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Author Topic: Do you scuba? (or want to?) Any fears related to HIV?  (Read 2401 times)

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Offline hotpuppy

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Do you scuba? (or want to?) Any fears related to HIV?
« on: July 09, 2010, 01:49:15 PM »
I've had a few people contact me to let me know they too scuba dive.  I also know a few poz people who aren't on here who dive.... and I know a few poz people who want to dive.

So it begs the question... Do you dive?  Or have you thought about learning?

What precautions do you take because you are poz?  How have you overcome any fears?

I am always worried about getting cut because water is full of bacteria and a bacterial infection is the absolute last thing I need.

I have taken advanced diving certifications (currently Rescue Certified by PADI) and advanced first aid (most of several DAN certifications).  My thinking is that if I know more about dive first aid I'm in a better position to provide help to myself or to my poz friends who might be diving in the event of an injury.  I can easily see stigma being an issue in a cut/scrape situation and first aid supplies being a tad lacking.

Anyhow some of my fears are injury, infection, and first aid.  I would feel compelled to warn a first aid provider that they need to use the appropriate precautions such as gloves and a breathing mask.  This is for their protection as well as mine.  

When I looked into diving I did find quite a bit of machoism and stigma specifically around HIV.  I was terrified that someone would find out and it would be a problem.  For me, it's still an issue when I've considered going on trips.....meds etc.  

So I'm curious who else dives or is interested and what issues they might have come across.  For me it's been a very enjoyable experience and I'm glad I learned.
Don't obsess over the wrong things.  Life isn't about your numbers, it isn't about this forum, it isn't about someone's opinion.  It's about getting out there and enjoying it.   I am a person with HIV - not the other way around.

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Do you scuba? (or want to?) Any fears related to HIV?
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2010, 02:24:48 PM »
Yes, at one time I was going to get certified and go diving in Belize but I never ended up doing it.  My friend who I was going to travel with did her certification (non-poz girl) but when I bailed she ended up going to Cozumel or something on her own, and after the first dive got one of those notorious infections, I think it's in the ear when that happens right?  Basically it ruined her entire trip and all of the money was wasted.  Other than that I'd just deal with any health thingie if it happens, as most likely it won't.
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Offline Jeff G

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Re: Do you scuba? (or want to?) Any fears related to HIV?
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2010, 02:34:08 PM »
I'm not certified but I dive about twice a year and have for about ten years . I have never thought about getting an infection diving but it is something to think about .

Offline skeebo1969

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Re: Do you scuba? (or want to?) Any fears related to HIV?
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2010, 02:55:09 PM »

   I love deep sea diving!  I just brush my teeth afterwards, helps keep the infections down.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2010, 02:57:15 PM by skeebo1969 »
I despise the song Love is in the Air, you should too.

Offline ad2san

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Re: Do you scuba? (or want to?) Any fears related to HIV?
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2010, 03:04:10 PM »
Hi  there,

I love to dive. aowd, rescue diver. I never take any special precaution. I never heard about any special restriction as well.

keep on breathing ;-)
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Offline sharkdiver

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Re: Do you scuba? (or want to?) Any fears related to HIV?
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2010, 11:26:14 PM »
Hey if you are going to dive, really dive you're going to have to get used to getting little cuts and being stung by all kinds of creatures. Gloves are usually a no-no in tropical places because you are not supposed to touch anything damnit. Invest in some anti-sea lice/jelly fish cream; it really works. The last time I was diving I surfaced with a bunch of Jellies and one was wrapped around my neck. No pain what-so-ever. My dive buddy who insisted he didn't need it had one attached to his lips.
 
You need to make sure you rinse after each dive  and DO NOT USE ant-bacterial soap off the dive deck. This stuff kills ocean life.  make sure you bring ant-bacterial ointment to use at the end of the day.


Offline tednlou2

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Re: Do you scuba? (or want to?) Any fears related to HIV?
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2010, 12:35:44 AM »
I think it would take me a long time to get use to breathing properly.  I think at first I would be really anxious being under water and use up my air supply quickly.  I would love to do some shallow diving.  I'm not sure about deep sea diving.  I have family members who went out with a charter group.  The boat left them a couple miles out.  They finally made it to shore and plopped down on chairs at some resort.  The resort had the nerve to tell them they needed to leave.  That is scary, but they tell the story so comically.   

About bacteria-- I always thought salt water was good for cuts.  Must be something my mom told that is not correct. 

Offline hotpuppy

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Re: Do you scuba? (or want to?) Any fears related to HIV?
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2010, 02:21:08 AM »
there is alot that lives in the water.... so no cuts are not your friend.

Yea, I've heard that about gloves.  My solution is to put them in my BC.  :)  If I think I need them they will come out and we can argue about it topside.  I also keep my distance from the critters and coral.

Jellies are not your friend either... and urine is not the anti-venom.  lol.
Don't obsess over the wrong things.  Life isn't about your numbers, it isn't about this forum, it isn't about someone's opinion.  It's about getting out there and enjoying it.   I am a person with HIV - not the other way around.

Offline Hellraiser

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Re: Do you scuba? (or want to?) Any fears related to HIV?
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2010, 02:22:18 AM »
urine is not the anti-venom.  lol.

Watersports enthusiasts everywhere are queuing up counter arguments as we speak.  Pun fully intended.

Offline sharkdiver

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Re: Do you scuba? (or want to?) Any fears related to HIV?
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2010, 11:32:23 AM »
oh and peeing in your wetsut? not a good idea if you are diving all day.

my favorite time to dive is..night

Offline sharkdiver

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Re: Do you scuba? (or want to?) Any fears related to HIV?
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2010, 11:50:34 AM »
    Btw most reputable dive charters make you sign in and out before and after each dive.

I was left at the surface one time in Palau for about 30 minutes. That was a bit unnerving. Our boat tender fell asleep.

Offline Dennis

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Re: Do you scuba? (or want to?) Any fears related to HIV?
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2010, 12:09:00 PM »
PADI certified here. I've only been a handful of times since becoming POZ. But don't take any extra precautions out of the norm.

Skeebo...have you offered your dive services to BP and the gulf coast considering how well your dreads absorb oil?  ;)

Offline sharkdiver

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Re: Do you scuba? (or want to?) Any fears related to HIV?
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2010, 12:22:15 PM »

  Diving is pretty harsh on the body, especially when you do long trips.  I'd be more worried about dehydration than getting infections.

Offline hotpuppy

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Re: Do you scuba? (or want to?) Any fears related to HIV?
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2010, 07:12:25 PM »
oh and peeing in your wetsut? not a good idea if you are diving all day.

my favorite time to dive is..night

Oh now.... there are only two kinds of divers....

those who pee in their wetsuit  and those that lie about it.

I pee in my wetsuit.... wetsuit isn't water tight anyhow...  so how about you?   ;D
Don't obsess over the wrong things.  Life isn't about your numbers, it isn't about this forum, it isn't about someone's opinion.  It's about getting out there and enjoying it.   I am a person with HIV - not the other way around.

Offline hotpuppy

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Re: Do you scuba? (or want to?) Any fears related to HIV?
« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2010, 07:13:28 PM »
Watersports enthusiasts everywhere are queuing up counter arguments as we speak.  Pun fully intended.

Yes, I'm sure that dashes the hopes of many WS enthusiasts... but before the flame war begins, when was the last time you found a  jellyfish in the shower?  No name calling.....  ::)
Don't obsess over the wrong things.  Life isn't about your numbers, it isn't about this forum, it isn't about someone's opinion.  It's about getting out there and enjoying it.   I am a person with HIV - not the other way around.

Offline mpositive

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Re: Do you scuba? (or want to?) Any fears related to HIV?
« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2010, 09:57:05 PM »
Skeebs.....I am with you on the deep see diving.....    ;D   Nothing like it.......

Offline wellington

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Re: Do you scuba? (or want to?) Any fears related to HIV?
« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2010, 03:39:33 AM »
*touch wood* Never had a problem diving, before becoming poz or since. I've been cut in the water or before diving and never had any issues with infections. I don't pee in my wetsuit or lie about it ;) It's way more fun to use the marine head when everyone is doing their safety stop. lol.

Offline elf

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Re: Do you scuba? (or want to?) Any fears related to HIV?
« Reply #17 on: July 11, 2010, 05:07:05 AM »
Cozumel sounds like a good idea.  :)

Offline Dale Parker

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Re: Do you scuba? (or want to?) Any fears related to HIV?
« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2010, 12:26:28 AM »
I love diving. I'm not certified but have done it several times on the "resort certification" basis. Two times were before I tested positive. Once was on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. It was great. I saw a shark as well as other amazing creatures and fish. The second time was in Hawaii. The dive master said that the waters of Hawaii could hardly compete with the Great Barrier Reef. I told him that I wanted to play with an octopus. To my delight he found a baby and he put it on my arm. It was a great experience. I also ran out of air 60 feet down about a half mile from our dive boat. All my dives have been great and have been unique experiences. I regret not getting certified when I was in Kalgoorlie Western Australia. Thought that it would be fun to have been water certified in the middle of a desert. I would get my license but none of my friends will go with me.
  Regarding your worries about infections and stuff. I love to swim and have been in a number of lakes in Ontario this summer and have never had the least bit of health related problems although my non positive friend did end up with an eye infection on one outing.  Lake Ontario is not the cleanest of lakes in the Toronto area but I go swimming there once a week with no ill effects.
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