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Author Topic: Disclosing HIV Status Publicly?  (Read 13606 times)

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Offline zeze42

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Disclosing HIV Status Publicly?
« on: January 26, 2010, 07:05:56 AM »
I came out publicly (at work, online, etc) about my HIV status last year.    In the euphoric first months it felt okay.  Now I regret it a lot.   I think it has cost me part of my job and most certainly made my work less excited about having me as an employee.   I am an all or nothing kind of person and so my urge is to become militant and in your face about it.   What does HIV advocacy look like nowadays?   Does it make sense to disclose your status at  work or publicly?   It feels good to tell the truth in the same way coming out as a gay man did.  It feels right and I do think it is helpful to other HIV+ people to be open about it.   But the consequences have been serious and I don't want to be forced into a role as a stereotypical, HIV+, nonprofit  worker bravely scraping by as he heads towards his death.  Even writing this is helping me to better understand my feelings.  I'm here, I'm poz queer.  Get used to it!   Your thoughts and experiences would be welcome.

Offline emeraldize

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Re: Disclosing HIV Status Publicly?
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2010, 08:01:54 AM »
Zeze

This is a good topic and I hope to contribute a post at some point, but I'm headed to work and can't just yet. I hope a bunch of people post in this thread including Regan.

There's a lot to be discussed about disclosure, the pros, cons, and neutrals.

Em

Offline zeze42

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Re: Disclosing HIV Status Publicly?
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2010, 10:04:30 PM »
I think the HIV issue really is dead.  I think it is probably really, really stupid to tell anyone.   It was a dramatic, star studded thing once upon a time, but now it seems that only stigma remains.   I wish I had seen this before I stupidly came out about.   If you are newly diagnosed, DON"T TELL ANYONE!   Don't even tell your partners.  HAve safe sex with guys who are negative,  keep you meds hidden or at work and pretend you are negative!   
Nobody NEEDS to know and nobody WANTS to know.   If you DO disclose your status this is what you have to look forward to
1. If you tell, your job will proactively try to get rid of you regardless of your performance.
2. If you tell, you will not be able to have friends over, handle food, babysit, or basically trust anyone.
3. If you tell you will be denied insurance and health care.
4. If you tell, you will be ostracized by EVERYONE except your token POZ friends.

These are the facts.   HIV is treatable now.  Treat it and keep your mouth shut.  If you get into a relationship , have safe sex and  do not tell your partner.   

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Disclosing HIV Status Publicly?
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2010, 10:11:33 PM »
If you are newly diagnosed, DON"T TELL ANYONE!   Don't even tell your partners.  HAve safe sex with guys who are negative,  keep you meds hidden or at work and pretend you are negative!   

I hope you're able to find the one-on-one counseling that you obviously need.  Good luck.
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline Rev. Moon

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Re: Disclosing HIV Status Publicly?
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2010, 10:19:21 PM »
Did two different people write the "zeze" entries in this thread or are you contradictory by nature?  Get some help, guy.
"I have tried hard--but life is difficult, and I am a very useless person. I can hardly be said to have an independent existence. I was just a screw or a cog in the great machine I called life, and when I dropped out of it I found I was of no use anywhere else."

Offline zeze42

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Newly Poz? DON"T TELL ANYONE!
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2010, 10:24:45 PM »
Are you newly Poz?   Are you considering telling people that you are Poz?  DON"T!!!!
In my experience, nobody needs to know, not even sex partners, as along as you are safe.
HIV is treatable.  You will start meds and you will be fine.   The stigma is so strong, that if you tell others, you will be seen as something dirty and unsafe to be around.   THIS IS HOW IT IS!  We, as human beings, fear sickness on a primal level.   People may TOLERATE you but they will not be comfortable with you around.
I made the mistake of going public and it HARMED ME A LOT!   The charm and euphoria wears off and you are stuck living with the STIGMA and DISCRIMINATION and ISOLATION.
THE FACTS
People do not want you around if you are HIV+, they don't want you preparing or touching food or dishes or bringing them coffee.  They don't want you around their kids, and they don't want you using stuff.  That is the bitter truth.   Lots of people have chronic illnesses that you don't know about.  In the same way people don't walk up to you and announce they have hemorrhoids, or chronic yeast infections, or sleep apnia, YOU DON"{T NEED TO TELL ANYONE ABOUT HIV!  Take you meds, hold your head up high and LIVE YOUR LIFE!  It ain't nobody's business!    Learn from my mistake!!!
« Last Edit: January 29, 2010, 10:37:32 PM by zeze42 »

Offline skeebo1969

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Re: Disclosing HIV Status Publicly?
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2010, 11:01:02 PM »
   If you DO disclose your status this is what you have to look forward to
1. If you tell, your job will proactively try to get rid of you regardless of your performance.
2. If you tell, you will not be able to have friends over, handle food, babysit, or basically trust anyone.
3. If you tell you will be denied insurance and health care.
4. If you tell, you will be ostracized by EVERYONE except your token POZ friends.

These are the facts.   HIV is treatable now.  Treat it and keep your mouth shut.  If you get into a relationship , have safe sex and  do not tell your partner.   

Not to sound "militant" here, but those are your facts and frankly so far in my experience I do not share them.

1. I told my employer and when I got sick they twisted every standard protocol to keep me on board.
2. Every year I still get asked to make my BBQ ribs and macaroni and cheese for my friends July 4 celebration.  Both his family and his wife's family are very aware I have HIV, if the way they eat my food is indication then I guess by your standards they are ill-advised bug chasers.  I also make all the holiday meals for the family get togethers, because I am the cook of the family.  I wish they wouldn't eat my food, would leave more leftovers for my wife and I.
3. Where exactly do you live?  You must not be in America.  I've gotten health insurance on two different occasions with absolutely no problems.  Life insurance policies can almost be impossible to get, however I do have one through my job.
4. POZ token friends?  OK, that's a new one to me.  I have 4 personal friends who are positive and no way in hell do I consider them "token" friends.  The people here on the forums are not "token" friends either.  If they are "tokens" to you might I suggest you let them go because the friendship is one sided.

Non disclosure to a partner can present it's own problems, sadly some of them by way of legality.  You be careful with that.  While I have my doubt due to your sensational introduction, I would like to welcome you to the forums.
I despise the song Love is in the Air, you should too.

Offline anniebc

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Re: Disclosing HIV Status Publicly?
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2010, 11:35:06 PM »
I  keep you meds hidden  and pretend you are negative!   

Are you serious!!!..why on earth would you do that or encourage someone to do that, life is reality not make believe, to pretend is to be insincere, and pretences are just acts intended to deceive, so why would you want to do that to your family and friends...and living a lie is not only extremely stressful  it's not good for your health.

I know that stigma still exists, but I think you will find that most people here have had a positive result from disclosure..anyone who wants to pretend they are HIV negative is seriously lacking in reality...and as Miss P said, needs one on one counselling.

Jan
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Offline zeze42

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Re: Disclosing HIV Status Publicly?
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2010, 11:57:04 PM »
It seems a flaming approach is the best way to generate discussion.  My initial post about this very important topic was not generating much interest.   People really get bitchy and personal though:  "Get help."  Thanks a lot, man!

Just to respond to the "reality / make believe post.  Not disclosing is not the same as make believe.  Not disclosing means  "It's none of your business."   I KNOW I am poz, but you don't need to know. 

What is the point of carrying on outdated advocacy traditions and assumptions now that HIV is treatable? 
All in all, if I had to do it over, I would have kept my status to myself.   The cost of disclosing has been very  high and really quite unnecessary.  HIV does not have to be a big deal in your life now.   Why make it something serious and grim when it's NOT?  I am not advocating unsafe sex or exposing others to HIV.  That is obviously wrong.   I am quite comfortable saying that HIV is no big deal any more in the developed world and there is no reason to continue to make it one.  Silence doesn't equal death anymore if you are practicing safe sex.  THIS IS GOOD NEWS!   


Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Disclosing HIV Status Publicly?
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2010, 12:30:17 AM »
It seems a flaming approach is the best way to generate discussion. 

k
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline tednlou2

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Re: Newly Poz? DON"T TELL ANYONE!
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2010, 01:46:48 AM »
I'm sorry to hear about your bad experience in telling your status.  This is a real fear for many.  I think you should tell everyone if that makes you feel better.  I think being in the closet keeps the stigma going.  Having said that, I have only told a few people.  I haven't worried so much about rejection as people thinking, "If you're gay, you get HIV."  If you can't tell everyone, you should only tell people who you know will be a support system. 

My brother knows my status.  He isn't afraid to eat after me or eat my cooking.  He has actually done things like popping zits I've had.  I've told him it probably isn't the best idea since blood often comes out.  He doesn't seem concerned.  So, I think it depends on who you tell.  I remember having dinner with a family friend in 1992 who was dying of AIDS.  None of us were afraid to eat dinner with him or eat what he made.  This was back when many still thought you could get HIV from casual contact.

I think you're right that many people still think they can catch it from ya.  I was surprised recently when a doc on thebody said it was possible to get HIV from tears.  I asked another doc on that site about that, and he said no way.  HIV is actually a very hard virus to transmit.  If it weren't, there would be millions more infected.

So, it seems you've had a really bad experience.  I'm sorry about that.  That really sucks. 

Offline anniebc

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Re: Disclosing HIV Status Publicly?
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2010, 04:05:51 AM »
I was refering to this statement.."pretend you are negative"
If you look up the defintion of the word "pretend" I think you will find it means ..

1 : to give a false appearance of being
2 : to make believe

You are asking people deny their status....that is not healthy.

Jan
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Never knock on deaths door..ring the bell and run..he really hates that.

Offline mecch

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Re: Newly Poz? DON"T TELL ANYONE!
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2010, 08:32:14 AM »
Maybe in your world, your circles, don't try not to be so universal about such claims, dear.

And secondly, some sex partners want to know your status even if you are going to have safe sex. Out of respect for yourself and them, you can tell them. Or just not have sex if they ask and you dont want to tell. If they reject you for saying you are HIV+, then its your self esteem that wins because you dont have sex or fall in love with someone who can't deal with the entire you.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2010, 08:33:46 AM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline mecch

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Re: Disclosing HIV Status Publicly?
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2010, 08:35:43 AM »
If you are militant why not fight the stigma that remains, now that the "stars" are gone.  There definitely is stigma and it definitely needs people like you, in your face people, to educate.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline skeebo1969

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Re: Newly Poz? DON"T TELL ANYONE!
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2010, 08:52:19 AM »


  Anyone else notice how we've been getting a lot of these strange threads here recently?
I despise the song Love is in the Air, you should too.

Offline emeraldize

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Re: Disclosing HIV Status Publicly?
« Reply #15 on: January 30, 2010, 09:18:30 AM »
If you are militant why not fight the stigma that remains, now that the "stars" are gone.  There definitely is stigma and it definitely needs people like you, in your face people, to educate.


I agree with Mecch, but perhaps with a message a little more like the one you likely shared when you were in your self-described euphoric stage---when sharing your status information was liberating.

Like Skeebo, I'm permitted and encouraged to make and serve food to my family (who now all know along with many friends, bosses, etc.). Hell, the first quarter after dx, when my sister was the only person who knew, she let me carve the Thanksgiving turkey. I will never forget that because I know what was running through her mind that she knowingly opted to override in order let me do what I would normally have done.

Again, like Skeebo, I've gotten health insurance and life insurance through work. And, while I have few face-to-face poz friends (they're more like acquaintances or we're on a board or CAB together), those who are closer or affiliates-becoming-friends through this site, could never be defined as token. How do token and friend even go together as descriptors of someone you've chosen to invest in?

So, it's Saturday, and I had a little time to finally put a post on your thread. I don't know how long you've been positive vs the time that's elapsed since coming out "last year." When I read your posts I sense you've got some anger, understandably, that would be worth addressing with some counseling. It is helpful if you've not had any.

Em

PS. I am glad you put this thread together because I would like to get Skeebo's mac and cheese recipe.

Offline emeraldize

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Re: Newly Poz? DON"T TELL ANYONE!
« Reply #16 on: January 30, 2010, 09:24:00 AM »

  Anyone else notice how we've been getting a lot of these strange threads here recently?

Well, after just posting in zeze's other thread, to read this one, I'm getting that creepy feeling like "is this guy/girl for real?" is this a ruse?

To anyone newly diagnosed or at any point along the way and keeping quiet, disclosure or non-disclosure is a personal choice and I would suggest you read many posters' views peppered throughout the forum and over a span of years to get a broad understanding of reasons for doing so and the possible outcomes---many of which are very good for you and others.

Offline skeebo1969

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Re: Disclosing HIV Status Publicly?
« Reply #17 on: January 30, 2010, 10:02:46 AM »
PS. I am glad you put this thread together because I would like to get Skeebo's mac and cheese recipe.

LMAO

Em, I had to pry this recipe from my ex's father who is now one of my best friends.  It's the best I've tasted, especially with a side of collard greens.  I'll pm it to you.
I despise the song Love is in the Air, you should too.

Offline leatherman

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Re: Disclosing HIV Status Publicly?
« Reply #18 on: January 30, 2010, 11:07:51 AM »
It seems a flaming approach is the best way to generate discussion.  My initial post about this very important topic was not generating much interest.   People really get bitchy and personal though:  "Get help."  Thanks a lot, man!
Hi Joseph,
welcome to the forums. I see that you've been with us for half a year or more but waited before posting much of anything. I don't think your poll question got much of a reaction because it doesn't make much sense. Of course AIDS isn't over in America. People still have it, and MTV stills plays PSAs about getting tested (that's what prompted me to get tested way back in 92). Thankfully the treatment is much better; but I don't think anyone thinks AIDS is over.

personally these recent two threads probably ought to be combined into one, and they are both pretty dang weird, not to mention confusing! Also take note that this is a forum, not a chat room, and it's populated by people from all around the world. Not every subject gets an immediate response, and sometimes it takes days to get a thread going. Both of your newer threads (and that poll) are rather confusing, and I think people were waiting to hear more to understand better before responding. (in that poll, all you said was thank you. If you had wanted a discussion there, you should have started it off with some premise that we could understand and your own opinions which we could have discussed)

Perhaps if you didn't take such a militant and flaming approach you wouldn't have had the issues you did. (no one likes anyone to be "in their face" about anything - especially about an illness they don't have.) Plus being militant isn't a very good way to get your friends, families, or employers to understand your issues. That attitude might work in front of city halls; but your mom and your boss won't appreciate it at all because that's a rather rude way to treat them.

Regardless of anything else, I sure don't think that your approach worked here either, in of forum of a bunch of pozzies - hence the "get help" and "are you real?" comments. Of course, many of us have had "some" similar issues; but I think your situation sounds pretty extraordinary and was probably exacerbated by your own militant methods (so if I were you, I might reconsider that kind of approach in the future).  Life ain't easy man, and having HIV doesn't make it any easier. All of those situations on your list do have solutions, and quite frankly aren't the norm for most of us here.

Hopefully, you will want to discuss your issues and seek out solutions, through that actual discussion your were talking about; instead of stirring up things which doesn't do anything but confuse us about what you are trying to talk about here - your issues or HIV advocacy.
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 leatherman

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Re: Newly Poz? DON"T TELL ANYONE!
« Reply #19 on: January 30, 2010, 11:08:08 AM »
Anyone else notice how we've been getting a lot of these strange threads here recently?
Amen to that brother  ;)

It seems a flaming approach is the best way to generate discussion.  My initial post about this very important topic was not generating much interest.!
Hi Joseph,
welcome to the forums. I see that you've been with us for half a year or more but waited before posting much of anything. I don't think your poll question got much of a reaction because it doesn't make much sense.

personally these recent two threads probably ought to be combined into one, and they are both pretty dang weird, not to mention confusing! Also take note that this is a forum, not a chat room, and it's populated by people from all around the world. Not every subject gets an immediate response, and sometimes it takes days to get a thread going.

Hopefully, you will want to discuss your issues and seek out solutions through that actual discussion your were talking about in the other thread; instead of stirring up things which doesn't do anything but confuse us about what you are trying to talk about here - your issues or HIV advocacy.

(please read my similar; but slightly longer reply, that's in your other thread)
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: Disclosing HIV Status Publicly?
« Reply #20 on: January 30, 2010, 11:41:09 AM »
zeze,

I've merged your two nearly identical threads into this one in Just Tested. To have threads on the same exact subject in more than one forum is not good forum etiquette and is considered spamming.

I'm totally out about my hiv status in my community and it's never been a problem. I live on a small island with a population of only app. 70,000, so if someone doesn't know you personally, you will still have at least one or two friends/acquaintances in common. This placed is also very much on the conservative side politically speaking.

I've found through both my own personal experience and observing other poz people that those of us who are comfortable in our status and open about it have few or no problems with being out. Those who are not comfortable, who have internalised the stigma, are the ones who have problems when people know their status. People subconsciously pick up on your attitude and reflect it back to you and this is true of your attitude towards many things, not just hiv.

It struck me as rather odd when you stated that your early days of being out were "euphoric". You also made the statement that "once the charm and euphoria wore off..." Charm? Euphoria? While I have always felt it was a relief to be open about my status, euphoria is not a word I'd use to describe it. Charm? No. Honesty, yes. I have to wonder if you weren't so in-your-face and giddy to the point of being hysterical that it ended up being a big turn-off for others. Just thinking out loud here.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...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 GNYC09

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Re: Disclosing HIV Status Publicly?
« Reply #21 on: January 31, 2010, 12:40:10 AM »
Is there a nice way to call somebody out as an internet troll? 

I love the Wikipedia description of a troll: "In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community...with the primary intent of provoking other users into an emotional response...Trolling is a game about identity deception, albeit one that is played without the consent of most of the players. The troll attempts to pass as a legitimate participant, sharing the group's common interests and concerns." 

Offline elf

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Re: Disclosing HIV Status Publicly?
« Reply #22 on: January 31, 2010, 12:46:53 AM »
It's best not to tell anyone.
I told my best friend and

1. she overreacted, she started avoiding me
2. she told everyone about me
3. she sent me anonymous email saying ''I know you have AIDS. You are doomed. I'm gonna tell everybody''.

the result: 1. we are not friends anymore; 2. many people (even some people I don't even know) know about my diagnosis.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_to_silence

Remember Ryan White?
4 years ago there was the same thing here in Cro@ti@: no one wanted to go to school with two HIV+ girls, and this was in 2005, not 1985.

People who know my HIV status: people at the HIV clinic, my family doctor, my parents, 5 friends.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2010, 12:58:59 AM by elf »
Let's have a Kiki!

Offline Rev. Moon

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Re: Disclosing HIV Status Publicly?
« Reply #23 on: January 31, 2010, 12:47:21 AM »
Is there a nice way to call somebody out as an internet troll? 

I love the Wikipedia description of a troll: "In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community...with the primary intent of provoking other users into an emotional response...Trolling is a game about identity deception, albeit one that is played without the consent of most of the players. The troll attempts to pass as a legitimate participant, sharing the group's common interests and concerns." 

Thank you, my muppet mate.  I stand by my previous response.  This person makes no sense by posting two different, completely contradictory, entries about disclosure (his comment about stigma generalises things to an extreme).  Has he responded to what Skeebo or Mikie had to say, nope.

Silence still equals death.
"I have tried hard--but life is difficult, and I am a very useless person. I can hardly be said to have an independent existence. I was just a screw or a cog in the great machine I called life, and when I dropped out of it I found I was of no use anywhere else."

Offline Ann

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Re: Disclosing HIV Status Publicly?
« Reply #24 on: January 31, 2010, 06:11:43 AM »

Silence still equals death.


And the more we hide, the more we have  to hide. We contribute to our own stigma and persecution when we are ashamed of out status and keep it a dark, dirty secret. We are our own worst enemy sometimes.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...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 newhorizon80

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Re: Disclosing HIV Status Publicly?
« Reply #25 on: January 31, 2010, 05:29:22 PM »

I'm not out with my status- I've been positive for about 15 months now and only have about a handful (less than 10) of friends, some positive (4), that know-- some of my best friends do not know.  Negative sexual partners know (for obvious reasons).
10/30/08: CD4: 486 VL: 13,000
04/23/09: CD4: 456 VL: 8,890
10/27/09: CD4: 358 VL: 6,260
04/27/10: CD4: 413 VL: 7,800
10/19/10: CD4: 416 VL: 26,400*
11/15/10: CD4: 499 VL: 0*
04/05/11: CD4: 521
09/20/11: CD4: 585
03/06/12: CD4: 634
05/29/12: CD4: 643
08/21/12: CD4: 968

Offline madbrain

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Re: Disclosing HIV Status Publicly?
« Reply #26 on: January 31, 2010, 08:02:40 PM »
I don't know if the Op is legit or not, but I have come out very publicly as poz 1.5 yrs ago and not experienced any negative consequences yet.

Offline phildinftlaudy

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Re: Disclosing HIV Status Publicly?
« Reply #27 on: January 31, 2010, 08:32:55 PM »
I'm out about my status also - at work with supervisors, friends, immediate family --- no problems.  My parents some time don't want to talk about it or hear about it, but I think it is part of their denial and/or fear and sadness about their son having HIV....  They have not told anyone that lives in their older adult community nor any aunts, cousins, etc. and out of respect for them I haven't disclosed to any of them, but I would not have a problem doing it.  I don't have an issue with being positive - dont really have an option on that  :-)   If someone else has an issue, it is their issue, not mine.  Like I said, if i haven't disclosed to certain family members, it is more out of a respect for my parents, although I agree that non-disclosure reinforces stigma, stereotypes and ignorance. 
September 13, 2008 - diagnosed +
Labs:
Date    CD4    %   VL     Date  CD4  %   VL
10/08  636    35  510   9/09 473  38 2900  12/4/09 Atripla
12/09  540    30    60   
12/10  740    41  <48   
8/11    667    36  <20  
03/12  1,041  42  <20
05/12  1,241  47  <20
08/12   780    37  <20
11/12   549    35  <20
02/12  1,102  42  <20
11/12   549    35  <20

Offline mecch

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Re: Disclosing HIV Status Publicly?
« Reply #28 on: February 05, 2010, 01:06:26 AM »
The more friends I tell, the more it becomes a non issue.  Family next step.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline CJ2009

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Re: Disclosing HIV Status Publicly?
« Reply #29 on: February 06, 2010, 12:36:53 PM »
My personal thought on this is to just be careful who you tell. Disclose your status to people that matter--your partner, parents, your best friend(s). I feel that these are the people that deserve to know, not the entire world. If you aren't comfortable telling people that you encounter sexually about your status, then don't have sex.

BTW, I think lying about your status is a little unethical.

Offline Ravhyn

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Re: Disclosing HIV Status Publicly?
« Reply #30 on: February 17, 2010, 10:35:57 AM »
I came out to everyone, my friends, family, The forum where a mass majority of army wives locally hang out. and I was overwhelmed by the support and the pm's.  So many women I spoke too had friends and family members with the virus.  I got depressed after being diagnosed and shut down my in home babysitting business. The entire time I was wallowing away in my misery my phone was blowing off the hook, people asking me to return to work and babysit again.  My friends didn't let me wallow for long they bombarded me.  Refused to give me a moments rest and said as long as I wasn't a brain eating zombie they were there for me and didn't see me any different.  I have no problem telling anyone at all. The only people who can not find out are the other soldiers who work with my husband per company commander because he doesn't want them freaking out and then something happening to my husband at work because of the stigma. I respect that, but I would myself like to get involved in the community already I have one fundraiser about to take place (It's not much a partylite fundraiser) but I plan for the proceeds to be given to Nashville Cares.  I'd like to find an active group though to become involved with. 
April 2006 - Sero-Conversion
December 2009 - Diagnosed
Jan 2010- VL 3,800 CD4 152
Summer 2010 VL UD, CD4 over 200
September 2010 VL UD, CD4 324
March 2011 VL UD, CD4 477
May 2011 VL UD, 338

Offline justus35

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Re: Disclosing HIV Status Publicly?
« Reply #31 on: February 17, 2010, 05:42:16 PM »
I haven't  told anyone but the men i have been involved with  and my doctor i see no reason to tell anyone but whoever your sexing , but i will tell when and if conditions arise that its warranted ,as for now i see no reason.
SELF MADE -DOING IT FOR MYSELF

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Disclosing HIV Status Publicly?
« Reply #32 on: February 17, 2010, 06:25:22 PM »
When I go to the local bath house I wear a sign around my neck that says "HIV = WIN!"
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline Rev. Moon

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Re: Disclosing HIV Status Publicly?
« Reply #33 on: February 17, 2010, 06:52:38 PM »
When I go to the local bath house I wear a sign around my neck that says "HIV = WIN!"

Nice. I just write "teh AIDS" on my forehead with lipstick when I go there.
"I have tried hard--but life is difficult, and I am a very useless person. I can hardly be said to have an independent existence. I was just a screw or a cog in the great machine I called life, and when I dropped out of it I found I was of no use anywhere else."

Offline Joe K

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Re: Disclosing HIV Status Publicly?
« Reply #34 on: February 17, 2010, 10:30:57 PM »
In 1991 I became the AIDS poster guy in Detroit, by having my picture and story in the Detroit Free Press. I was never afraid to tell my story, nor put a face with HIV, because I had watched far too many of my friends die and I just could not stand the stigma anymore. I was working with an ASO and doing presentations about HIV, to anyone who would have me.  It was a tough gig, as I was going to black churches, which were not exactly comfortable with gays, let alone HIV. About two months, after the article was printed, I went to a black Baptist church in Detroit and the crowd looked like they wanted to draw and quarter me right there.

Although the tension was palpable, I got through my little spiel and answered a few questions and that was it. While I am gathering all my stuff, this old black woman comes up to me and just grabs me and hugs me. She pulls back and says: "Thank you for helping me to understand what my grandson is going through, he just became HIV positive".  With those words, I realized that disclosure was the only path to our acceptance.
Life is what happens, when you are busy making other plans.

Though you may be only one person in the entire world, to one person, you may be the entire world.

I wish to become half the man, that my dog thinks I am.

Remember me with simple acts of kindness and I will live forever.

Offline Etay1207

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Re: Disclosing HIV Status Publicly?
« Reply #35 on: February 27, 2010, 04:59:31 PM »
@Killfoile:  You know what I go through.  You went to a black church on a few occasions as a gay, HIV+ person.  Now imagine me going to the black church every Sunday and fight through the sigma of 1. being gay 2. HIV+
POZ since 1999
1/07 tcells: 530 vl: 72,922 7/07 tcells: 542 vl: 26,577
9/08 tcells: 339 vl: 56,120  7/09 tcells: 267 vl: 663,160
11/09 tcells: 71 vl: 498,670 2/10 tcells: 52 vl: 322,000
 no meds and feeling great!

Offline Hellraiser

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Re: Disclosing HIV Status Publicly?
« Reply #36 on: February 27, 2010, 06:10:52 PM »
@Killfoile:  You know what I go through.  You went to a black church on a few occasions as a gay, HIV+ person.  Now imagine me going to the black church every Sunday and fight through the sigma of 1. being gay 2. HIV+

Why wouldn't you want to go to a church that's more accepting?  I'm a big ole' atheist, but I'm just curious why you wouldn't want to maybe branch off to a church where you won't be stigmatized and instead be accepted/loved.

Offline Etay1207

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Re: Disclosing HIV Status Publicly?
« Reply #37 on: February 27, 2010, 07:40:20 PM »
I now attend a gay church and I am fully accepted (except in my refusal to take meds). But there are many of us still in traditional churches being "beat up". That's why I'm so vocal.
POZ since 1999
1/07 tcells: 530 vl: 72,922 7/07 tcells: 542 vl: 26,577
9/08 tcells: 339 vl: 56,120  7/09 tcells: 267 vl: 663,160
11/09 tcells: 71 vl: 498,670 2/10 tcells: 52 vl: 322,000
 no meds and feeling great!

Offline Ann

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Re: Disclosing HIV Status Publicly?
« Reply #38 on: February 27, 2010, 08:17:27 PM »

I now attend a gay church and I am fully accepted (except in my refusal to take meds).


That's only because people care about you. We care about you too. I hope you get over your aversion to the meds before it's too late.

Ann
xxx
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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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 leatherman

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Re: Disclosing HIV Status Publicly?
« Reply #39 on: February 27, 2010, 08:51:31 PM »
I am fully accepted (except in my refusal to take meds).

Reply #47 on: February 16, 2010, 05:23:24 pm
I have another appointment with the cardiologist on the 22nd.... Yes, he did give me a lecture about taking meds

Reply #7 on: January 23, 2010, 01:25:52 pm
My doc prescribed me Atripla (I have yet to fill the perscription).
wow! so people here care enough about a stranger to try to cajole you into going onto meds before it's too late; your doctors are telling you should be on meds; even the people at your church say you should go on meds, yet you bravely, stupidly buck everyone else's opinions and go with your own opinion that flies against logic. None are as blind as those that refuse to see.  ::)

Quote
I'm an on-and-off health nut.
you're definitely in the off phase right now, I would say. LOL
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 Jeton

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Re: Disclosing HIV Status Publicly?
« Reply #40 on: February 27, 2010, 09:25:14 PM »
zeze,

I've merged your two nearly identical threads into this one in Just Tested. To have threads on the same exact subject in more than one forum is not good forum etiquette and is considered spamming.

I'm totally out about my hiv status in my community and it's never been a problem. I live on a small island with a population of only app. 70,000, so if someone doesn't know you personally, you will still have at least one or two friends/acquaintances in common. This placed is also very much on the conservative side politically speaking.

I've found through both my own personal experience and observing other poz people that those of us who are comfortable in our status and open about it have few or no problems with being out. Those who are not comfortable, who have internalised the stigma, are the ones who have problems when people know their status. People subconsciously pick up on your attitude and reflect it back to you and this is true of your attitude towards many things, not just hiv.

It struck me as rather odd when you stated that your early days of being out were "euphoric". You also made the statement that "once the charm and euphoria wore off..." Charm? Euphoria? While I have always felt it was a relief to be open about my status, euphoria is not a word I'd use to describe it. Charm? No. Honesty, yes. I have to wonder if you weren't so in-your-face and giddy to the point of being hysterical that it ended up being a big turn-off for others. Just thinking out loud here.

Ann

dear Admin,

that is an extremely unfair statement, and ur set-up about it being ur "experience and observation" isn't enuff to excuse it. u claim is essentially blaming the victim for HIV-phobia, denying the grim reality of it for many. yes Ann, u can own ur HIV+ status and be open about it and hold ur head high, and still get discriminated against for it, even by those closest to u. it's a fortunate thing that u have not experienced that urself, but it's sanctimonious and brutal to claim that someone else's experience of HIV-phobia is essentially their own fault.

for an Admin here, it's shocking to see...but hey, i'm new to this forum.

Offline Esquare

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Re: Disclosing HIV Status Publicly?
« Reply #41 on: February 28, 2010, 12:54:11 AM »
I think a lot of it depends on the context of your situation.  I will never disclose to anyone other than my wife.  Just because someone on this site feels strongly that you are adding to the stigma of this virus doesn't make it  so.  That's just their opinion.  Before someone discloses to a lot of people I think they need a few months to figure out exactly what is going on with their body.  I still remeber thinking I would instantly die right after my diagnosis.  Once I figured out that life will go on and these meds work very well then I had a totally different outlook.  Take your time.

Offline Ann

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Re: Disclosing HIV Status Publicly?
« Reply #42 on: February 28, 2010, 10:15:26 AM »
dear Admin,

that is an extremely unfair statement, and ur set-up about it being ur "experience and observation" isn't enuff to excuse it. u claim is essentially blaming the victim for HIV-phobia, denying the grim reality of it for many. yes Ann, u can own ur HIV+ status and be open about it and hold ur head high, and still get discriminated against for it, even by those closest to u. it's a fortunate thing that u have not experienced that urself, but it's sanctimonious and brutal to claim that someone else's experience of HIV-phobia is essentially their own fault.

for an Admin here, it's shocking to see...but hey, i'm new to this forum.

When I first read your post, I wasn't going to bother to reply to you - it's difficult to take someone seriously when they can't be bothered to write out simple words like you. But then I thought, what the heck.

I'm not blaming anyone for anything.

I have been discriminated against and I have experienced stigma due to my hiv status - BUT - I either don't let it bother me or I do something about it. I don't let it make me depressed or change the way I feel about myself. People who still discriminate against people who are hiv positive in this day and age are ignorant and bigoted and I don't let them into my life. It's their loss, not mine. And yes, I'd be the same with family members.

A lot of people who treat people with hiv badly do it out of ignorance more than anything else. When I come across someone like this, I do my best to educate them. If they still act like assholes, I cut them out of my life.

I'm not saying that being open about being poz will protect you from being discriminated against. What I'm talking about is how people react to stigma and discrimination. You can choose to take it to heart or you can be happy within yourself and have a good self-image despite hiv. When someone treats me badly because of hiv and they see that it's not getting to me, they soon give up.

I stand by my statements and yes, they are a result of my own experience and observations and I have every right to my opinion. I know quite a few other openly poz people who have experienced and observed the same thing. The more we hide, the more we have  to hide. That's just the way it is.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...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 RapidRod

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Re: Disclosing HIV Status Publicly?
« Reply #43 on: February 28, 2010, 10:35:44 AM »
I live in a small redneck farming community and everyone knows that I am Gay and I have AIDS. At no time have I ever been discriminated against. I make appearances in the local high schools and at the local colleges to discuss HIV and have for years. I've helped students do their research reports on HIV and AIDS. So to hide one's status on their illness is just being insecure and the inability to accept their own status. Once you are positive there is nothing you can do about it except try to maintain your health and continue to lead a happy productive life. You are the only one that can do that.

Offline Joe K

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Re: Disclosing HIV Status Publicly?
« Reply #44 on: February 28, 2010, 02:06:41 PM »
I remember well, the hatred that existed in Detroit, between the inner city and the suburbs. The city was predominately black, with the suburbs being mainly white. The fact was, there were resources for us in the suburbs, that the city lacked and so we concentrated our efforts there. I was told often enough, by folks in those churches, that even though they resented some "rich white guy" coming to their church and talking about very difficult subjects, they were impressed that I cared enough to come, even knowing the reception I would receive.

Sometimes, the more difficult path is the one we must take, if we are to affect the change that we seek.
Life is what happens, when you are busy making other plans.

Though you may be only one person in the entire world, to one person, you may be the entire world.

I wish to become half the man, that my dog thinks I am.

Remember me with simple acts of kindness and I will live forever.

Offline anniebc

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Re: Disclosing HIV Status Publicly?
« Reply #45 on: February 28, 2010, 04:22:33 PM »
Quote
The more we hide, the more we have to hide.

I would just like to add a few more lines from our wise Administrator.

Quote: .."The more we feel ashamed of our status the more they say we should feel ashamed"..Unquote:

I'm not ashamed of my status...are you?.

If they are already waving the gun around for God sake don't give them the bullets...just saying.

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

Offline Jeton

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Re: Disclosing HIV Status Publicly?
« Reply #46 on: February 28, 2010, 05:00:49 PM »
When I first read your post, I wasn't going to bother to reply to you - it's difficult to take someone seriously when they can't be bothered to write out simple words like you. But then I thought, what the heck.

I'm not blaming anyone for anything.

I have been discriminated against and I have experienced stigma due to my hiv status - BUT - I either don't let it bother me or I do something about it. I don't let it make me depressed or change the way I feel about myself. People who still discriminate against people who are hiv positive in this day and age are ignorant and bigoted and I don't let them into my life. It's their loss, not mine. And yes, I'd be the same with family members.

A lot of people who treat people with hiv badly do it out of ignorance more than anything else. When I come across someone like this, I do my best to educate them. If they still act like assholes, I cut them out of my life.

I'm not saying that being open about being poz will protect you from being discriminated against. What I'm talking about is how people react to stigma and discrimination. You can choose to take it to heart or you can be happy within yourself and have a good self-image despite hiv. When someone treats me badly because of hiv and they see that it's not getting to me, they soon give up.

I stand by my statements and yes, they are a result of my own experience and observations and I have every right to my opinion. I know quite a few other openly poz people who have experienced and observed the same thing. The more we hide, the more we have  to hide. That's just the way it is.

Ann

in ur last paragraph, only the very last sentence makes sense...how can u stand by ur earlier statements when most of ur post here basically refutes the earlier statements? yes, internalizing stigma makes stigma more powerful, yes, limiting one's exposure to bigots and the ignorant is often wise...but that's NOT at all what u said earlier. whether or not the OP is a troll, the reply of urs i quoted was a condescending and harmful falsehood.

as the OP said, and as many of the hundreds of men i've met in nyc's poz community can attest, including myself, one need not be ashamed of one's own poz status to still encounter severe prejudice and discrimination about it. many r comprehensively secretive about their status, and that is their choice.

i am casually open about my status. the virus claims more than enuff of my time, i don't need to give it any more with needless denials or declarations...but if it's a natural part of any conversation, i'll just flow right in.

i could NEVER tell anyone who's poz that they're wrong for fearing and/or regretting disclosure, because i know the reality of it myself. it's a trade-off that won't work for anybody, and everyone has their right to privacy for it's own sake. ur own blog is testament to the real life application of the principles u outline with this latest post but NOT in ur earlier one. a medical professional blithely slandered the entire poz population and generally behaved like a doctor in a sleazy sitcom...u made a point of disclosing ur status and obviously knew u were likely to find a new dermatologist but made the best of the situation. it ended up being a mediocre situation but it could have gone far worse, especially if u had no other provider available.

the Ann of this post would react to the blog Ann by saying "hey, u made the best of it." the Ann of ur earlier post would tell blog Ann "it was ur fault"

oh, n i'm quite happy w my innernet spellings. :)

Offline Jeton

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Re: Disclosing HIV Status Publicly?
« Reply #47 on: February 28, 2010, 05:10:39 PM »
incidental to my earlier posts, but my original interest in entering this thread B4 i read Ann's post was to tell the OP that in most places, failing to disclose one's hiv-positive status is a serious criminal offense. public officials the world over have made a habit of imprisoning poz ppl for failing to disclose. i always tell people that being public and casual about my status. and especially being proactive about disclosing early in any social interaction that has any chance of leading to sex. i have found it extremely freeing, but i'm an aggressive personality in a fairly liberal environment.

always being open about one's status will not work for everyone or in every environment...but making a habit of failing to disclose one's hiv-positive status to sex partners just puts a target on ur back, basically.

Offline RapidRod

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Re: Disclosing HIV Status Publicly?
« Reply #48 on: February 28, 2010, 06:51:47 PM »
Quote
but making a habit of failing to disclose one's hiv-positive status to sex partners just puts a target on ur back, basically.
Then you get what you deserve. That is not what the original poster was discussing.

Offline Jeton

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Re: Disclosing HIV Status Publicly?
« Reply #49 on: February 28, 2010, 06:57:00 PM »
Then you get what you deserve. That is not what the original poster was discussing.

it partly was. he expressly advised against telling partners one's positive status..."just take ur meds n use condoms n say nothing". i sympathize with much of what he wrote, but not that.

 


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