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Author Topic: Hiv and stigma  (Read 18235 times)

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Offline tommy246

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Hiv and stigma
« on: September 20, 2010, 07:24:45 AM »
What are your personal views on the stigma attached to being hiv positive.
jan 06 neg
dec 08 pos cd4 505 ,16%, 1,500vl
april 09 cd4 635 ,16%,60,000
july 09 ,cd4 545,17%,80,000
aug 09,hosptal 18days pneumonia cd190,225,000,15%
1 week later cd4 415 20%
nov 09 cd4 591 ,vl 59,000,14%,started atripla
dec 09  cd4 787, vl 266, 16%
march 2010  cd4 720 vl non detectable -20  20%
june 2010  cd4  680, 21%, ND

Offline mecch

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Re: Hiv and stigma
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2010, 08:57:07 AM »
What are yours?
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Dachshund

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Re: Hiv and stigma
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2010, 09:13:48 AM »
Comes with the territory.

Offline smiteler

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Re: Hiv and stigma
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2010, 09:40:35 AM »
what it tells me is how stupid and uneducated alot of people are!  8)
« Last Edit: September 20, 2010, 10:05:21 AM by smiteler »

Offline Rev. Moon

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Re: Hiv and stigma
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2010, 10:34:28 AM »
Been fortunate to have never experienced it myself either at work or in my personal life.  The only exception I guess would be a manhunt trick who freaked out at first when I disclosed, but still went for it (and kept calling me to the point where I had to be less than polite).

I guess Miami is quite open minded about this virus, as I know many people with HIV, and had dated a couple of pozzums before I became one, and all that I ever saw coming from other people was either kindness or a very mild form of fear (not outright rejection).  I'd say the same thing about other places that I have visited or where I have lived temporarily (NYC, Vienna, Spain, South America).

My experience is just one though, and I know that the stigma still exists in a more pronounced way out there, but I guess it comes with the territory as Aunty D said and it is always fueled by irrational fear.
"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 newbieguy

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Re: Hiv and stigma
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2010, 10:46:25 AM »
As some have said, it comes with the territory, I supppose. There is still a LOT of stigma even within the gay community. So many guys always say "clean and d/d free ub2" and that kinda stings, but I am learning to just accept my status and hope that people will judge me for me as a person. I have not told any family members, or friends as of yet I feel I will know when or if the time is right to do that. Hope that more people take it upon themselves to get educated and not simply judge others for having HIV.

Offline tommy246

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Re: Hiv and stigma
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2010, 12:14:19 PM »
What are yours?

Well i have only told my wife and brother and dont plan on telling anybody else . When i go to the local hospital for my 4 monthly visit i always hope i dont see anybody i know. Alot of people are still uneducated about hiv and i think it terrifies them . What are yours ?
jan 06 neg
dec 08 pos cd4 505 ,16%, 1,500vl
april 09 cd4 635 ,16%,60,000
july 09 ,cd4 545,17%,80,000
aug 09,hosptal 18days pneumonia cd190,225,000,15%
1 week later cd4 415 20%
nov 09 cd4 591 ,vl 59,000,14%,started atripla
dec 09  cd4 787, vl 266, 16%
march 2010  cd4 720 vl non detectable -20  20%
june 2010  cd4  680, 21%, ND

Offline phildinftlaudy

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Re: Hiv and stigma
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2010, 02:35:13 PM »
I don't worry about it - haven't really been affected by it at all.  Like Rev. Moon said, I live in Miami so it may be that it is a little bit more "open" here. 

I don't go around broadcasting my status - but  I also don't keep it a big secret,  If it is pertinant to a discussion I don't mind discussing it.  My supervisor(s) know, some of my work colleagues, my family (mom/dad, sister, brothers), close friends.

The only reason I don't let extended family know is out of respect for my mother and father - they worry more about stigma on them having a poz son then I do about being poz - Go Figure  - lol -

I typically am of the belief that if someone is bothered by my HIV status that is their problem not mine - I have accepted it.
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 Rev. Moon

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Re: Hiv and stigma
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2010, 02:41:14 PM »

I typically am of the belief that if someone is bothered by my HIV status that is their problem not mine - I have accepted it.

Troo dis.  Anybody who has an issue with it can lick me for all that I care.
"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 phildinftlaudy

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Re: Hiv and stigma
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2010, 03:31:25 PM »
Troo dis.  Anybody who has an issue with it can lick me for all that I care.
and after they lick me they can then post endlessly in the AMI area  ;D   lol
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 elf

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Re: Hiv and stigma
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2010, 03:54:14 PM »
Basically, people think a person is just a virus, and that's it.
No one can change this, unfortunately...  :-\

Offline Ann

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Re: Hiv and stigma
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2010, 04:16:16 PM »
Basically, people think a person is just a virus, and that's it.
No one can change this, unfortunately...  :-\

Not true at all. WE can change it. The more we hide, the more we have to hide.
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 emeraldize

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Re: Hiv and stigma
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2010, 04:31:29 PM »
I don't go around broadcasting my status - but  I also don't keep it a big secret,  If it is pertinant to a discussion I don't mind discussing it.  My supervisor(s) know, some of my work colleagues, my family (mom/dad, sister, brothers), close friends.

I typically am of the belief that if someone is bothered by my HIV status that is their problem not mine - I have accepted it.

These excerpts of Phildinftlaudy's post describe my actions and views. Plus, I speak to students and young women periodically with the hope of raising their awareness and not fertilizing stigma at the same time.

Offline newbieguy

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Re: Hiv and stigma
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2010, 04:50:23 PM »
Basically, people think a person is just a virus, and that's it.
No one can change this, unfortunately...  :-\

Unfortunately, Ive found this to be true with many people. They still think HIV is the plague and you have to be treated with kid gloves or something. Hopefully, with more education, people will begin to see HIV as a manageable, liveable condition, rather than a disgusting disease.

Offline Joe K

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Re: Hiv and stigma
« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2010, 05:00:38 PM »
When I became poz, there were poz folks who were harassed, had their homes burned, children turned away at school and shunned by the community. Churches did not want AIDS funerals and funeral homes refused to even handle poz bodies. Few hospitals accepted AIDS patients and the ones that did, were sorely underfunded and under staffed. People were terrified of poz people, because so little was known about this disease that was killing our friends in droves. If you were poz, you could be fired, evicted from your home and even arrested for spitting on someone.

You had the disease of the fucking queers and drug addicts and to many Americans, you got just what you deserved. We were ignored by Ronald Reagan and an uncaring public. Ryan White, a child with hiv, was persecuted at his school, solely because he was poz. There were people who thought poz folks should be quarantined or arrested or just shot.

That my friends, is stigma. There were no laws to protect pozzies from discrimination of any kind and most of us, suffered untold stigma in those early years.

Today, what I see is that some stigma still exists, but the consequences of being poz today are nothing when compared with history. I am not saying that stigma is acceptable, rather that you need to grow a thicker skin, when you are poz, if you ever hope to thrive. I became an AIDS poster boy in 1991, because I no longer cared if people would reject me solely because I was poz. It's the same thing today. If you believe that somehow you are less of a person, because you are poz, then you need to look inside to overcome that stigma.

All any of us can do, is to remain true to ourself and do what we feel is right. Stigma is one of those things, that need something to grab onto and if you refuse to be impacted by it, it can get no purchase.

Offline madbrain

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Re: Hiv and stigma
« Reply #15 on: September 20, 2010, 09:06:43 PM »
I have experienced stigma mostly in the gay community. It just freaks a lot of guys out. Which is strange given how prevalent the virus is in the community. I guess most people have a don't ask don't tell policy about it. This really needs to change. But I don't know what will.

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Hiv and stigma
« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2010, 09:24:16 PM »
By "gay community" do you mean internet hookups?  Because, I hate to break it to you, that's not all the "gay community" is.

I'd love some elaboration on this.
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline tednlou2

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Re: Hiv and stigma
« Reply #17 on: September 20, 2010, 11:19:31 PM »
I have experienced stigma mostly in the gay community. It just freaks a lot of guys out. Which is strange given how prevalent the virus is in the community. I guess most people have a don't ask don't tell policy about it. This really needs to change. But I don't know what will.


From my experience, I've seen some of the most hateful remarks from guys who get around with several partners per month and bareback.  I think there's some projecting going on there.  It may be their way of dealing with their risky choices that causes them to say hateful things.  There is a disconnect with these guys who have bareback sex with strangers and have no idea of their status, but then say such awful things about people they know who are poz.  I mean, they could have been exposed to the virus several times and may actually be poz themselves.   

Offline madbrain

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Re: Hiv and stigma
« Reply #18 on: September 21, 2010, 12:35:17 AM »
By "gay community" do you mean internet hookups?  Because, I hate to break it to you, that's not all the "gay community" is.

I'd love some elaboration on this.

Of course I'm aware it's not only that. But yes, the worst remarks have come from potential hookups.

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Hiv and stigma
« Reply #19 on: September 21, 2010, 12:59:41 AM »
If your biggest HIV stigma issues are with one-off, faceless, nameless cock on your computer screen then I don't really know what to say about the hand wringing.  Like killfoile recounted a few posts back, this ain't much.
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Hiv and stigma
« Reply #20 on: September 21, 2010, 01:52:15 AM »
I remember running my outreach organization from 1994 - 2000. Not a long time, i grant you. it was basically handing out condoms and doing safer sex displays at local gay bars. We would have donated lubricant in several different types, have people test it, figure out which was the best for them.

I remember several of our volunteers quitting because people were talking. Hanging out and doing all that AIDS work was starting tongues to wag. Being associated with the disease, even as a volunteer, left a person open for speculation, even discrimination.

It is a LOT better now than it was then. At least most of the roaches have hidden themselves in the corners of the internet, and spew their prejudice and hypocrisy under the cover of anonymity.

Being hurt for your honesty on an online personal site is inevitable. Honesty is rarely rewarded in that arena, whether it is your age, your weight, your HIV status, or your intentions.

Thing is, with HIV you have two choices. Don't ask/Don't tell/Don't infect, or disclose during a date, which is NOT a hook up, and which might mean a long road towards sexual intimacy, if it happens at all. The latter will make you feel better about  yourself, probably. But it is way more expensive and time-consuming.

An alternative is to put yourself out there. Volunteer for stuff. I have found that people who give back to, or participate in their community beyond merely consuming it are WAY more likely to get over an HIV status. They are smarter, and usually as hot if not hotter than an internet trick.

Want a jock? There are gay sports clubs in almost every major city. Want a science fiction geek? Gay book clubs in most of the major cities. Or, in smaller towns, you could be a peer counselor, and train to help other people. In that arena, you would meet other people, some of them who want to have sex with you. Or date you. Or even love you.

I abjectly refuse the notion put forth by some on this forum that there is no hope, that love is impossible, that HIV trumps everything. I know this to be a lie because, since seroconverting, my own average self (with a slight, regrettably brief detour into muscle-town from 1997-2002) has found both love and sex, in droves. Spades. Whatever.

I have been in a five year relationship. a three year one, and am entering year three of the third. And in the middle of that, there has been no shortage of stuff to do, or smart, funny, hot as all hell guys to do it with. Some were positive, some were negative. Oddly, my long term things have mostly been with HIV negative guys.

But I think that the stigma is largely, in the US at least, when one is in the vicinity of a larger town or city, what we make of it. And you know? If I had not lived in Atlanta or another large city, I certainly would have moved here (or a similar place) by now. Because uprooting is sometimes necessary to let a plant spread it's roots and grow.

Each and every one of us is, simply, where we are right now. If we don't like it, fundamentally despise it, if it is crushing us even. we have the ability to move. Not always uproot and leave town...

But make a friend. Volunteer. Get out there in the real world - and this is NOT it.

Just one small step at a time. The worst that could happen is that you made the world a better place.

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline mecch

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Re: Hiv and stigma
« Reply #21 on: September 21, 2010, 12:30:50 PM »
Well i have only told my wife and brother and dont plan on telling anybody else . When i go to the local hospital for my 4 monthly visit i always hope i dont see anybody i know. Alot of people are still uneducated about hiv and i think it terrifies them . What are yours ?

Stigma sucks, and is within the expected human reactions to such a scourge.


I don't know how old you are, but in the 80's and 90's in the USA stigma was just crushing on top of the challenges of this deadly virus, like any other deadly disease.

It was a scarey fucking diagnosis in the 80's and 90's and when I dated HIV+ guys I told everyone when the positive guy said it was ok to disclose. This helped me personally educate myself, and find the support I needed to support my partners, and it seemed to make political sense for the gay community as well.  

Susan Sontag had published "The Way We Live Now" in 1986 and had just published Illness as Metaphor in 1988, I had that new book in my hands when I fell in love with a beautiful man, who didn't even know he was positive, but quickly got sick and died, by the time she published Aids and its Metaphors in 1989.

I think all HIV+ people should push to the limit of disclosure and education - the limit being where disclosure doesn't destroy their standard of living, for example.  (edited to add:  or yeah of course where disclosure could mean DANGER to yourself.)

A few years ago when I was HIV-, my ex became HIV+ and used the stigma attached to do a very nasty manipulation on himself, me, and our relationship.  I felt that when I became HIV+ I had to compensate, and accordingly shocked a lot of Swiss people, who value discretion, by disclosing when perhaps it wasn't necessary.  But I feel its necessary now to show how fucking mundane HIV can be, as well as how dire.  

In a sense, we have much more to educate the world about, because there is no "easy" HIV narrative, and people don't like to learn complicated stories.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2010, 05:59:23 AM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Granny60

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Re: Hiv and stigma
« Reply #22 on: September 21, 2010, 08:58:20 PM »
Not true at all. WE can change it. The more we hide, the more we have to hide.

That is not the reality everywhere though.  I happen to live in a community where pictures of the wackos in the white hats at the local KU Klux Klan meeting is still pictured on the wall in the the furniture store and would be glad to walk you in  and show you where they are.  In 2010 no less. For some of us it is just not safe otherwise. I realize it takes bold steps by many to rid us of stigma,  but I also live in fear for my black friends, my gay friends , and my poz friends.

Offline AlanBama

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Re: Hiv and stigma
« Reply #23 on: September 22, 2010, 11:14:09 AM »
I totally agree with Joe and Jonathan about the stigma of days past vs. today's  issues.   A thicker skin might help many... Miss P is correct, don't let someone's internet 'shunning' of you because you openly state you are poz make you feel "less" than anyone.  It is them projecting their insecurity and lack of responsible sexual behaviour that prompts many of these guys to say the mean things they say.

I also agree with Jonathan and Granny in that it is MUCH easier to be openly poz in a big city; where I live now, it just wouldn't work.   I do what I can (volunteer at my clinic, etc) but in my small town, I have to think of my physical safety.  If anyone caught Oprah's show last week where she revisited the town she went to in 1987 because a guy who was HIV+ went in a public swimming pool (in West Virginia, I believe it was) you could easily have seen what many of us experienced first-hand.   Unfortunately for many of us (esp. here in the South) redneck attitudes haven't changed all that much....
"Remember my sentimental friend that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others." - The Wizard of Oz

Online Jeff G

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Re: Hiv and stigma
« Reply #24 on: September 22, 2010, 11:45:39 AM »
I live in Alabama also , I moved back here after being away for many years  . Like Alan I lived through the long ago times when being HIV positive in the south meant if people found out you were unemployable .

When I was outed as HIV positive in Alabama in the 80's I had no choice but to gather my things and move , I moved to chicago and from there I lived openly as a person living with aids . I was willing to work and found many people sympathetic willing to hire me , I made just enough for an apartment and food but I got by , a far cry from the life I used to have but a life none the less .

Stigma for me was being held back from achieving my full potential in life due only to the fact I was HIV positive .

I could care less about what happens on a hookup internet site , to me the politics of a horny mob is not true stigma , at least not from where I have been .  


Offline tommy246

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Re: Hiv and stigma
« Reply #25 on: September 22, 2010, 11:53:48 AM »
Stigma sucks, and is within the expected human reactions to such a scourge.


I don't know how old you are, but in the 80's and 90's in the USA stigma was just crushing on top of the challenges of this deadly virus, like any other deadly disease.

It was a scarey fucking diagnosis in the 80's and 90's and when I dated HIV+ guys I told everyone when the positive guy said it was ok to disclose. This helped me personally educate myself, and find the support I needed to support my partners, and it seemed to make political sense for the gay community as well.  

Susan Sontag had published "The Way We Live Now" in 1986 and had just published Illness as Metaphor in 1988, I had that new book in my hands when I fell in love with a beautiful man, who didn't even know he was positive, but quickly got sick and died, by the time she published Aids and its Metaphors in 1989.

I think all HIV+ people should push to the limit of disclosure and education - the limit being where disclosure doesn't destroy their standard of living, for example.  (edited to add:  or yeah of course where disclosure could mean DANGER to yourself.)

A few years ago when I was HIV-, my ex became HIV+ and used the stigma attached to do a very nasty manipulation on himself, me, and our relationship.  I felt that when I became HIV+ I had to compensate, and accordingly shocked a lot of Swiss people, who value discretion, by disclosing when perhaps it wasn't necessary.  But I feel its necessary now to show how fucking mundane HIV can be, as well as how dire.  

In a sense, we have much more to educate the world about, because there is no "easy" HIV narrative, and people don't like to learn complicated stories.



i agree hiv is mundane and easy to deal with chronic illness (if diagnosed early) my wife has a chronic illniss loads worse than hiv. but i would tell no one who did not need tto know i am hiv pos, it is very personal and each case is different , i live in small town and have young daughter i would not put herthrough this,
jan 06 neg
dec 08 pos cd4 505 ,16%, 1,500vl
april 09 cd4 635 ,16%,60,000
july 09 ,cd4 545,17%,80,000
aug 09,hosptal 18days pneumonia cd190,225,000,15%
1 week later cd4 415 20%
nov 09 cd4 591 ,vl 59,000,14%,started atripla
dec 09  cd4 787, vl 266, 16%
march 2010  cd4 720 vl non detectable -20  20%
june 2010  cd4  680, 21%, ND

Offline wiwada

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Re: Hiv and stigma
« Reply #26 on: September 22, 2010, 04:57:04 PM »
Too stupid to live and too much of a slut to care.


 Under different circumstances I know that would be my thoughts . And now there is this HIV positve me and the old me and I can't bring them together.  It's like all the things I liked about me are gone and I'm left with all my flaws.  I'm doing a great job stigmatizing myself , I don't need other people do to that for me . It's been 5 months and I'm annoying myself because I can't seem to pick up my life .

Offline GSOgymrat

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Re: Hiv and stigma
« Reply #27 on: September 22, 2010, 05:12:37 PM »
I don't begrudge people for not being public about their HIV+ status, as it is often the most sensible course of action. However I applaud those who are brave, strong or foolish enough to be public regarding their HIV status. They are soldiers in the fight against stigma and it is their actions that will make life easier for everyone who deals with HIV.

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Hiv and stigma
« Reply #28 on: September 22, 2010, 05:13:12 PM »
Too stupid to live and too much of a slut to care.


 Under different circumstances I know that would be my thoughts . And now there is this HIV positve me and the old me and I can't bring them together.  It's like all the things I liked about me are gone and I'm left with all my flaws.  I'm doing a great job stigmatizing myself , I don't need other people do to that for me . It's been 5 months and I'm annoying myself because I can't seem to pick up my life .

From my own experience and from what I have read on this site and elsewhere, the first year is the toughest. You will find the good things again. They didn't go anywhere. I think if you give it some time, patience, and that sense of humor I detected from your post, you will be ok.

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

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Offline eric48

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Re: Hiv and stigma
« Reply #29 on: September 22, 2010, 05:14:19 PM »
there is no "easy" HIV narrative...

Right on!

Every day,  have this cursor swing in my head between

- you'll die (of a nasty thing you got yourself into...)
- you'll be OK (just like any other folks)

there is no "easy" HIV narrative... very true

Eric
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Granny60

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Re: Hiv and stigma
« Reply #30 on: September 22, 2010, 08:24:57 PM »
However I applaud those who are brave, strong or foolish enough to be public regarding their HIV status. They are soldiers in the fight against stigma and it is their actions that will make life easier for everyone who deals with HIV.

Well said ;)

Offline madbrain

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Re: Hiv and stigma
« Reply #31 on: September 22, 2010, 09:13:11 PM »
Not true at all. WE can change it. The more we hide, the more we have to hide.

This thread merits more words than have been expended so far.

When I put "HIV POZ" on my license plate, it was mainly to fight the stigma.

2 years later, I still see people taking pictures of it on a regular basis  - I check my rear view mirror a lot while driving, especially when stopped. It happens to be almost only women doing so, interestingly. I wish I could have a conversation with them to see why they take the shots. But driving is not conducive to that.

I mostly wish that my public disclosure was common enough that it did not merit taking a shot. While the prevalence of cancer is about 10 times that of HIV in the US, it seems like the rate of public disclosure is on the order of 10,000 to 1 . When is the last time you heard someone disclosure a cancer diagnosis publicly ? Vs an HIV/AIDS diagnosis ? The lack of disclosure makes it harder for everyone of us. And I hope each disclosure makes it easier for others.

The stigma is assuredly related to the mode of transmission - usually sexual or through drugs nowadays. Even though almost everyone has unprotected sex at some point in their life, sex inexplicably continues to be vilified when it comes to catching an STD, and people are quick to condem those of us who caught HIV through sex, even though it only takes one sexual contact to catch it. I can't speak personally about drugs, but drug usage is not viewed positively either in general. Our society may not have a declared war on sex, but it most certainly has a war on drugs. The only ones who still get any symphathy these days are those who got it through transfusions, something that doesn't happen much anymore in this country. It's fair to say we would never have had HIV/AIDS legislation in the 1990s if Ryan White had been a gay man, even though the virus affected far more gay men in this country than transfusees (yes, I just made that word up).


Granny60

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Re: Hiv and stigma
« Reply #32 on: September 22, 2010, 11:50:28 PM »
Mad,  I have to applaud you for having gonads made of steel to do what you do.  Some of us couldn't get away with that without  at the very least having our car keyed or worse.  As a person that was infected by transfusion, I can tell you with certainty, that there is little sympathy.  The questions range from how can you be sure that is how  you were infected, to comments that the blood supply has always  been safe because it is tested.  You are labeled a homosexual drug using prostitute whether it is true or not.  There is no use defending how you were infected because the whole problem is these moral  jackals  who want to condemn and label entire groups of people regardless. They have the same shitty attitude about all gay people and all people with addictions whether they are infected or clean;  doesn't matter if they are nice god loving hard working people or not.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2010, 11:52:08 PM by Granny60 »

Offline tednlou2

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Re: Hiv and stigma
« Reply #33 on: September 23, 2010, 12:19:51 AM »
This thread merits more words than have been expended so far.

When I put "HIV POZ" on my license plate, it was mainly to fight the stigma.


Mad, are these articles about you?  I'm impressed with your bravery to do this.

http://www.poz.com/articles/california_hiv_vanity_plate_1_15264.shtml

http://www.topix.com/forum/city/santa-clara-ca/T34PQMDB9RVHM23SJ    (Read the comments)

http://articles.sfgate.com/1996-11-05/news/17786976_1_kevin-dimmick-dmv-office-license-plate
This one talks about an HIV NEG plate being approved


Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Hiv and stigma
« Reply #34 on: September 23, 2010, 12:31:17 AM »
In 1993, I had a rainbow plate on the front of my car. It was destroyed not once, but twice, while I was in my apartment complex. Both times, the broken pieces were placed on the doorstep to my apartment. When I brought it to the attention of the manager, she shrugged and asked me if I wanted to break my lease.

It was that, along with testing positive, that gave me the impulse to start an HIV prevention organization, which ran from 1994 until 2000.

We find our strength through adversity. We can change the world, if we have the God Damned balls.

Having HIV sort of makes you reach down there, and find out.

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

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Offline Rev. Moon

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Re: Hiv and stigma
« Reply #35 on: September 23, 2010, 12:36:18 AM »
Mad, are these articles about you?  I'm impressed with your bravery to do this.

http://www.poz.com/articles/california_hiv_vanity_plate_1_15264.shtml

http://www.topix.com/forum/city/santa-clara-ca/T34PQMDB9RVHM23SJ

Yeah, mr. Pierre is madbrain.

Lovely comments in that second link.  Very apropos for this thread.
"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."

Online Jeff G

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Re: Hiv and stigma
« Reply #36 on: September 23, 2010, 12:59:06 AM »
I heard a rumor that those license plates are really advertisements from the makers of Aids and he is making a small fortune driving them around . 

Offline mecch

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Re: Hiv and stigma
« Reply #37 on: September 23, 2010, 01:01:16 AM »
Mad,  I have to applaud you for having gonads made of steel to do what you do.  Some of us couldn't get away with that without  at the very least having our car keyed or worse.  As a person that was infected by transfusion, I can tell you with certainty, that there is little sympathy.  The questions range from how can you be sure that is how  you were infected, to comments that the blood supply has always  been safe because it is tested.  You are labeled a homosexual drug using prostitute whether it is true or not.  There is no use defending how you were infected because the whole problem is these moral  jackals  who want to condemn and label entire groups of people regardless. They have the same shitty attitude about all gay people and all people with addictions whether they are infected or clean;  doesn't matter if they are nice god loving hard working people or not.

Mixed feelings about this post.  
Interpreted generously, I assume you are saying that one might expect bigots and/or uninformed people to give you a pass for the means of transmission.  But they are so stupid they can't manage that.
On the other hand, I feel that the general way to fight stigma is for all HIV+ people to raise their hands together to show the diversity, and for us to argue that transmission routes are apples, and HIV is oranges.  Its a stupid dumb virus - with no morals - and no pre-determined message to tell about people who are carrying it.  Its just a horrible virus.  
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Offline GSOgymrat

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Re: Hiv and stigma
« Reply #38 on: September 23, 2010, 11:28:22 AM »
I heard a rumor that those license plates are really advertisements from the makers of Aids and he is making a small fortune driving them around . 

Small fortune? I'm racing to the DMV for my license plate and the large check. I'll even throw in a bumper sticker: "Want to avoid getting HIV? Ask me how!"

Offline klipsch

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Re: Hiv and stigma
« Reply #39 on: September 23, 2010, 01:19:24 PM »
Just out of curiosity...how many posters in this thread are straight?
when shit has value...the poor will be born without assholes...

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Hiv and stigma
« Reply #40 on: September 23, 2010, 01:33:47 PM »
Just out of curiosity...how many posters in this thread are straight?

At least three, though there are a few posters that I don't know and didn't bother to comb through their older posts.
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline mecch

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Re: Hiv and stigma
« Reply #41 on: September 23, 2010, 01:38:04 PM »
Just out of curiosity...how many posters in this thread are straight?

Welcome to the forum. Introduce yourself?
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Ann

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Re: Hiv and stigma
« Reply #42 on: September 23, 2010, 01:42:21 PM »
Just out of curiosity...how many posters in this thread are straight?

Just out of curiosity, why does it matter? Are you hiv positive? Now that does matter as this forum is for poz people only.
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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

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Offline klipsch

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Re: Hiv and stigma
« Reply #43 on: September 23, 2010, 01:59:47 PM »
At least three, though there are a few posters that I don't know and didn't bother to comb through their older posts.
I only ask because on more than one occasion, one of the first things I heard after disclosing was "I didn't know you were gay". And on more than one occasion I responded with "Holy shit! I'm gay too?" I try to laugh about the whole presumption of being gay just because I'm positive. I'm not homophobic in any way and have quite a few friends and associates in the gay community. But the truth of the matter is that for a lot of straight guys...being thought gay is as bad or worse than being positive. It's one thing to be assumed to be gay because of whatever reason, be it appearance, behavior, associations...etc. Personally, I'm flattered when a man or woman presumes I'm gay based on my appearance. But...as soon as you throw being HIV+ on the table, it's not presumed...you're gay! Or...you had sex with another man at some point, because HIV is a gay mans disease.
when shit has value...the poor will be born without assholes...

Offline klipsch

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Re: Hiv and stigma
« Reply #44 on: September 23, 2010, 02:02:14 PM »
Forgive me not introducing myself. My bad. Yes I'm positive. I found out in 1998 about 10 minutes before being rolled into surgery for a hip replacement. Since then...it's been my experience that whether a person is gay or heterosexual, also relates to how the stigma of HIV/AIDS effects them emotionally.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2010, 02:05:53 PM by klipsch »
when shit has value...the poor will be born without assholes...

Offline Ann

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Re: Hiv and stigma
« Reply #45 on: September 23, 2010, 02:06:21 PM »
But...as soon as you throw being HIV+ on the table, it's not presumed...you're gay! Or...you had sex with another man at some point, because HIV is a gay mans disease.

True, that. I have several straight poz men friends (and my current bf) who report the same thing. They all got it from women. There are many here too who automatically assume that a man who professes to be straight but is poz HAD to have been the recipient of unprotected anal sex. And these are people who should know better. After all, world-wide there are far more straights who have hiv than gay men. FAR more.

BTW, welcome to the forums. You've been a member here for quite a few years now, what took you so long to speak up? :)
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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 Rev. Moon

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Re: Hiv and stigma
« Reply #46 on: September 23, 2010, 02:16:53 PM »
Forgive me not introducing myself. My bad. Yes I'm positive. I found out in 1998 about 10 minutes before being rolled into surgery for a hip replacement. Since then...it's been my experience that whether a person is gay or heterosexual, also relates to how the stigma of HIV/AIDS effects them emotionally.

Welcome to the forums. Love your signature line  ;D (it's emoticons day!).
"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 klipsch

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Re: Hiv and stigma
« Reply #47 on: September 23, 2010, 02:21:18 PM »
True, that. I have several straight poz men friends (and my current bf) who report the same thing. They all got it from women. There are many here too who automatically assume that a man who professes to be straight but is poz HAD to have been the recipient of unprotected anal sex. And these are people who should know better. After all, world-wide there are far more straights who have hiv than gay men. FAR more.

BTW, welcome to the forums. You've been a member here for quite a few years now, what took you so long to speak up? :)
Honestly? Because most of what I've read is coming from members of the gay community. I find it difficult to be able to partake in a meaningful discussion if the others involved can't relate to MY feelings. Just as I cannot relate to some of theirs. I know that we're all dealing with the same disease of HIV/AIDS...but the truth of the matter is, the different comfort levels of dealing and accepting what support there is available for those suffering.
My typing skills suck...and it makes it difficult to be able to put my thoughts and feelings onto a written format while still conveying what I'm attempting to say without somebody taking offense. This is the internet after all...  ;)

when shit has value...the poor will be born without assholes...

Offline klipsch

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Re: Hiv and stigma
« Reply #48 on: September 23, 2010, 02:30:12 PM »
Let me just throw this out there as an example of my frustration. When I walk into an HIV/AIDS resource center (sorry...I don't know the lingo)...it pisses me the fuck off to no end, that I see bulletin after bulletin, posted on the walls...Gay Men's Support Group. There will be 4,5 maybe 6 at times. When I ask about what straight men are supposed to do in regards to support groups...I'm told that hetro men are welcome in those same groups as well. REALLY!!!??? And you think they'll show up and stay???!!!

Yeah...I've probably been quiet for a little too long... lol
when shit has value...the poor will be born without assholes...

Offline Ann

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Re: Hiv and stigma
« Reply #49 on: September 23, 2010, 02:41:18 PM »
Those resource centers are generally called ASOs. Aids Service Organisation.

Why don't you approach your ASO about starting a support group for straights? They may well be open to it if someone (you) will organise it.

By the way, the guy who started this thread is straight.
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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

 


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