lived through 1985-1995, whether they experieced some aids-related deaths or not. Just like my parents opinions about what happened in 1955-1965 are more factual than my opinions about those years, as I was only born in 1962, and even though I was taught "all about" JFK and the Cuban missile crisis in school.

I'm 46 and have experienced that 18 yr olds "think" they know everything - when they don't know everything about life.

If you don't believe that then you better go have a child or talk to some parents quickly because you really need to learn about children. Children need to be taught as they growing up, because they are born without knowledge; and the teen years are usually tough for parents because of the youth's rebelliousness, hardheadedness and lack of experience and knowledge.

Mouse "thought" his teacher slighted him when all she did was assume people in her class were not HIV poz - which statistically is a good assumption to make, and not somthing worth getting troubled by. When you realize that outside of college, someone could assume that Mouse was gay and beat him near to death, his teacher's classroom assumption is small beans. I thought he should consider which battles are worth fighting - being upset with his pro-gay teacher didn't seem like much reason for a battle.

but, whatever.  ;D

mikie
(who apologized to Mouse for talking about him in the third person too much, for how crazy this thread has gotten, and has promised to never post in a thread by Mouse again ;) )
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


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

Oh my friends, my friends forgive me
That I live and you are gone.
There's a grief that can't be spoken.
There's a pain goes on and on.
Empty chairs at empty tables
Where my friends will meet no more.

"Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" from Les Miserables

 


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