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Author Topic: Help, I live with a sloppy brother with HIV....  (Read 3673 times)

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Offline MellowYellow

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Help, I live with a sloppy brother with HIV....
« on: August 21, 2006, 04:17:33 AM »
Right now my mother and I live with my brother, whom we recently discovered about his 2 years old HIV condition.

My brother, without a doubt, has been a dis-organized, sloppy, poor personal hygiene procrastinator all his life.

Before his personality was hardly tolerable, now his habits are dangerous.

He did his research online and read all the chances of transmitting HIV to others. When people said wearing condom is safe, he assumes zero chance and no further precaution are needed. He thinks casual sex with other men is risk free if condom is used. It really stresses me out when he thinks like that. He currently is not working, so he spent all day on gay websites chatting with different men.

I drove his car yesterday, as I glance over on the passenger seat, I saw his used dental floss. He read online saying dry blood is safe, so he thinks there is not need for precaution.

Today he coughed into my food. When I confronted him, he said "do your research, you won't get HIV like that". I told him regardless of HIV, I did not need him coughing into my food. He was offended when I told him to cover his mouth while coughing. Later on I still ate the food, but it really stressed me out.

My question is, what can I do about this situation?
« Last Edit: August 21, 2006, 04:24:37 AM by MellowYellow »

Offline DanielMark

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Re: Help, I live with a sloppy brother with HIV....
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2006, 04:40:20 AM »
My only question is: why are you and you mother living with your brother? Especially if you fear contracting HIV from him?

Daniel
MEDS: REYATAZ & KIVEXA (SINCE AUG 2008)

MAY 2000 LAB RESULTS: CD4 678
VL STILL UNDETECTABLE

DIAGNOSED IN 1988

Offline carousel

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Re: Help, I live with a sloppy brother with HIV....
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2006, 05:34:39 AM »
.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2007, 11:14:29 AM by carousel »

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Help, I live with a sloppy brother with HIV....
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2006, 06:11:01 AM »
You can start by reading our Welcome Thread.

Then move onto an attitude adjustment. It doesn't surprise me that your brother is depressed and unmotivated given the standard of consideration and support your post displays.

MtD
(Who suspects trollishness here)

Offline MellowYellow

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Re: Help, I live with a sloppy brother with HIV....
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2006, 12:07:04 PM »
You guys are right, my words were harsh. I do appoligize.

Due to my Chinese culture, kids live with parents til marrige.

It was a shock for my whole family. My brother did not want to disclose his condition, however it was overheard by my sister in the hospital.

This is a new situation for my family, and we all knew to be supportive to him.

Is there any of the family members reading this forum? What are some of your ways of attitude adjustment to make your member feel supportive?


Offline kentb

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Re: Help, I live with a sloppy brother with HIV....
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2006, 12:16:22 PM »
I will agree, that your brother should cover his mouth when he coughs, only because it is common decency.  As is disposing of used dental floss. However, He is not putting you at risk for HIV in either of the cases you described.  If it's his house, his car,  it's his rules.  It sounds as if your brother is providing shelter and transportation to you and your mother, for that you should be grateful. 
The first order of business is for you and your mom to get educated about HIV.  Once you do you will be more compassionate and understanding, but most of all a lot less stressed.

Kent

Offline LatinAlexander

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  • Bogota, Colombia
Re: Help, I live with a sloppy brother with HIV....
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2006, 12:47:41 PM »
Hi Mellow:

There are a few points here:

0)PLEASE, GET TO HIM, AND LET HIM KNOW HOW IMPORTANT HE IS FOR ALL OF YOU, AND HOW MUCH YOU LOVE HIM. ALSO, BE SURE TO SAY WHAT YOU FEEL. AND LISTEN TO HIM

1) (And perhaps the most critical) Is the cultural facts you face. If you belong to the chinese culture, AFAIK is a very traditional and conservative lifestyle. What I strongly suggest is trying to be patient about yourselves. It's not only tough for him. It is also tough for all of you and you need to get trough this on your own time.

2) It seems there is a personality thing of your brother going on, and COMPLETELY unrelated to HIV. AFAIK, HIV doesn't influence on the fact of being a disorganized person. That's something you must address with him, being ABSOLUTELY clear that this has nothing to do with him having HIV. But with good maners. Period.

3) Do not push him to talk, do not recriminate him about not sharing this with you. It was his decission. He is infected, not someone who lost his mind. When you have HIV, you need to feel you still have control over your life, and you do not want anyone trying to take decissions for you, or saying "you should have"... You need someone to remind you you are still alive, and that even when the road ahead may be difficult, you cannot go back, and HAVE to move forward with your LIFE.

4) Just be there... Sometimes, that is the greatest gift of love.

Alex

Poz since Jul 19 2006
Initial numbers : CD4-250 VL 3500
First labs after HAART (Dec 04-2006) : CD4-432 VL-<40 (Undetectable)  cd4%=25.11%
Started HAART: Combivir+Efavirenz Aug 26 7:38 pm
Feb 08 2007 - Gradually stopping HAART cause of Myalgia. Protecting Efavirenz. Stopped Efavirenz, ahead with Combivir....
February 17 Combivir stopped.
April 3 -07 : Started ddi+3tc+efavirenz...
Gay and positive (What a lack of Identity...:) )
Looking for my Ben....

Offline MellowYellow

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Re: Help, I live with a sloppy brother with HIV....
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2006, 02:38:50 PM »
Maybe I wasn't clear before, kids live IN parents' place til marriage in Chinese culture, and his car simply means the family car he drives constantly.

Thank you Alex, I will print out your post and translate it in Chinese to my parents. It had allot of information I wasn't aware before.
You are right, it is my brother's personality thing which has nothing to do with HIV. He is currently acting very defensively on everything we said. What can we do to let him to improve his personal hygiene without offending him (we already tried to change his hygiene before this but failed)?

As far of his lifestyle, it worries me too.

He worked in nightclubs since 18, so his social circle is internet and nightclubs.
He had expressed his feeling of settle down, however due to his looks and hygiene, he thinks he need to do what other people want him to do sexually for him to be with someone. I explained to him that I'd seen allot of not so good looking men, but because they dress well, they do have partners.

He is almost 40, where can he go to meet people away from the nightscene? I recommended sometype of HIV focus/support group meetings, but apparently they don't exist in Los Angles.....

Offline LatinAlexander

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  • Posts: 599
  • Bogota, Colombia
Re: Help, I live with a sloppy brother with HIV....
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2006, 03:20:26 PM »
Mellow:

There are multiple ways to try to "send" a message...About the hygiene thing...well, what about a little dose of his own? Just a 7 days treatment of intensive all family disorder...It will sound disgusting, but you can begin by not flushing the toilet... (I'll leave some more ideas to you)

But I would begin by something to get rid of his defensive attitude...I would write a huge sign, with many colors (Better if it has a rainbow (gay symbol), saying something liek WE FUCKING HELL LOVE YOU, and with hand-written signatures from all of your family members saying something nice),and put it in front of his bed, in a wall. That way, every morning when he wakes up, he will see it.)

About he going to have sex, well, why do not you invite him here? Ask him to read our stories (Ask him to read mine, for instance, you will find it here.http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=2921.0) .One of the most difficult things when you have HIV, is feeling alone, feeling like you are the only fool with this. And that inmediately gets reflected in attitudes like "You do not understand me". If he comes here, he will feel better, by knowing that there are others like him.

There is another point (I do not want to be unpolite) but, How gay friendly is your family? Perhaps, if you aren't, then that's another thing you need to work on right away. If your family judges him by being gay, and know with the HIV thing, then it is not easy to anyone...

Just a few ideas

Alex
Poz since Jul 19 2006
Initial numbers : CD4-250 VL 3500
First labs after HAART (Dec 04-2006) : CD4-432 VL-<40 (Undetectable)  cd4%=25.11%
Started HAART: Combivir+Efavirenz Aug 26 7:38 pm
Feb 08 2007 - Gradually stopping HAART cause of Myalgia. Protecting Efavirenz. Stopped Efavirenz, ahead with Combivir....
February 17 Combivir stopped.
April 3 -07 : Started ddi+3tc+efavirenz...
Gay and positive (What a lack of Identity...:) )
Looking for my Ben....

Offline Dachshund

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Re: Help, I live with a sloppy brother with HIV....
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2006, 03:33:16 PM »
If your brother is almost forty, he hardly qualifies as a kid.

It appears his personality was well formed before infection. Without his side of the story it is very difficult for us to give you advice.

You seem to be fixated on your brothers "hygiene" as reason for his infection. You should worry less about whether he picks up his socks and more about his physical and emotional health.  

Without proper education about HIV/AIDS, I doubt you or your family will be much help to your brother. I suggest you take the time to read the welcome thread as Matty suggested.

There are plenty of ASO's in the Los Angeles area...I suggest you contact them.  

Offline MellowYellow

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Re: Help, I live with a sloppy brother with HIV....
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2006, 09:25:32 PM »
Thank you again Alex for giving me examples what to do. I really appreciate real life solutions other than what my brother's defense of "just read this article".

The poster I will definitely do, however making a mess in the house will not work on him. When my parents leave overseas, it's not rare seeing 4 months old dishes in the kitchen growing fungus. He simply return back to his bedroom and closes the door.


My brother is forty and he acts childlike around the family. His self-inviting personality sometimes annoys people, which he thinks it's amusing why straight people gets mad at him. Again, I would like to say this is his personality and have nothing to do with HIV.

No Dach, I do not think his hygiene is the reason for his infection. However I do think an improvement of his habits can make him more noticeable in his partner finding. If he can find a steady partner, instead of one night stands, it is a solution to better his emotional health. He is my brother, I only want him to do better. I am in this forum asking questions to find solutions to improve my family's future. How he was infected is useless since he doesn't even know which partner it was.....

As far as gay friendliness in my family. Before we found out his infection, we never get in his way of lifestyle. Now after the truth, we just want him to find a steady partner and be happy.

At first of this post, I was stress out since I feel my life might depend on his messiness; accident might happen anytime. Now I realized my family and I need to give different approach of support, but I strongly feels my brother need to change his sexual habit and personal hygiene, for people's safety and his own attractiveness. What's tough because he's constantly defensive. Again, what can we do?

My brother told me there are no support groups in LA, anyone care to share some support groups and HIV meetings?









« Last Edit: August 21, 2006, 09:34:03 PM by MellowYellow »

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Help, I live with a sloppy brother with HIV....
« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2006, 09:30:18 PM »
You know Mellow, if you stopped being such a Judgemental Judy maybe you'd be better able to help your brother. This really isn't about him is it? It's all about you. How you feel, what you think about his lifestyle, habits and so on.

Maybe he doesn't care what you think.

MtD

/edited for a small but irritating typo/
« Last Edit: August 22, 2006, 12:28:35 AM by matty.the.damned »

Offline LatinAlexander

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  • Posts: 599
  • Bogota, Colombia
Re: Help, I live with a sloppy brother with HIV....
« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2006, 09:41:29 PM »
Mellow:

You welcome man. And if at any time, your bro or anybody else from your family needs someone, then you are welcome here. We will be waiting for you.

Big HUG

Alex
Poz since Jul 19 2006
Initial numbers : CD4-250 VL 3500
First labs after HAART (Dec 04-2006) : CD4-432 VL-<40 (Undetectable)  cd4%=25.11%
Started HAART: Combivir+Efavirenz Aug 26 7:38 pm
Feb 08 2007 - Gradually stopping HAART cause of Myalgia. Protecting Efavirenz. Stopped Efavirenz, ahead with Combivir....
February 17 Combivir stopped.
April 3 -07 : Started ddi+3tc+efavirenz...
Gay and positive (What a lack of Identity...:) )
Looking for my Ben....

Offline MellowYellow

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  • Posts: 5
Re: Help, I live with a sloppy brother with HIV....
« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2006, 09:45:26 PM »
Maybe you're right, maybe he doesn't care what I think.

I do know one thing, he had requested to find a steady partner.


Offline Dachshund

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Re: Help, I live with a sloppy brother with HIV....
« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2006, 10:36:02 PM »
Put your zip code in the box located under aids services. It will give you the names of aids service organizations in your area. Print out the list and leave it for your brother. Google aids service organizations in L.A. Quit whining and do something. If you can find us you can find ASO's in L.A.

Your brother is going to need more than a steady partner if he is dealing with HIV. As I said, before you can help your brother YOU must become better informed about HIV. You are wasting your time and ours by relating anecdotes about how messy your brother is.

I agree with Matty...quit making this about yourself.

Offline Eldon

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Re: Help, I live with a sloppy brother with HIV....
« Reply #15 on: August 21, 2006, 11:50:50 PM »
Hello Mellow, it is Eldon from the forum family here. First of all welcome to the forums where you will find encouragement, support, fun, and answers to many of your questions relating to HIV/AIDS. We have a very good group of people here with a lot of information.

You cannot change a person no matter what you do. They have to want to change themselves. Your brother has chosen a certain lifestyle and it is up to you to learn how to live with it. Right now, your brother needs unconditional support from his family. The last thing he needs is someone to be nagging him all of the time concerning his chosen lifestyle.

Instead, reach out to him and extend your helping hand of that family support to him. You are part of his support system whether you like it or not; and if part of that system is not working, then the other part of his support system suffers. He needs your support more than anything else right now. It is more than just him getting a partner. Everyone has their own faults, including yourself.

If you want to help your brother, I have done a search under: www.dogpile.com and searched under "AIDS Service Organizations Los Angeles California". Here is a useful link for you to click on and view the number of different organizations that exist in Los Angeles: http://www.thebody.com/hotlines/calif.html#southern.

Also, educate yourself on HIV/AIDS and understand what it is all about.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2006, 11:53:52 PM by Eldon »

Offline DanielMark

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Re: Help, I live with a sloppy brother with HIV....
« Reply #16 on: August 22, 2006, 04:54:11 AM »
Hi MellowYellow,

I have been following your thread with great interest. I must admit I am mostly ignorant of Chinese culture, but I've done a little research into Gays and HIV/AIDS within it to try and see if there are cultural reasons behind your brother's lack of interest in monogamy. I just read the following disturbing news item which I will post. Perhaps there is some correlation to the way your brother is behaving in his sexual encounters.

Gays Living in Secrecy

BEIJING (UPI) -- Like most Chinese homosexuals, Han Yue strives to keep his secret from all but a close circle of gay friends. Like others, his biggest fear is that someone, someday, might find out he is gay.

"I've lived with this deep fear of discovery for years, and it knocks all the self-confidence out of you," he says, looking much older than his 32 years. "Now I just feel inferior."

Han Yue, a pseudonym, has been arrested twice. Once the police beat him and then informed his boss, costing him a promising job as a clerk at the Ministry of Culture.

His first homosexual encounter at 16 was snatched in the dark during a violent earthquake in 1976 that knocked out Beijing's electricity supply.

Subsequent encounters took place in parks, toilets and once at the so-called "Democracy Wall" in Beijing which, he says, was a favored meeting point for homosexuals during the brief democracy movement in 1979.

Han Yue is unsure of how many sexual partners he has had, but he knows the figure is high. He knows he has never used a condom and he knows, but does not care, about AIDS.

"Most of us think, 'The sooner I get it, the sooner I'll be dead," he said. "We wouldn't think like that if we hadn't been hurt so badly."  (more ...)

Obviously Beijing isn't LA, but perhaps this reckless attitude is transmitted throughout the culture?

I agree that your brother would benefit from a stable partnership, rather than risky promiscuity. However, I don't believe there is anything you can really do to cause that to happen.

As for his atrocious personal hygiene and lack of common sense, that's probably related to repressed anger and frustration, but again, there isn't much you can do about that.

He is your brother. It's obvious to me that you care about him. Encourage him to get out of the house and involved in some kind of support group if you can. I would also encourage you to get to a support group for friends and family of those living with HIV if possible.

Daniel
« Last Edit: August 22, 2006, 04:59:30 AM by DanielMark »
MEDS: REYATAZ & KIVEXA (SINCE AUG 2008)

MAY 2000 LAB RESULTS: CD4 678
VL STILL UNDETECTABLE

DIAGNOSED IN 1988

Offline Ann

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Re: Help, I live with a sloppy brother with HIV....
« Reply #17 on: August 22, 2006, 05:53:05 AM »
Quote
At first of this post, I was stress out since I feel my life might depend on his messiness; accident might happen anytime. Now I realized my family and I need to give different approach of support, but I strongly feels my brother need to change his sexual habit and personal hygiene, for people's safety and his own attractiveness.

Mellow,

Unless you are in the habit of having unprotected intercourse with your brother, he can be as messy as he likes and you will not become infected from his mess. Hiv is simply NOT transmitted through the environment or day to day household contact. Don't have unprotected intercourse with him and you won't have to worry.

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

Offline Gilles

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Re: Help, I live with a sloppy brother with HIV....
« Reply #18 on: August 23, 2006, 03:21:14 AM »
Mellow,

Unless you are in the habit of having unprotected intercourse with your brother, he can be as messy as he likes and you will not become infected from his mess. Hiv is simply NOT transmitted through the environment or day to day household contact. Don't have unprotected intercourse with him and you won't have to worry.

Ann


Offline joemutt

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Re: Help, I live with a sloppy brother with HIV....
« Reply #19 on: August 23, 2006, 03:35:24 AM »
Mellowyellow, I am glad you are concerned about your brother's well-being and that you come here for help. From reading this from afar, I wonder if your brother's not depressed about his hiv status, that he hasn't accepted it? (might help explain why 'he let's him self go' re: habits, care and risk) You have to forgive him his defensiveness and habits to go beyond that and see what's the matter. Maybe you can direct him to these forums? I wish you well, Joe.

Offline Boo Radley

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Re: Help, I live with a sloppy brother with HIV....
« Reply #20 on: August 23, 2006, 03:41:20 AM »
Mellow,

From your description I believe your brother is experiencing severe depression and probably has been for quite some time. When I have been seriously depressed personal hygiene and other habits take a deep swing to the extreme side of revolting/disgusting.  I don't care about anything or anyone and would sleep 24 hours a day if I could (and I have).  I know that in your culture mental illness may also be hard to deal with but it should be viewed as an illness as much as HIV infection.  My culture isn't much better when it comes to mental illness (or HIV, for that matter...).

While you are looking for AIDS service organizations in your area also check into the mental health services offered by many ASOs.  Try to educate yourself about depression and other mental illnesses (without knowing your brother and without a doctor's degree I can't say he is definitely depressed -- he might be bipolar, for instance) and try to help your brother recognize his poor mental health.   If he is depressed and can be successfully treated I think you'd see an improvement in many of the areas you have problems with him.

Good luck!

Boo
String up every aristocrat!
Out with the priests and let them live on their fat!





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