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Author Topic: curious  (Read 6234 times)

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Offline darkerpozz

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curious
« on: May 26, 2010, 01:51:31 AM »
Not wanting to be slam judged but curious as to why I still am so closeted with my status when I feel open in dealing with it but just not telling. I know it has to do with stigma, but some of you are so at peace and I want to find a bit of that. I errroneously just deal by assuming everyone has it but that is so not true and it probably doing some kind of disservice to the non infected.  Just curious about thoughts on this....Mark

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: curious
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2010, 02:05:22 AM »
Well it all depends.

The most important thing is that you're at peace with your status within yourself. It might be that you're simply a private person who doesn't share their medical stuff with others in everyday life.

Not all of us are placard waving activists nor should we be.

MtD
(Who is a placard waving activists)

Offline tednlou2

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Re: curious
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2010, 02:14:33 AM »
For me, I don't feel like telling too many people until I've come to terms with the virus.  Some may say it helps to come to terms by telling friends and family.  They may be right.  My brother knows and our relationship has gotten worse.  He is more argumentative with me over little things and we don't hang out like we did.  Maybe it is just a coincidence, but I don't think he is dealing with it very well.  It seems like he is angry with me for getting infected--maybe even subconsciously.  I know some people who get sick with something say people withdraw from them.  I don't know if it is a way for them to cope--thinking you're going to die, so they should withdraw now.  I know this probably isn't the norm and many have positive outcomes from telling.

To make a long story short, I'm not ready to deal with people who may have issues.

Offline elf

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Re: curious
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2010, 05:42:32 AM »
''Don't ask, don't tell''
take your meds and use a condom  :)

I told my best friend, and my aunt
and they fled as fast as a fly from my life  ???
so, I decided to share this dark secret only with me.

Like I said before, people are afraid of snakes,
I may be as dangerous as a nonvenomous snake,
but they just hate snakes, they don't want me around.
I think most people think we HIVers are bombs that are about
to explode and kill everyone around.  :o

Being sincere is ok, but would you ever testify against yourself in a court,
this is what lawyers advise against.
 :-\
« Last Edit: May 26, 2010, 05:53:38 AM by elf »
Let's have a Kiki!

Offline retroMan

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Re: curious
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2010, 01:41:28 PM »
Hi.  I have a different take on it.  I do agree that you should give yourself time and come to terms with it but also remember, how the person whom you choose to tell reacts is not your problem.  You've done your part by disclosing the rest is their s**t, not yours.

Personally, it helped me in knowing that I was a good person who contracted it at the hopes of being with someone exclusively.  I took a few weeks before I told anyone.  I thought about the choice I made to take the risk for that piece o' ass that I wanted; ass that I assumed was all mine.  There was nobody around to blame for that but me.  When I finally started disclosing, I found that the peace that was within came through and others reacted with the same peace.  To this day, all my friends/family members that know treat me the same as before I told them.

Now I'm not self-righteous in any way, but I really do think how you feel about yourself, and your battle matters when you disclose your status.  If you're bummed out and the world is over to you, I think people tend to react to that.  On the other hand, if you've found a support system that works or you have worked through the fear, shame, guilt, etc. and began to tap into resources to fight head-on, folks tend to be less-threatened and see that you will handle your business accordingly.  Just remember...some will still have their own issues.

Online Ann

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Re: curious
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2010, 02:11:48 PM »

When I finally started disclosing, I found that the peace that was within came through and others reacted with the same peace.  To this day, all my friends/family members that know treat me the same as before I told them.

Now I'm not self-righteous in any way, but I really do think how you feel about yourself, and your battle matters when you disclose your status.  If you're bummed out and the world is over to you, I think people tend to react to that.  On the other hand, if you've found a support system that works or you have worked through the fear, shame, guilt, etc. and began to tap into resources to fight head-on, folks tend to be less-threatened and see that you will handle your business accordingly.  Just remember...some will still have their own issues.


Well said. I've had the same (overwhelmingly good) experience. People pick up on your feelings about your infection and react accordingly. Of course, you're always going to get the odd person who is a jerk, but you're going to get that with anything, not just hiv. As retroMan says, some will still have their own issues.
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 mecch

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Re: curious
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2010, 02:19:44 PM »
why I still am so closeted with my status when I feel open in dealing with it but just not telling.

Sorry to be thick but I dont really understand what you mean.  So you keep it private. But you are open in dealing with it.  You mean open with us on the forum? 

Anyhow maybe if you could explain some more we could discuss and understand what you have now and where you would like to be, since you seem a bit discontent.

Also, I dont see how assuming everyone has HIV helps deal with being HIV since as you say, thats not true. I dont get what you are doing. You mean you work and shop and play and assume everyone around you is HIV+?

ďFrom each, according to his ability; to each, according to his needĒ 1875 K Marx

Offline Boze

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Re: curious
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2010, 03:43:12 PM »
I don't see the upside of sharing it with people.

People who care about you will be depressed because the general opinion out there is that your life will be hugely curtailed (both length and quality). I mean I thought that 2 months ago before my diagnosis. You'll have to do a lot of work convincing them that you are fine and have same life expectancy as HIV- if properly medicated.

People who know you casually will just be afraid of contact, etc. They will also talk about you behind your back - just human nature to gossip. Plus the social stigma.

At least that's my take as someone who is recently diagnosed.
==========
Aug08 - Seroconversion
Mar10 - Diagnosis; cd4 690 - VL 19,000
Apr10 - cd4 600
May10 - VL 4,500
Jun10 - started Atripla ; VL 113
Jul 10 - UD vl, CD4 590
Aug 10 - UD, CD4 810, 52%
Nov 10 - UD, CD4 980

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: curious
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2010, 04:56:51 PM »
I don't see the upside of sharing it with people.

People who care about you will be depressed because the general opinion out there is that your life will be hugely curtailed (both length and quality). I mean I thought that 2 months ago before my diagnosis. You'll have to do a lot of work convincing them that you are fine and have same life expectancy as HIV- if properly medicated.

People who know you casually will just be afraid of contact, etc. They will also talk about you behind your back - just human nature to gossip. Plus the social stigma.

At least that's my take as someone who is recently diagnosed.

With great respect this is a wretched view of Other People. Your words offer an insight into why you behave the way you do around here. They make me feel sorry for you.

Hopefully coming to terms with your diagnosis will involve a brightening of the way you see others.

My earlier comments about being private to one side, coming out as HIV positive involves courage and generosity of character.

Courage because it's true that some people might reject you. People will gossip, but what of it? They do that anway. Sure those close to you will feel anxiety at your diagnosis, but that is part of being social creatures. We feel for each other.

If you can't cope with those things then you'll have great problems dealing some of the things HIV throws your way.

It requires generosity of character to be prepared to share this aspect of your life with others - be they intimates or people from a wider circle. By coming out as positive you normalise HIV, you combat the very stigma that frightens you so much. You make the way easier for other Fivers. You honour those who have gone before you, revealing their status at a time when things were much worse.

Or something like that.

MtD

/grammar edit/
« Last Edit: May 26, 2010, 05:15:29 PM by matty.the.damned »

Online Ann

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Re: curious
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2010, 05:00:49 PM »

People who care about you will be depressed because the general opinion out there is that your life will be hugely curtailed (both length and quality). I mean I thought that 2 months ago before my diagnosis. You'll have to do a lot of work convincing them that you are fine and have same life expectancy as HIV- if properly medicated.


Maybe at first, but once they see how well you're doing, it's no longer an issue. You just have to explain that things are different now days. And no, it's NOT "a lot of work".


People who know you casually will just be afraid of contact, etc. They will also talk about you behind your back - just human nature to gossip. Plus the social stigma.

At least that's my take as someone who is recently diagnosed.


Just about everyone I know casually, casually knows I'm poz. Not a single one of them is afraid of contact. Nobody treats me different. People share drinks and food with me. They kiss me. On the lips! ~gasp~ I get offers of sex. And yes, they know I'm poz. I've had comments like, "I've got some condoms, how 'bout it?" :)

People might gossip at first, but you're not that important in the greater scheme of things and people find other things to talk about. Quickly.

The more poz people that people know, the greater the understanding becomes that we're just like anyone else - we just happen to have a medical condition.

This is how stigma ends.

We perpetuate the stigma by hiding. The more we hide, the more we have to hide.
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

Online Miss Philicia

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Re: curious
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2010, 05:05:04 PM »
I don't see the upside of sharing it with people.

People who care about you will be depressed because the general opinion out there is that your life will be hugely curtailed (both length and quality). I mean I thought that 2 months ago before my diagnosis. You'll have to do a lot of work convincing them that you are fine and have same life expectancy as HIV- if properly medicated.

People who know you casually will just be afraid of contact, etc. They will also talk about you behind your back - just human nature to gossip. Plus the social stigma.

At least that's my take as someone who is recently diagnosed.

That might be your "take" on it but it's lame.  I was diagnosed 17 years ago and I didn't have such reactions, so you really expect me to believe this is the case nowadays?

Then again, being gay and "out" since I was a teenager meant I'd long ago learned not care what anyone else thought.  It's called growing a spine.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2010, 05:06:38 PM by Miss Philicia »
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline anniebc

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Re: curious
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2010, 06:02:53 PM »
I don't see the upside of sharing it with people.

People who care about you will be depressed because the general opinion out there is that your life will be hugely curtailed (both length and quality). I mean I thought that 2 months ago before my diagnosis. You'll have to do a lot of work convincing them that you are fine and have same life expectancy as HIV- if properly medicated.

People who know you casually will just be afraid of contact, etc. They will also talk about you behind your back - just human nature to gossip. Plus the social stigma.

At least that's my take as someone who is recently diagnosed.

Good grief, the upside of sharing with family and friends that you know and trust and who will not to judge you is the love and support you will get from them, it seems to me you have a very low opinion of the human race...if you've had a bad experience I'm sorry, but please don't class everyone with the mentality as those who have hurt you.

Dark..I can't add much more to what has already been said, Matty, Retroman, Ann and Miss P have given you good advise..you will know when you are ready to come out and share, no need to rush into anything...I think as long as you are mentally and physically at peace with this virus then you will be OK..stressing out about it is not good for the body...but as Ann said:

Quote:

We perpetuate the stigma by hiding. The more we hide, the more we have to hide.

Unquote:

And the more we feel ashamed the more they will think we should be ashamed... ;)

Hugs
Jan :-*
« Last Edit: May 26, 2010, 06:07:08 PM by anniebc »
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Never knock on deaths door..ring the bell and run..he really hates that.

Offline Boze

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Re: curious
« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2010, 07:20:18 PM »
MtD - I'm afraid i'm just a pragmatic - that's not yet a reason to feel sorry for me.

Ann et al - I think you make very good points why a person should reveal their status that would benefit our community at large. If everybody came out the stigma would certainly be reduced. (Maybe if I actually knew a single HIV+ person I would never engage in the unsafe practice that got me sick).
However, we have to keep in mind the well being of the OP. Is it worth it for him to potentially lose friends, to make his family worried, etc so that we all benefit? The thing about this knowledge is it's only one way - once revealed it can never be bottled up again.

I am speaking purely from contemplation of the issue. I did not disclose my status to anybody except my partner and don't plan to. Maybe I am a private individual overall, maybe it has to do with my circumstances - I don't know another HIV+ person. Those who are part of the community with a more common incidence of HIV may be more comfortable with it.

I think some people are born to change the world, others are not. I think everybody has to decide for himself which is the appropriate course. I shared my outlook that is based on my particulars.
==========
Aug08 - Seroconversion
Mar10 - Diagnosis; cd4 690 - VL 19,000
Apr10 - cd4 600
May10 - VL 4,500
Jun10 - started Atripla ; VL 113
Jul 10 - UD vl, CD4 590
Aug 10 - UD, CD4 810, 52%
Nov 10 - UD, CD4 980

Online Miss Philicia

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Re: curious
« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2010, 07:29:40 PM »
It's not even so much about helping "the community" it's about helping your own mental health.  Informing only one person is bound to contribute to increased risk of anxiety and depression disorder in someone with a life threatening disease.  There are ample studies showing this.  But hey, it's your life, just don't fool yourself and invent excuses like "pragmatism" -- that's not fooling anyone.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline Boze

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Re: curious
« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2010, 08:24:23 PM »
Well, first of all I have a loving bunch of people here to discuss and talk things over with :) That's definitely a huge resource. Maybe this explains my level of involvement in the forum. Without you lot I'd have a much more difficult time.

Meanwhile dropping the bomb on my unsuspecting friends or family would hurt them and complicate our relationship.




==========
Aug08 - Seroconversion
Mar10 - Diagnosis; cd4 690 - VL 19,000
Apr10 - cd4 600
May10 - VL 4,500
Jun10 - started Atripla ; VL 113
Jul 10 - UD vl, CD4 590
Aug 10 - UD, CD4 810, 52%
Nov 10 - UD, CD4 980

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: curious
« Reply #15 on: May 26, 2010, 08:25:32 PM »
Meanwhile dropping the bomb on my unsuspecting friends or family would hurt them and complicate our relationship.

Yes, much better they find out when you're laid up in intensive care with some ghastly OI.

MtD

Offline Boze

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Re: curious
« Reply #16 on: May 26, 2010, 08:34:57 PM »
How often do they occur with normal CD4?

==========
Aug08 - Seroconversion
Mar10 - Diagnosis; cd4 690 - VL 19,000
Apr10 - cd4 600
May10 - VL 4,500
Jun10 - started Atripla ; VL 113
Jul 10 - UD vl, CD4 590
Aug 10 - UD, CD4 810, 52%
Nov 10 - UD, CD4 980

Offline Bucko

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Re: curious
« Reply #17 on: May 26, 2010, 09:13:14 PM »
How often do they occur with normal CD4?



Nothing lasts forever, sweetheart.


Then again, being gay and "out" since I was a teenager meant I'd long ago learned not care what anyone else thought.  It's called growing a spine.

QFMFT
Blessed with brains, talent and gorgeous tits.

The revolutionary smart set reads The Spin Cycle at least once every day.

Blathering on AIDSmeds since 2005, provocative from birth

Offline Boze

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Re: curious
« Reply #18 on: May 26, 2010, 09:41:37 PM »
Nothing lasts forever, sweetheart.

QFMFT

I didn't mean to come off naff. Of course I realize that health can not be taken for granted now.
Rather wondering  if one keeps to ARV and maintains normal CD4 - how common are OIs?
==========
Aug08 - Seroconversion
Mar10 - Diagnosis; cd4 690 - VL 19,000
Apr10 - cd4 600
May10 - VL 4,500
Jun10 - started Atripla ; VL 113
Jul 10 - UD vl, CD4 590
Aug 10 - UD, CD4 810, 52%
Nov 10 - UD, CD4 980

Online Ann

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Re: curious
« Reply #19 on: May 26, 2010, 09:43:20 PM »

If everybody came out the stigma would certainly be reduced. (Maybe if I actually knew a single HIV+ person I would never engage in the unsafe practice that got me sick).


Chances are very good that you have known at least  one poz person in your life - but you didn't know it because they hid their status from you. Makes you think, eh?


However, we have to keep in mind the well being of the OP. Is it worth it for him to potentially lose friends, to make his family worried, etc so that we all benefit? The thing about this knowledge is it's only one way - once revealed it can never be bottled up again.


If he loses any friends just because he reveals himself to be hiv positive, then they weren't worth having as friends in the first place, so the OP does indeed benefit. Real friends, friends worth having, do not abandon their mate just because of a virus. Same goes for family.

I'd rather be on my own than hang with people who couldn't handle my status. And so far - keep in mind that pretty much everyone in my town knows - I've yet to meet someone who couldn't handle my status. You need to give people more credit.

And in the same vein of benefiting the OP - keeping hiv a secret is a stressful business, far more stressful than losing one or two false friends.


I think some people are born to change the world, others are not. I think everybody has to decide for himself which is the appropriate course. I shared my outlook that is based on my particulars.


Seriously? My being out about my status is not going to change the world and I'm under no illusion that it will. The fact that people in my town know about my status is not going to be of any benefit to someone living in, say, Alabama.

The only world I'm changing is my own little world. If you want less stigma and discrimination in your  own little world, there's only one way that's going to happen.
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 mecch

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Re: curious
« Reply #20 on: May 26, 2010, 09:50:06 PM »
Yes, much better they find out when you're laid up in intensive care with some ghastly OI.

MtD

That is a ghastly thing to say!  Furthermore, its arguable that when one got sick that would be a good time to reveal something, to certain people, rather than years of useless worrying about what might happen in the future.  

For instance, why would I disclose to my colleagues if I'm perfectly capable of doing my job well.  But telling them if I had to take an absence cause I was sick, would be honest and make sense.

Why tell a worry wart relative whose worry and concern wouldn't add anything to your quality of life?  A lot of people can deal with the news whenever you want to reveal, but other people - maybe whats the point if there is no need.


On the other hand, I can see a political benefit to universal disclosure - stigma would take a very hard hit indeed!
« Last Edit: May 26, 2010, 09:51:45 PM by mecch »
ďFrom each, according to his ability; to each, according to his needĒ 1875 K Marx

Online Ann

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Re: curious
« Reply #21 on: May 26, 2010, 09:55:42 PM »

Chances are very good that you have known at least  one poz person in your life - but you didn't know it because they hid their status from you. Makes you think, eh?


I just had a real "DOH!" moment. Borzel, you HAVE known at least one poz person in your life, unless you had an immaculate infection. You've probably known more than one. We're everywhere!
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 Boze

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Re: curious
« Reply #22 on: May 26, 2010, 10:27:14 PM »
I just had a real "DOH!" moment. Borzel, you HAVE known at least one poz person in your life, unless you had an immaculate infection. You've probably known more than one. We're everywhere!

The person didn't know she was infected. Sadly
==========
Aug08 - Seroconversion
Mar10 - Diagnosis; cd4 690 - VL 19,000
Apr10 - cd4 600
May10 - VL 4,500
Jun10 - started Atripla ; VL 113
Jul 10 - UD vl, CD4 590
Aug 10 - UD, CD4 810, 52%
Nov 10 - UD, CD4 980

Offline tednlou2

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Re: curious
« Reply #23 on: May 27, 2010, 12:00:16 AM »
I think we should all tell when the time is right for us.  I'm in the process of writing my brother a letter to see why the change in attitude since my diagnosis.  His attitude has caused me stress that I don't need right now.  If I tell others and this happens with them, I'm not at a point to deal with all of them at once. 

I cannot explain the attitude with my brother.  I don't know if he is going through something himself or what.  All I know is there has been a huge change in his attitude.  I think I'm expecting more from him as well.  If it was the other way around, I would inquire about his health.  He has never asked what my numbers are, whether I'm on meds, or how I'm dealing. 

When I asked him about this, he claimed he knows my stats.  Since he and his partner are in the medical field (one being a doctor), I asked how he knew.  I asked whether they requested my medical records.  He didn't deny it.  I told him they could get into big trouble for that.  He turned the tables on me and said "how dare I threaten to get them in trouble."  I never said I was going to get them in trouble.  However, if it is true, I would be very pissed they went around me.

I've mentioned how they were in the hospital room when the nurse said out loud what meds she was giving me.  They knew it was an HIV med.  Since they've provided ZERO comfort to me, I kinda feel they should have kept their mouths shut and just pretended they didn't hear what she said.  I would have found out eventually about the HIV med I was given. 

So, I say many people can tell how people will react.  Others don't know.  If you're not ready to deal with the mental baggage that comes from it, then wait until you are.  They knew I was sick with pneumonia and had HIV.  After I got out of the hospital, they knew my partner needed to stay with me for at least the first week.  They didn't even offer to go to the grocery store or anything.  So, I say what has been the benefit of them knowing?  It has only caused me stress.  If you know someone will be a support system, then by all means disclose.

I believe it is his way of punishing me.  He's not afraid of HIV it seems.  I've mentioned that when we have been together, he popped a zit on my neck where blood came out.  And, we've all shared a dessert.  They obviously weren't afraid to eat after me.  So, I can only think he is punishing me.  His partner's uncle died from AIDS complications about 2 years ago.  Everyone knew, but it was never talked about.  Even now, no one in that family knows exactly what killed him.   

Offline David_CA

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Re: curious
« Reply #24 on: May 27, 2010, 02:56:26 AM »
Yes, much better they find out when you're laid up in intensive care with some ghastly OI.

MtD

How often do they occur with normal CD4?



While it didn't happen at 'normal CD4' I ended up very sick in the hospital for 8 days with PCP pneumonia.  I had it at CD4's above where OI's generally don't occur.  I hadn't told my family about my status at that point, though I had planned to (before getting sick).  So, I got to tell my mom, dad, and sister that I was HIV+ and had known for almost 9 months.  Of course, they worried about me, but they were also upset that I hadn't felt able to confide in them.  After all, we're a close family that trusts each other and don't generally keep secrets like that.  I explained that I needed to adjust to my diagnosis before I could talk to them about it.  If I had it to do over again, I would have told them before I got so sick. 

Hopefully, you're just in the stages that I was in when I felt I couldn't disclose... though the difference is that I wanted to.  I know I'm fortunate to have a caring, non-judgmental family.  From what I'm reading from others here, my experience isn't all that uncommon, though it may be sometimes unexpected.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2010, 02:59:36 AM by David_NC »
Black Friday 03-03-2006
03-23-06 CD4 359 @27.4% VL 75,938
06-01-06 CD4 462 @24.3% VL > 100,000
08-15-06 CD4 388 @22.8% VL >  "
10-21-06 CD4 285 @21.9% VL >  "
  Atripla started 12-01-2006
01-08-07 CD4 429 @26.8% VL 1872!
05-08-07 CD4 478 @28.1% VL 740
08-03-07 CD4 509 @31.8% VL 370
11-06-07 CD4 570 @30.0% VL 140
02-21-08 CD4 648 @32.4% VL 600
05-19-08 CD4 695 @33.1% VL < 48 undetectable!
08-21-08 CD4 725 @34.5%
11-11-08 CD4 672 @39.5%
02-11-09 CD4 773 @36.8%
05-11-09 CD4 615 @36.2%
08-19-09 CD4 770 @38.5%
11-19-09 CD4 944 @33.7%
02-17-10 CD4 678 @39.9%  
06-03-10 CD4 768 @34.9%
09-21-10 CD4 685 @40.3%
01-10-11 CD4 908 @36.3%
05-23-11 CD4 846 @36.8% VL 80
02-13-12 CD4 911 @41.4% VL<20
You must be the change you want to see in the world.  Mahatma Gandhi

Offline Boze

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Re: curious
« Reply #25 on: May 27, 2010, 07:52:03 AM »
My thinking largely mirrors Mech on this.

I think that the issue can be split:

For family and close friends - i think that the trade-off is between receiving emotional support vs. laying the burden of knowledge on them. As usual it's a personal choice that depends on how much one feels he requires the said support. I feel that in my current asymptomatic state the stress I would place on my family would definitely outweigh the support I require. Why make them needlessly worry for years if (according to latest research) one can expect to live as long as HiV-?

For casual acquaintances - I really see no personal benefit in disclosing (removing stigma at large aside). Why get on a moral high chair and make people deal with my problem? Here I would come back to the personal responsibility argument we had in a different thread. I got sick because of my own carelessness - why should my friends have to deal with it IF there are no changes in my life circumstances?
I can understand being sanctimonious if one gets ill and develops visible signs of the disease. Then it's totally right to say - Look, this is what it is, you can accept me as is or not be my friend. But if one is UD and is doing fine health-wise (as I find a lot of people here are) - why create an issue?

The issue of disclosure may have to do with sexual orientation as well. For those who had to come out this may ring doorbells - I see a lot of similarities. Maybe my take on this is different because I'm straight and did not deal with that issue.
==========
Aug08 - Seroconversion
Mar10 - Diagnosis; cd4 690 - VL 19,000
Apr10 - cd4 600
May10 - VL 4,500
Jun10 - started Atripla ; VL 113
Jul 10 - UD vl, CD4 590
Aug 10 - UD, CD4 810, 52%
Nov 10 - UD, CD4 980

Offline Hellraiser

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Re: curious
« Reply #26 on: May 27, 2010, 07:57:36 AM »
My thinking largely mirrors Mech on this.

I think that the issue can be split:

For family and close friends - i think that the trade-off is between receiving emotional support vs. laying the burden of knowledge on them. As usual it's a personal choice that depends on how much one feels he requires the said support. I feel that in my current asymptomatic state the stress I would place on my family would definitely outweigh the support I require. Why make them needlessly worry for years if (according to latest research) one can expect to live as long as HiV-?

For casual acquaintances - I really see no personal benefit in disclosing (removing stigma at large aside). Why get on a moral high chair and make people deal with my problem? Here I would come back to the personal responsibility argument we had in a different thread. I got sick because of my own carelessness - why should my friends have to deal with it IF there are no changes in my life circumstances?
I can understand being sanctimonious if one gets ill and develops visible signs of the disease. Then it's totally right to say - Look, this is what it is, you can accept me as is or not be my friend. But if one is UD and is doing fine health-wise (as I find a lot of people here are) - why create an issue?

The issue of disclosure may have to do with sexual orientation as well. For those who had to come out this may ring doorbells - I see a lot of similarities. Maybe my take on this is different because I'm straight and did not deal with that issue.

If you're not actively having sex with someone there really is no need to disclose unless you feel the need to confide for whatever reason.  I'm of the opinion that if you ARE having sex with someone (even if it's not even remotely risky) you should disclose..  If it ever becomes more than a hookup then you're in the clear and if the information gets around to them somehow same deal.  The only reason not to disclose is if you think they will tell and honestly do you want to have sex with someone who would take the disclosure news badly or would spread the news without your consent?>

Online Ann

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Re: curious
« Reply #27 on: May 27, 2010, 10:11:54 AM »

I think we should all tell when the time is right for us. 


I absolutely agree. However, I'm an advocate for being open about hiv status because overall, the actual benefits most often outweigh the perceived disadvantages. In my experience, far more people are pleasantly surprised by people's attitudes than the other way around.

I know quite a few people who live in abject terror of anyone finding out about their poz status and it breaks my heart - it doesn't have to be that way.

Back in 2007 I wrote a blog entry on this subject. If any of you are in doubt as to how I feel about hiv openness and why, please read it. I just re-read it and it's inspired me to write an update. I've been neglecting my blog for a while now, so at least I've got a re-entry point.

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

Online Miss Philicia

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Re: curious
« Reply #28 on: May 27, 2010, 12:01:09 PM »

The issue of disclosure may have to do with sexual orientation as well. For those who had to come out this may ring doorbells - I see a lot of similarities. Maybe my take on this is different because I'm straight and did not deal with that issue.

Ah, so now we get to the heart of the matter.  You're afraid that everyone will think you took a big cock up your pooter.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline sharkdiver

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Re: curious
« Reply #29 on: May 27, 2010, 12:04:16 PM »
Yes, much better they find out when you're laid up in intensive care with some ghastly OI.

MtD

well, I understood this...

Nothing like telling your mom and dad you have teh AIDS lying in a hospital bed with PCP.
  
  Just like the "coming out" process of being GAY your friends and family have to go through a process of dealing with it as well.

But then again, I have been a sodomite since I was young and have been dealing with the poz thing for over 25 years now...I just don't give a fuck

Offline Boze

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Re: curious
« Reply #30 on: May 27, 2010, 06:10:13 PM »
Ah, so now we get to the heart of the matter.  You're afraid that everyone will think you took a big cock up your pooter.

It may be part of it, but very small. I am friends with a lot of gays, am very nonchalant about it. Men simply don't arouse me, so I'm very comfortable in my sexual identity.

Mostly just afraid of  ignorance - if I go by what I myself knew about the disease two months ago (ie before my diagnosis).
==========
Aug08 - Seroconversion
Mar10 - Diagnosis; cd4 690 - VL 19,000
Apr10 - cd4 600
May10 - VL 4,500
Jun10 - started Atripla ; VL 113
Jul 10 - UD vl, CD4 590
Aug 10 - UD, CD4 810, 52%
Nov 10 - UD, CD4 980

Online Miss Philicia

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Re: curious
« Reply #31 on: May 27, 2010, 06:23:27 PM »
It may be part of it, but very small. I am friends with a lot of gays, am very nonchalant about it. Men simply don't arouse me, so I'm very comfortable in my sexual identity.


If you read my post you'd see that I didn't imply that you were gay, or aroused by men, or had even been infected in such a manner.  It seems you're worried about what others will think, and that's generally been a long-standing sentiment by practically every HIV infected hetero male that I've encountered.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline Boze

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Re: curious
« Reply #32 on: May 27, 2010, 06:24:25 PM »
I absolutely agree. However, I'm an advocate for being open about hiv status because overall, the actual benefits most often outweigh the perceived disadvantages. In my experience, far more people are pleasantly surprised by people's attitudes than the other way around.

I know quite a few people who live in abject terror of anyone finding out about their poz status and it breaks my heart - it doesn't have to be that way.

Back in 2007 I wrote a blog entry on this subject. If any of you are in doubt as to how I feel about hiv openness and why, please read it. I just re-read it and it's inspired me to write an update. I've been neglecting my blog for a while now, so at least I've got a re-entry point.


I have to salute your braveness! But I think you're very special, not everybody can do that.
==========
Aug08 - Seroconversion
Mar10 - Diagnosis; cd4 690 - VL 19,000
Apr10 - cd4 600
May10 - VL 4,500
Jun10 - started Atripla ; VL 113
Jul 10 - UD vl, CD4 590
Aug 10 - UD, CD4 810, 52%
Nov 10 - UD, CD4 980

Offline bocker3

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Re: curious
« Reply #33 on: May 27, 2010, 06:30:59 PM »
While I don't run around with a sign over my head indicating my status -- everyone who is close to me -- family, friends, even a few co-workers, know my status.  it took me a while to get there, but it was so very freeing.  I hated keeping a secret again, like I did before I came out (ah, the laugh was on me -- almost everyone knew it anyway.......).

We can use excuses like I don't want to worry anyone, what's the point -- but the fact is that it usually NOT about them and all about us.  It is fear of rejection, not fear of causing worry -- whether we want to admit it or not -- that is what stops folks from disclosing to those close to us.

You must be ready, it's true -- but once you are, it is quite freeing

Mike
Atripla - Started 12/05
Reyataz/Norvir - Added 6/06
Labs - Pre-Meds
Sep05 T=350/25% VL98,559
Nov05 288/18%  47,564
Current Labs
May2013 691/31% <20

Offline Boze

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Re: curious
« Reply #34 on: May 27, 2010, 06:36:26 PM »
If you read my post you'd see that I didn't imply that you were gay, or aroused by men, or had even been infected in such a manner.  It seems you're worried about what others will think, and that's generally been a long-standing sentiment by practically every HIV infected hetero male that I've encountered.

Yes, I have to admit that it's a part of it - albeit a small one. I mean the statistics are not on my side.
==========
Aug08 - Seroconversion
Mar10 - Diagnosis; cd4 690 - VL 19,000
Apr10 - cd4 600
May10 - VL 4,500
Jun10 - started Atripla ; VL 113
Jul 10 - UD vl, CD4 590
Aug 10 - UD, CD4 810, 52%
Nov 10 - UD, CD4 980

Offline GSOgymrat

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Re: curious
« Reply #35 on: May 27, 2010, 07:56:03 PM »
Not wanting to be slam judged but curious as to why I still am so closeted with my status when I feel open in dealing with it but just not telling. I know it has to do with stigma, but some of you are so at peace and I want to find a bit of that. I errroneously just deal by assuming everyone has it but that is so not true and it probably doing some kind of disservice to the non infected.  Just curious about thoughts on this....Mark

I'm kind of ambivalent about disclosing at this point in my life. Since my mom died, I don't care who knows. Sometime I think it would be good to discuss my experiences with HIV for the purposes of combating social stigma, but then I wonder if it is arrogant to think my HIV story is going to change anyone's mind, as it is a pretty typical story. Sometimes I think there is nothing to be gained by disclosing. It is not like my personal trainer is going to give me a discount because I'm HIV+.

Mostly when I think about disclosing I think "Ugh, I'm going to have to tell the whole story and deal someone's reaction... again." When I first realized people who googled my name got my HIV story I was unnerved, but it has turned out to be really handy! When friends and family have discovered I'm HIV+ online it has been so much easier, as I don't have to explain the whole thing. When my father found out online and called me we talked about it for maybe 10 minutes. He said "Well, after all these years it sounds like your fine" and then we started talking about his new DVR. He is completely rational and unflappable and I absolutely love that about him!

I know some of you reading this won't understand but after 17 years HIV has just gotten... mundane. I take pills everyday, I go to the doctor once year, and don't have any side effects... that is about it. It was certainly more exciting back in 1993 when they told me I was going to die! :D Now, it's not so interesting... not that I'm complaining.

Having a HIV+ partner through the whole experience also makes a big difference. I've had someone who knows exactly what I'm going through the entire time. I've never felt isolated or alone, which doesn't give me a lot of motivation to disclose.

Offline Boze

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Re: curious
« Reply #36 on: May 27, 2010, 08:20:45 PM »
There is a good post by John33 that illustrates why i am apprehensive.

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=32679.msg401493#msg401493
==========
Aug08 - Seroconversion
Mar10 - Diagnosis; cd4 690 - VL 19,000
Apr10 - cd4 600
May10 - VL 4,500
Jun10 - started Atripla ; VL 113
Jul 10 - UD vl, CD4 590
Aug 10 - UD, CD4 810, 52%
Nov 10 - UD, CD4 980

Online Ann

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Re: curious
« Reply #37 on: May 28, 2010, 09:12:49 AM »

I have to salute your braveness! But I think you're very special, not everybody can do that.


Naw, I'm not special. I'm just an ordinary middle-aged woman. If I can do it when I live on a small island nation where everyone either knows you, or knows a good portion of your friends, lovers and family, anyone can.


Sometime I think it would be good to discuss my experiences with HIV for the purposes of combating social stigma, but then I wonder if it is arrogant to think my HIV story is going to change anyone's mind, as it is a pretty typical story.


While it's not going to change the world (as I mentioned earlier), it just might change somebody's "own little world". Many of the people I've talked to now get yearly tests and use condoms - where they never did before.

One young lad I know recently came up to me and thanked me for my "little talk", as he called it. He'd never previously bothered with condoms, but started using them after we talked. A young woman he was recently with told him she found out she had chlamydia a few days after they were together, so he got completely checked out. He didn't have it and he credited that to me urging him to use condoms. It wasn't hiv, but it could have been.



Mostly when I think about disclosing I think "Ugh, I'm going to have to tell the whole story and deal someone's reaction... again."


I don't tell "the whole story", I just say that I'm poz. If I'm asked "how did you get it?" I just say - "I neglected to insist on condoms. Do YOU use condoms?" If I'm asked who I got it from, I just say "A man who is hiv positive." People don't need to know the details and are, more often than not, satisfied with simple answers.




I know some of you reading this won't understand but after 17 years HIV has just gotten... mundane. 


It's gotten pretty mundane for me too. People really do pick up on that when I discuss hiv with them. They see it's no big deal for me, so it is natural for it to not be a big deal for them either.
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 Moffie65

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Re: curious
« Reply #38 on: May 28, 2010, 09:38:58 AM »
Interesting thread.  As many know here, I don't hide my infection from anyone.   I tell the checker at the market, and the people next door.  I don't tell as a matter of fact on every occasion, but when the conversation is appropriate, I tell all.  Then I ask if they have been tested in the last 12 years.  Borzel could have benefitted from my openness and possibly have been tested and used condoms BEFORE he was infected.  Not picking on you Borzel, just using you as an example of how information is power.

My view of my infection is that I am living with HIV, and HIV is not living with me.  If HIV is living with me, that gives it far too much power, and makes us bend to stigma.  HIV is for life, so to hide it for LIFE is far too long for me and leaves the gossip network far too much power.  I like to control the information flow, so I do.  If ever anyone has an issue with my infection, they need not be a part of my life, it is mine and anything they say is bullshit.  They need to move on, and give it up. 

We all need to sit down and really THINK about keeping secrets about us for many years, it is stressful, and doesn't do our immune systems any good to keep our infection a secret.  It limits our existence here on earth, and keeps us withdrawn from life.  Tell the world, it is liberating, and to keep it all a secret, doesn't allow for anyone to learn about HIV and learn about taking responsibilty for their own health. 

Sorry, but I am with Ann, keeping the information flowing will in the end be far more beneficial than to keep it all secret. 
The Bible contains 6 admonishments to homosexuals,
and 362 to heterosexuals.
This doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals,
It's just that they need more supervision.
Lynn Lavne

Offline Boze

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Re: curious
« Reply #39 on: May 28, 2010, 11:09:30 AM »
  Borzel could have benefitted from my openness and possibly have been tested and used condoms BEFORE he was infected.  Not picking on you Borzel, just using you as an example of how information is power.

We all need to sit down and really THINK about keeping secrets about us for many years, it is stressful, and doesn't do our immune systems any good to keep our infection a secret.  It limits our existence here on earth, and keeps us withdrawn from life.  Tell the world, it is liberating, and to keep it all a secret, doesn't allow for anyone to learn about HIV and learn about taking responsibilty for their own health. 

Sorry, but I am with Ann, keeping the information flowing will in the end be far more beneficial than to keep it all secret. 

Yes, you are absolutely right. I've thought about this - if I actually knew someone with my background being Positive, I'd be more careful.

Maybe in the future I will find the courage - just not there yet. I thought of going around High Schools and being a Poster Boy for how the virus can find people who think they are in a low risk group.

My point to the OP was only that he should be aware of the possible consequences before making the decision.
==========
Aug08 - Seroconversion
Mar10 - Diagnosis; cd4 690 - VL 19,000
Apr10 - cd4 600
May10 - VL 4,500
Jun10 - started Atripla ; VL 113
Jul 10 - UD vl, CD4 590
Aug 10 - UD, CD4 810, 52%
Nov 10 - UD, CD4 980

Offline john33

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Re: curious
« Reply #40 on: May 28, 2010, 11:35:54 AM »
There is a good post by John33 that illustrates why i am apprehensive.

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=32679.msg401493#msg401493

Borzel, if you'd read the whole thread, you'd have noted that it consisted of people saying that it was in my head.
Reading the posts by our longer standing members (nearly said another word that could be misconstrued), is actually revealing that most of the fears are in our heads. and as for loosing friends, if they drift of were they really friends in the first place.

Although I won't be discussing it like the weather, i hope the day when i feel "what the fuck, it's who I am" comes quickly.

John (beginning to feel half the complications are my own construction)

(edited for spelling)

Offline Boze

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Re: curious
« Reply #41 on: May 28, 2010, 11:49:26 AM »
Borzel, if you'd read the whole thread, you'd have noted that it consisted of people saying that it was in my head.
Reading the posts by our longer standing members (nearly said another word that could be misconstrued), is actually revealing that most of the fears are in our heads. and as for loosing friends, if they drift of were they really friends in the first place.

Although I won't be discussing it like the weather, i hope the day when i feel "what the fuck, it's who I am" comes quickly.

John (beginning to feel half the complications are my own construction)

(edited for spelling)

If you didn't mention your status to the union rep, the whole story would not take place, no? Ie the guy would still say "It's your own fault" or something like that, but you would be 100% sure that he was talking about something unrelated.

I also understood that you work in a fancy restaurant (ie one that employs a souse chef)? Is it not a small, tight-knit community where everybody knows each other? I think such work environment may warrant discretion.

Please understand - I am not at all saying this to defend my position and my choice. I am actually trying to  think of what's best for you in current situation.
==========
Aug08 - Seroconversion
Mar10 - Diagnosis; cd4 690 - VL 19,000
Apr10 - cd4 600
May10 - VL 4,500
Jun10 - started Atripla ; VL 113
Jul 10 - UD vl, CD4 590
Aug 10 - UD, CD4 810, 52%
Nov 10 - UD, CD4 980

Offline john33

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Re: curious
« Reply #42 on: May 28, 2010, 11:58:07 AM »
actually it's a large hotel with 150 others
And knowing the grapevine, there may be gossip for a couple of weeks; but there'd soon be something else on the agenda.

But i'm certainly not going to rush into it until I feel ready.

John

Offline Boze

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Re: curious
« Reply #43 on: May 28, 2010, 01:12:15 PM »
ah, ok.

If you were a chef, I would be worried about people finding out and having difficulty finding a job if you leave the current one. Ie - in a very competitive industry you don't want to give  people a reason to not hire you.
==========
Aug08 - Seroconversion
Mar10 - Diagnosis; cd4 690 - VL 19,000
Apr10 - cd4 600
May10 - VL 4,500
Jun10 - started Atripla ; VL 113
Jul 10 - UD vl, CD4 590
Aug 10 - UD, CD4 810, 52%
Nov 10 - UD, CD4 980

Offline john33

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Re: curious
« Reply #44 on: May 28, 2010, 01:13:35 PM »
No I'm a lowly kitchen porter (slave)

Online Ann

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Re: curious
« Reply #45 on: May 28, 2010, 01:35:31 PM »

No I'm a lowly kitchen porter (slave)


Ooooo BABY!!!! Ah likes me some slaves!
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 john33

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Re: curious
« Reply #46 on: May 28, 2010, 01:38:36 PM »
anyone to do the washing-up for you lol;

Or is that another type of slave? ;)

Online Ann

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Re: curious
« Reply #47 on: May 28, 2010, 01:42:50 PM »

Or is that another type of slave? ;)


I prefer versatile slaves. :)
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 john33

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Re: curious
« Reply #48 on: May 28, 2010, 01:43:48 PM »
saucy  :D

Offline darkerpozz

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Re: curious
« Reply #49 on: May 29, 2010, 02:02:27 AM »
if I were the offending type the slave reference could be touchy but...
What I meant is I am closted to my older friends(who thanks to facebook are coming out of the woodwork) and acquaintances whom I just  don't know the right time and if it is worth it. I appreciate all the responses and agree with most even the don't ask don't tell to the no more hiding, but it all seems scary than it needs to be which is probably the point. I say again I wish I were one of the flag twirlers about my HIV but FEAR is a truly breathing ugly miserable monster.

 


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