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Author Topic: blessing in disguise?  (Read 23127 times)

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Offline kellybryana

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blessing in disguise?
« on: February 01, 2011, 11:13:26 PM »
I read a lot of the threads in these forums, and so far I read a lot about the hardships of this disease. Frankly, I'm scared! Reading about the crazy medical bills, side effects of treatment, cost of treatment, stigma, etc. is very troubling. There MUST be people out there who have been living with HIV for years and have come to see HIV as a blessing in disguise. Anyone?!?!
 ??? ??? ???



Offline Jeff G

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2011, 11:22:26 PM »
I have my days when I mostly dwell on the the fact that I survived this long and count my blessings , I also have days when I remember to be thankful for all I have when so many others do without and suffer .

Dealing with adversity can sometimes have character building aspects to it but I find it hard after losing so many friends and struggling like I have to call having HIV a blessing in disguise , I just cant see it that way .         
« Last Edit: February 01, 2011, 11:24:27 PM by jg1962 »

Offline Joe K

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2011, 11:38:28 PM »
Blessing in disguise?  I don't think so.  If HIV is a blessing, the price it extracts is beyond comprehension. Hundreds of dead friends and lovers, an almost infinite list of maladies surrounding HIV, along with declining health, advanced aging and medical complications too numerous to mention.  Finding that a good day is when I do not shit myself while out in public, assuming I can muster the strength to go out.  Suffering an incredible loss of quality of live...  if this is a blessing, I would sure hate to see a curse.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2011, 11:40:09 PM by killfoile »

Offline buginme2

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2011, 11:40:35 PM »
I dont know about blessing.  However, it has caused me to re-evaluate some things.  I've put more attention in finishing grad school, I've put more effort into changing jobs into one that is more enjoyable.  It has caused me to try and do things that I may have put off before.  I am relatively newly diagnosed though.  I wonder what some LTS's would say
Don't be fancy, just get dancey

Offline Joe K

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2011, 11:45:07 PM »
I wonder what some LTS's would say

The two posts above yours are from LTS.

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2011, 12:13:58 AM »
As an LTS, I leave it to those diagnosed recently, to whom hopefully life will be far easier, to call it a "blessing in Disguise."

Any blessing that takes from me my friends and loved ones, many from this very site, is a disguised one, indeed.

Sure, like any major life change, it can cause someone to rethink their priorities and perhaps even strive to do/be better.

But for those of us who have had this illness for over a decade, I can assure you that any positive life changes are mitigated by experimental drug therapies, socially and financially crippling issues, mental and physical deterioration, and funerals. God, that smell of flower-spray and ancient perfume, sitting in church after church while strangers gamely pontificate on the life and works of people they barely knew.

I'd undo this "blessing" and be the person I was on track towards becoming in 1993 in a heartbeat.

I know what you are asking, and what you are looking for. But giving this pathogen the power to change the world, or a person, in the positive is, IMHO, giving it power. I don't want to do that. It's a disease. And a wretched one, for those living in the US (and other underfunded countries where healthcare is not a right).

You can survive this. Especially as a recently diagnosed person. I would be hard-pressed to find a LTS who embraces it as a blessing. It seems that only the strongest, the orneriest, the angriest, the most stubborn of us have survived to "achieve" LTS standing.

And many of us stand awkwardly, on canes, on feet that feel full of glass, with bodies and hearts misshapen by early HAART and the accumulation of grief like snowstorms on our shoulders.

For those diagnosed recently, I implore you to make the changes in our healthcare system necessary to sustain you - so that the spike in insurance does not mark you for termination in your employment, so that your meds do not break you financially. So that kissing someone is not a felony.

We - the collective community - have much to do in the years ahead. But it is YOU, the newly diagnosed, who have the physical strength to see it done. Seriously, it's up to you.

Can YOU make this a blessing? I doubt it. But you can be an angel in the wilderness. You can be a hero. You can make a difference. THAT is a blessing, no matter the source.



"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 drewm

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2011, 12:28:40 AM »
I would not call HIV/AIDS a blessing in disguise, however, I would be foolish not to see some upsides in my situation. Having this virus has forced lifestyle changes, forced me to see a doctor on a regular basis and to take better care of myself. In all honesty, I was sicker than a dog with this virus for years, doing drugs and acting like an idiot before being diagnosed and now, thank God, I am healthier than I have been in years.

I wish I had chosen another course in life but there are upsides, for me, that have come with this diagnoses. I enjoy life much more, taking time to enjoy family and friends and not taking things for granted.
Diagnosed in  May of 2010 with teh AIDS.

PCP Pneumonia . CD4 8 . VL 500,000

TRIUMEQ - VALTREX -  FLUOXETINE - FENOFIBRATE - PRAVASTATIN - CIALIS


Numbers consistent since 12/2010 - VL has remained undetectable and CD4 is anywhere from 275-325

Offline tednlou2

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2011, 12:36:08 AM »
I have heard some here and elsewhere say HIV was a blessing, because it caused them to get sober, or repair relationships, get healthier, or be a better person.  It is like when cancer survivors say cancer was the best thing that happened to them--for many of the same reasons.  It seems like such a strange thing to say.  I'll see them on some TV show discussing how awful the diagnosis was and all the hell they went through.  They will also be there discussing a cure.  It leaves many to think why talk about a cure, if it was the best thing to happen to you.  We should all get cancer.  I think many of them only say that, because they survived--obviously.  If it were possible to go back in time and give them a choice, I doubt many of them would still take the cancer.  It also reminds me of people who were bullied due to being overweight.  They will say how awful the bullying was, but then say the name calling caused them to work out and lose the weight.  It is hard to comprehend the mixed message.  

So far, I don't see HIV as a blessing.  I wish I could see it that way.  It hasn't improved my life.  I don't take better care of myself.  I've actually gone the other direction.  I've stopped working out and doing all the physical things I use to do like hiking, biking, swimming, etc.  I've actually gained weight and gotten out of shape.  I do get labs done regularly, but I could have done that being neg.  Well, I did quit smoking, so there's that.  I've always been nice to people (for the most part) and concerned about others.  I think HIV has made me more sympathetic and empathetic to people who are sick with something and people who don't have access to healthcare.  That is probably the only thing I can point to as a benefit--I've become more educated about what happens to people who are sick and who don't have access to healthcare.

  

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2011, 01:18:31 AM »
I have heard some here and elsewhere say HIV was a blessing, because it caused them to get sober, or repair relationships, get healthier, or be a better person.  It is like when cancer survivors say cancer was the best thing that happened to them--for many of the same reasons.  It seems like such a strange thing to say.  I'll see them on some TV show discussing how awful the diagnosis was and all the hell they went through.  They will also be there discussing a cure.  It leaves many to think why talk about a cure, if it was the best thing to happen to you.  We should all get cancer.  I think many of them only say that, because they survived--obviously.  If it were possible to go back in time and give them a choice, I doubt many of them would still take the cancer.  It also reminds me of people who were bullied due to being overweight.  They will say how awful the bullying was, but then say the name calling caused them to work out and lose the weight.  It is hard to comprehend the mixed message.  

So far, I don't see HIV as a blessing.  I wish I could see it that way.  It hasn't improved my life.  I don't take better care of myself.  I've actually gone the other direction.  I've stopped working out and doing all the physical things I use to do like hiking, biking, swimming, etc.  I've actually gained weight and gotten out of shape.  I do get labs done regularly, but I could have done that being neg.  Well, I did quit smoking, so there's that.  I've always been nice to people (for the most part) and concerned about others.  I think HIV has made me more sympathetic and empathetic to people who are sick with something and people who don't have access to healthcare.  That is probably the only thing I can point to as a benefit--I've become more educated about what happens to people who are sick and who don't have access to healthcare.

There's hope for you yet Theodora. :)

MtD

Offline surf18

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2011, 05:37:52 AM »
Dx'd in June. I find zero blessing in disquise in this. Not a day goes by that I don't long for my "old" life back. A life where I was happy go lucky, without the burden of thinking of this thing 24/7.

Offline wolfter

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2011, 05:41:36 AM »
I haven't found that yet, but feel very fortunate compared to so many others who suferred horribly before passing.  Maybe the next 20 years of living with HIV will be much better than the first 20.  

Complacency is the enemy.  ;)  Challenge yourself daily for maximum  return on investment.

Offline GSOgymrat

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2011, 06:44:52 AM »
I've had HIV since 1993. There is nothing good about it.

Offline hope_for_a_cure

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2011, 07:58:31 AM »
I dont see being HIV+ as a blessing in any way shape or form.  The blessing for me (if there is one) is how my family has been supportive, but I think they would have been so if I had been diagnosed with an other illness, not just HIV. 


Offline Ann

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2011, 09:27:01 AM »
Being diagnosed with hiv was the kick in the ass I needed to do some serious work on my self-esteem issues. I believe my low self-esteem was directly related to becoming infected - I didn't think enough of myself to stand up for myself and insist on fidelity and/or condoms.

I figured insisting on either would leave me on my own. While I might have been correct about that, in retrospect it would have been far better to be alone than hiv positive.

In the first few months following my diagnosis, I did a lot of "navel gazing", tracing the roots of my low self-esteem and insecurities back to my childhood. Once I figured out where it all stemmed from, I realised it was a load of rubbish and lies that I didn't need in my life.

I'm an awful lot happier and emotionally stable as a result. I have a lot more friends now too, real friends - now that I'm not the needy, clinging wreck I used to be. My love life has also improved 100% in every aspect. Every aspect.

I suppose at a push you could call that facet of my infection a "blessing in disguise", but really, hiv is no blessing. I could have gotten to the same place emotionally without this damn virus.

It's a shame I didn't get to where I'm at now before I acquired my infection, because I'd most likely still be hiv negative if I had. C'est la vie, c'est l'amour, c'est la guerre, c'est la mort, say no more!
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 woodshere

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2011, 09:37:34 AM »
I think some of us try to find the silver lining in the cloud or something good from something bad.  Would I rather be HIV- of course, but since I am stuck with the virus might as well make the best of it.  My HIV cloud does have some silver lining.  I have had the wonderful experience for 3 years now of volunteering for AIDS Lifecycle, a fundraising week long bike ride from SF to LA.  Had I not been poz I would not have participated and not made some very dear friends.  I have met some great people in Louisville via a poz social group and had some very fun times with them.  I have a great dr that I see on a regular basis and am paying more attention to my health, haven't made all the changes I need too, but I am at least more aware of what I should be doing.  And believe it or not I have actually dated more since becoming poz, as well as expanding my sexual horizons (which has been a very good thing).

A blessing probably not, but there have been opportunities for some good to come from it.
"Let us give pubicity to HV/AIDS and not hide it..." "One of the things destroying people with AIDS is the stigma we attach to it."   Nelson Mandela

Offline richie

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2011, 12:27:27 PM »
I read a lot of the threads in these forums, and so far I read a lot about the hardships of this disease. Frankly, I'm scared! Reading about the crazy medical bills, side effects of treatment, cost of treatment, stigma, etc. is very troubling. There MUST be people out there who have been living with HIV for years and have come to see HIV as a blessing in disguise. Anyone?!?!
 ??? ??? ???




It's been said in various ways in the posts above.  But it's really simple.  Look at it this way:

1.  Having ANY illness can cause you to reevaluate your situation, and lift your head out of the clouds, so to speak.  It forces you to observe more than the daily drudgery of live, and evaluate what's important to you.  Life is short.

2.  For those of us who have been around awhile, AIDS is different because it's taken away many of our friends, and a generation was decimated.  History was changed (literally) in the arts and other areas where people perished in severe numbers.  A silver lining?  No.  Even if you're young enough to not have experienced it, or ignorant about what has happened. 

Having said that, being young is in your favor, as today's HIV is vastly different than yesterday's AIDs.  Problems?  Yes.  Death sentence?  No.  But in facing problems, you'll undoubtedly become a stronger and better person.  Maybe that's your silver lining.

Offline leatherman

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #16 on: February 02, 2011, 12:50:27 PM »
fending off a terminal illness for nearly two decades (that nearly won a couple of times) has nothing about it that could be considered a blessing. As others have mentioned about their lives and experiences, in the here and now, I deal with too many years of illness and too many lost friends.

But even if I had never had a day of sickness, the fact that HIV/AIDS killed and took away from me my two long-term partners :'( is enough to prove there's no blessing about it whatsoever.

However, no one ever promised me prior to HIV, that my life would be a bed of roses either. Matter of fact my parents and the Baptist church told me that times in my future would be hard and would be a test of my strength and character to get through. Know what? Without even imagining that I'd end up with AIDS, they were still right. ;) My life has had a lot of rough moments that tried my soul - many associated with being poz, and quite a few times that had nothing at all to do with HIV.

I don't think you're going to get an answer that you might have liked because I just don't think there's some big karma-related reason for being HIV poz and your life turning out all hunky-dory. There's no "I survived AIDS for a reason" BS.

There's only the fact that it hasn't killed me (or you) yet. So any "blessing in disguise" that comes from being positive, I think has to do with what I, or you, make of our lives. ;)

If you let this hardship drag you down by dwelling on the possible negative outcomes, by worrying over imagined future illness or side effects, by retreating into yourself, by not accepting that this is your "new life" which is the consequence of your own actions, then having HIV will be a burden that will drag your soul and spirit down even in the best of times - so how will you ever endure the worst of times when the HIV actually poses problems in your life? ???

However, if you use this hardship in your life to make yourself a better person, to enjoy your life more, to be a better friend, to improve your mind, to make healthier choices, to be an activist helping prevent others from being in this situation or helping others to obtain meds to have quality of life, well then you have shown great character and have made being positive into as much of a blessing as it can be; and you'll build up the strength you'll need to endure the bad times.
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline Joe K

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #17 on: February 02, 2011, 01:06:17 PM »
However, if you use this hardship in your life to make yourself a better person, to enjoy your life more, to be a better friend, to improve your mind, to make healthier choices, to be an activist helping prevent others from being in this situation or helping others to obtain meds to have quality of life, well then you have shown great character and have made being positive into as much of a blessing as it can be; and you'll build up the strength you'll need to endure the bad times.

Very well said.

Offline mecch

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #18 on: February 02, 2011, 01:55:31 PM »
Which of these challenges do you face presently or in the near future?  As a newly diagnosed person, its good not to take on all the worries at once.

As for the blessing? Well, there is something to be said for the benefits of overcoming difficulties that life can put in your path, so there are good things to come out of an HIV infection, just like dealing successfully with any other crap that might happen in life.  Doesn't mean the crap is a value.

Anyway, its just a deadly virus, millions have it, and there are effective treatments if you can get them. 
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Buckmark

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #19 on: February 02, 2011, 02:04:27 PM »
I read a lot of the threads in these forums, and so far I read a lot about the hardships of this disease. Frankly, I'm scared! Reading about the crazy medical bills, side effects of treatment, cost of treatment, stigma, etc. is very troubling. There MUST be people out there who have been living with HIV for years and have come to see HIV as a blessing in disguise. Anyone?!?!
 ??? ??? ???

You should have a certain amount of fear when you have HIV.  It's a life-threatening disease.  The consequences are serious -- not only to your physical health, but potentially to your relationships and finances as well.  Many nowadays are lulled into thinking that it is simple to manage.  While we are fortunate to have more and better treatments (if you have access to them), until we have a cure it doesn't basic nature of HIV and AIDS.

So what do you do with the fear?  Take action.  Be proactive with your health.  Take advantage of the improved treatments we have these days.  Become more compassionate and supportive of others who have HIV.  Like other serious hardships you have or will face, you decide how to react, and that influences your outcome.  Sometimes, and ideally, this will lead to make other decisions which improve your life, career, relationships and yourself in other ways.  That is what I call making the best of a bad situation.

But I can't see HIV as a blessing.  Over the past 22 years, I've seen too much death, destruction and hardship to see it that way.  Yet I have learned how to make the best of a bad situation, and I suspect you will too.

Regards,

Henry


"Life in Lubbock, Texas, taught me two things:
     One is that God loves you and you're going to burn in hell.
     The other is that sex is the most awful, filthy thing on earth and you should save it for someone you love."
- Butch Hancock, Musician, The Flatlanders

Offline leatherman

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #20 on: February 02, 2011, 02:12:19 PM »
Anyway, its just a deadly virus
::) LOL
nothing like downplaying it to take away it's power, huh? :D
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline newt

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #21 on: February 02, 2011, 03:42:35 PM »
Quote
Being diagnosed with hiv was the kick in the ass I needed to do some serious work on my self-esteem issues.

Agreed.

But would be nice if it was just a kick up the ass not a lifelong virus thing, like, perhaps, yer mum dissing yer marmalade in the judging at the local fete, or your man/woman emptying yer bank account and doing a runner with their salsa trainer. There are easier ways to decide to pull yourself together.

Make rare metal of blood and bone, all art requires sacrifice, except today, just now, I wish the art of being good at being HIV-positive was not my day in day out existence.

- matt
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"

Offline eric48

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #22 on: February 02, 2011, 05:21:31 PM »
To me:

Sword of Damocles from day 1

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

When I got diagnosed, I passed out.

more than 25 years eluding the threat, now almost a year in feeling the tip of the sword onto my skull

A blessing in disguise? ? ? ? ?

Eric

PS: many thanks to BigPharma and all those who contributed in giving me a second chance

PPS:
Does not Dionysius seem to have made it sufficiently clear that there can be nothing happy for the person over whom some fear always looms? - Cicero
« Last Edit: February 02, 2011, 05:24:43 PM by eric48 »
NVP/ABC/3TC/... UD; CD4 > 1000; CD4/CD8 ~ 2.0   safety stock : 3 months (2013: FOTO= 5d. ON 2d. OFF ; 2014: NCT02157311 = 4d. ON, 3d. OFF)

Offline drewm

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #23 on: February 02, 2011, 05:44:56 PM »
However, if you use this hardship in your life to make yourself a better person, to enjoy your life more, to be a better friend, to improve your mind, to make healthier choices, to be an activist helping prevent others from being in this situation or helping others to obtain meds to have quality of life, well then you have shown great character and have made being positive into as much of a blessing as it can be; and you'll build up the strength you'll need to endure the bad times.

Well said!
Diagnosed in  May of 2010 with teh AIDS.

PCP Pneumonia . CD4 8 . VL 500,000

TRIUMEQ - VALTREX -  FLUOXETINE - FENOFIBRATE - PRAVASTATIN - CIALIS


Numbers consistent since 12/2010 - VL has remained undetectable and CD4 is anywhere from 275-325

Offline kellybryana

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #24 on: February 02, 2011, 11:06:48 PM »
wow, thats a lot of responses. I respect everyone's experiences, and appreciate the time you took to respond. I am choosing to look at this as a blessing in disguise, though.  I don't know if I would have ever gotten the kick in the ass to look at my life the way HIV has forced me to look at it. I've had to completely rearrange my priorities and re evaluate every aspect of my life. Sure I could have done the work to make myself a better person without having been diagnosed with this ridiculous virus, but would I have? I don't know...

I am choosing to look at this as what I need to go through to become the person I was meant to be. Character is built through surviving hardships, and you find out who you truly are in the face of adversity. I refuse to let this take my optimism and my spirit. I will thrive.

I appreciate the scientific advances that have been made in the last 20 years to improve the quality of life of people infected with HIV today, and I am truly sorry about the hardships the LTSer's have had to endure these last decades. However, I am very thankful that with the advances in medicine, my experience with HIV will be much different.

Here' life according to Kelly: We are all going to die. Everyone is going to get some kind of disease at some point. Everyone has problems. This is my problem now...who's to say that my situation is worse than anyone elses? And why am I going to let this get the best of me? I will find something to be thankful for every day of my life, even if it is simply that I have fingers to type this response. I will fight for my happiness, and I will give more to this world than I can even imagine. I've had a very good life, and I know that my best days are yet to come.

Offline surf18

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #25 on: February 02, 2011, 11:15:52 PM »
I will say kelly you have a great attitude. I too had this virus make me smell the roses so to speak. I too also wish my kick came an easier fashion.

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #26 on: February 02, 2011, 11:40:47 PM »
I am very thankful that with the advances in medicine, my experience with HIV will be much different.


I am glad for this as well. Sadly, you do have a lot of fighting ahead of you. Maybe not for the existence of meds, but if you are in the USA, access to them may or may not be an issue.  There are a lot of tips and tricks to make certain you get access to meds, and when/if the time comes for you to start, who knows? The government might have developed a means by which people can have a viable and ctive life with HIV, and not be worried about getting laid off, or changing jobs, or anything else that might interrupt the necessary flow of medications.

That sort of activism takes guts, brains, and stamina. Congrats! You have those! Many of us still have guts, and even a few brain cells, but stamina? Not as much. It's really up to you and this current generation of pozzies to change the system - make HIV meds affordable for everyone. Make healthcare a right. Make it possible to work where you want, how you want, as long as you want, without HIV meds making those decisions for you.

Make this a non-issue. We are here to help, as best as we can :)

"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 Joe K

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #27 on: February 03, 2011, 12:01:29 AM »
wow, thats a lot of responses. I respect everyone's experiences, and appreciate the time you took to respond. I am choosing to look at this as a blessing in disguise, though.  I don't know if I would have ever gotten the kick in the ass to look at my life the way HIV has forced me to look at it. I've had to completely rearrange my priorities and re evaluate every aspect of my life. Sure I could have done the work to make myself a better person without having been diagnosed with this ridiculous virus, but would I have? I don't know...

I am choosing to look at this as what I need to go through to become the person I was meant to be. Character is built through surviving hardships, and you find out who you truly are in the face of adversity. I refuse to let this take my optimism and my spirit. I will thrive.

Kelly,

I salute your spirit and commitment to thrive, in spite of your HIV, but I believe that it is not the HIV that has bestowed any blessing, rather it is your reaction to life altering news.  For me, HIV has brought me nothing but pain and sorrow, whereas my reaction to these challenges has enriched my life beyond description.  I view my HIV as simply a virus, that if given the chance, will surely kill me.  A mindless virus, has no ability to instill anything in anyone, however, since it also represents a truly life-altering event, it does have the potential to challenge us and it is how we choose, to meet that challenge, that can be a blessing.

As others have said, if you accept your infection and use the challenges presented, assuming you are successful, you will grow in so many ways and some of them will not even be evident to you.  When I look back on some of the challenges I have faced, it was my faith in my medical care, friends and lovers that helped to pull me through, but none of that would have mattered, if I did not have faith in myself.

I think some of this is just a case of semantics, because we all seem to center on life after diagnosis and to be honest, the ones who are the most adaptable and possess the internal strength are generally those who eventually thrive with HIV.  Ultimately, all that matters is accepting and treating your HIV infection and if you choose to view positive life changes, as a "blessing in disguise", then more power to you.  The point is not just what you believe, but how you translate those beliefs into meaningful actions.

Offline drewm

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #28 on: February 03, 2011, 09:23:52 PM »
You can choose to see the glass half full or the glass half empty. Like Cher, "if I could turn back time," but I cannot. I choose to live each day to the fullest and get everything out of this life that I can. I like your outlook and it sounds like we have a lot in common.

Keep your spirits up and your eye on your health. You are worth it and thanks for asking and sharing!
Diagnosed in  May of 2010 with teh AIDS.

PCP Pneumonia . CD4 8 . VL 500,000

TRIUMEQ - VALTREX -  FLUOXETINE - FENOFIBRATE - PRAVASTATIN - CIALIS


Numbers consistent since 12/2010 - VL has remained undetectable and CD4 is anywhere from 275-325

Offline roy100

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #29 on: February 04, 2011, 10:12:17 AM »
The blessing part is finding out you have it , instead of going arround spreading the desease.

Then you begin to fill better and be as normal as one ca be.

Read all the answears from killfoile, he is my Guru.
Anything he says has wisdon.
Gretings Killfoile, you are an inspiration to me , and that is a blessing !
Diagnosed 18Th March 2010
March 30Th VL +100,000 CD4 46
CD8T  575 CD8 %60.6
On Truvada and Kaletra. . Remeron 15mg  and150 mg  wellbutrin xl for depression. Clonazepan 2 mg to sleep. Omeprazole 20  once a day.
July 17 2010 Vl 362 CD4 155, 6.4 %
CD8T suppressors 1482 CD8% 61.1
 Nov 16 2010: V l 937 CD4 188,10%
CD8T Suppresors 997 CD8%55.8
August 15th 2011 Vl UD, less than 40.
CD4:543(26.7%) CD8:887 (43.6 %) Ratio .61
Jan 14th,2012 ,less than 40.
CD4:478 (24.4%) CD8: 962 (49.1%) Ratio.50
June 2012 CD4 599, CD8 856 UD
Oct 2013 CD 702, CD 843 UD Ratio:.87

Offline Cliff

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #30 on: February 04, 2011, 10:17:10 AM »
Getting older, and all the experiences I've gone through since 2003, has made me a better person, maybe, but not HIV.

Offline woodshere

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #31 on: February 04, 2011, 11:57:17 AM »
Call it whatever you want, look at it however you want, after all it is your HIV journey.  Do what it takes to travel it.
"Let us give pubicity to HV/AIDS and not hide it..." "One of the things destroying people with AIDS is the stigma we attach to it."   Nelson Mandela

Offline steps

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #32 on: February 04, 2011, 10:07:36 PM »
I read a lot of the threads in these forums, and so far I read a lot about the hardships of this disease. Frankly, I'm scared! Reading about the crazy medical bills, side effects of treatment, cost of treatment, stigma, etc. is very troubling. There MUST be people out there who have been living with HIV for years and have come to see HIV as a blessing in disguise. Anyone?!?!
 ??? ??? ???



I have been "living" with HIV for 23 years have also been on 4 different med combo's some have had bad side effects the combo i am on now so far has had few  if any noticable side effects.
Yes the cost is by far way too high for meds . There is coming up a way of knowing what will be least harmful in side effects and most helpful in treating the HIV its called gene testing this may become the brenchmark for treatment selection.
Aside from the medical there is the living with HIV. When I was told of my being positive in those days it was like receiving a death sentence, there was almost nothing that worked as a treatment.
To add to this i had just buried my partner of 19 years who died a very bad and terrible death from AIDS.
I was alone with no close freinds nor any family since most of my birth family was gone.
I had spend most of my entire life doing for others .
Something clicked in my head that had been in there hidding for a very long time.
I told myself "If this is the end of my life then I will live it as me and not prejudge anyone and will have no one prejuding me.  Having felt hurt from others I will give no hurt to any nor will i allow it upon me.
I am a person of worth as is others and I will not be viewed as a person un-worthy.
I feel no shame or gulit from being HIV it as in fact taught me the value of life.
I learned of my own mortality and in so doing it taught me to live.
Facing the possibly of my own death was and is the best teacher i never knew.
I met others like me. I met people who wanted nothing from me other then to be a friend.
I found the best love of my love and have been together for over 11 years now.
I do not lie about my HIV I enjoy the friends I have and am glad to have them.
After 23 years it has taught be more then a life of wealth or endless health could of ever of taught me.
You are a person of worth HIV is a part of that, it can be a great teacher when you see your possiblies came not from having HIV but from knowing you have it.
Being positive does not mean you are HIV it means you are positive about yourself.
It takes only a few times of knowing this to learned it.

Offline carousel

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #33 on: February 05, 2011, 08:01:58 AM »
If there was no HIV, what would I do with my time?

Hours reading about stuff that will probably never happen me, watching videos on Youtube of people wanting to share their stories of hope and self diagnosing my latest disorder from DSM1V.  Add to that, the time I would save recycling at the bottle bank.

It doesn't bare thinking about.


Offline DangerBoyXIII

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #34 on: February 05, 2011, 02:44:20 PM »
I was diagnosed about 3yrs ago.  I'm coming up on my anniversary actually! 

I haven't suffered from any illnesses as of yet and I don't feel any different then I did when I was negative.  At least, not physically.  Mentally it's been challenging. 

I've outted my status to a few people and even to a boyfriend.  When we broke up he made threats to expose me.  He knew going into it that I was positive and didn't have an issue with it.  However, things got ugly when I uncovered his web of lies.  I don't date and this ex of mine is the reason why.  I don't trust anyone.  I think I've become more paranoid now more so then before.  Finding other HIV positive people has been rough since I do live in a small town.  When I do manage to connect with people I never allow it to go further then platonic friendship. 

I am super lucky that I live in Pennsylvania and I am on a special insurance plan that pays for my lab work and my atripla.  I wish everyone was as fortunate. 

I wish I could turn back time.  I'd save everyone that I've lost and fix my self esteem so I'd know I deserved better then I gave myself credit for.  But that won't be happening.  It's not a blessing for me.  But it's not a horrible thing for me yet.  It's a call for a lifestyle change I desperately needed and a chance to slow my life down!!

Offline wolfter

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #35 on: February 05, 2011, 02:57:42 PM »
Perhaps now that we've had this thread a few days, I'm beginning to have a feel for what the OP was asking.  Perhaps it was being asked if we've had anything positive come from the disease.  I'll never call it a blessing, but I have gained mental maturity that I'm sure would have been left undiscovered if not forced so deep within myself.  The arrogant, vane and judgmental self died a long time ago. (He comes out on those rare occasions when needed) So yes, there have been positives that came back, but certainly nothing I'd call a blessing.
Complacency is the enemy.  ;)  Challenge yourself daily for maximum  return on investment.

Offline surf18

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #36 on: February 05, 2011, 03:17:39 PM »
i find myself in the poster that said what would he do without hiv?what would he read.ha
wolfer good points.
the hiv has made me slow down smelll the roses. i had some great vacations after dx in july,had a great christmas season. as i allowed myself to sit back and enjoy life.
i have learned a new better way of living. now in my perfect world i would love to be in perfect health which is neg and keep this wonderful new way of life i live.that is what i think about all the time.

Offline surf18

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #37 on: February 05, 2011, 03:19:18 PM »
i also want to add too
look we all knew the threat of this thing was out there and im sure when we were neg we thought about what it would be like if we got it ,how it would feel. for me personally its way worse than i could have imagined way worse but yet its also not as bad as i have imagined.does that make any sense?

Offline wolfter

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #38 on: February 05, 2011, 03:29:45 PM »
Surf, I'm sure you're going to get all kinda flack for that one.  I won't since I'm no longer judgmental....lol  For many of us LTS, we DIDN'T know it was out there.  When we first heard about this new illlness striking out west, we had no idea it would affect places like rural West Virginia.  I guess being older now, I'd like to think I'd be wise enough to take extra precautions if we had the knowledge that exists now.  Maybe?  Probably not. 
Complacency is the enemy.  ;)  Challenge yourself daily for maximum  return on investment.

Offline eric48

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #39 on: February 05, 2011, 04:31:14 PM »
how it would feel. for me personally its way worse than i could have imagined way worse but yet its also not as bad as i have imagined.does that make any sense?

does that make any sense?

may sound awkward and offensive to the old timers, but, as a newly infected, me also, I kind of feel the same as surf

Eric
« Last Edit: February 05, 2011, 06:08:17 PM by eric48 »
NVP/ABC/3TC/... UD; CD4 > 1000; CD4/CD8 ~ 2.0   safety stock : 3 months (2013: FOTO= 5d. ON 2d. OFF ; 2014: NCT02157311 = 4d. ON, 3d. OFF)

Offline surf18

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #40 on: February 05, 2011, 06:00:09 PM »
oh god no. i dont mean any disrespect. this shit sucks big time and when i say not as bad as i thought im thinking me mentally able to handle it. not the illness it self.
there is no mistaken this ,this illness sucks shit big time ,

and us newbies should have knowen better ,just like people that smoke, we knew what caused this and should have been more careful.

but no disrespect meant whatsoever.
and like i said too its worse than i ever thought mentally to have this too.

Offline elf

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #41 on: February 05, 2011, 07:32:05 PM »
I am fine as long as I don't think of myself as a sick person. I try to think that the only difference between me and another person is my taking medication every day at 6 p.m.
I try to survive like this, if it wasn't so, I would be going crazy and end up in a psychiatric institution.

But everytime I hear people say ''people get AIDS and die in a few years'' or ''AIDS is the most terrifying thing you can get'' I'm all down to Earth, I feel lonely and depressed.  :-\

Sometimes I think it is those people who want me do die quick, as if they were paying for my medication and think ''it's too costly for our government''...

So, medically speaking I'm kinda okayish (my doctor says: ''Your healthy with 1000 cells'', but
people around me, the society has that ugly: you have AIDS so die quick approach which makes me really sad and depressed. It is them who make me feel like shit, that's for I've been avoiding most people and have only a handful friends left.  ???

Offline elf

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #42 on: February 05, 2011, 07:47:27 PM »
Being diagnosed with hiv was the kick in the ass I needed to do some serious work on my self-esteem issues. I believe my low self-esteem was directly related to becoming infected - I didn't think enough of myself to stand up for myself and insist on fidelity and/or condoms.

Same here.

Now, I don't really care about what other people say. :)
They want me to be sad and devastated, but I will be smiling.  :P ;D

Offline tednlou2

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #43 on: February 05, 2011, 11:39:06 PM »
oh god no. i dont mean any disrespect. this shit sucks big time and when i say not as bad as i thought im thinking me mentally able to handle it. not the illness it self.
there is no mistaken this ,this illness sucks shit big time ,

and us newbies should have knowen better ,just like people that smoke, we knew what caused this and should have been more careful.

but no disrespect meant whatsoever.
and like i said too its worse than i ever thought mentally to have this too.

Modified:

I wanted to say that sometimes it is hard to tell the tone of someone's post.  I sometimes think people sound all angry about something.  Just wanted to let you know I was just engaging in the dialogue.

I don't like the idea that we "newbies" should have known better any more than someone in 1987. People in '87 knew very well what catching the virus would do, because they were watching so many of their friends die.  It was on the news more than anytime since.  Since HAART, media attention has disappeared almost.  I worry about the generation coming up now.  They will never have heard of anyone dying of AIDS--and that is great.  But, they also aren't getting any education about HIV--except you can just take meds for it.  And, I've made the same statement before that I should have known better than someone infected a long time ago.  Well, not really.  Okay, didn't mean to get off the main topic here.  
« Last Edit: February 05, 2011, 11:48:27 PM by tednlou2 »

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #44 on: February 05, 2011, 11:50:26 PM »
Modified:

I wanted to say that sometimes it is hard to tell the tone of someone's post.  I sometimes think people sound all angry about something.  Just wanted to let you know I was just engaging in the dialogue.

I don't like the idea that we "newbies" should have known better any more than someone in 1987. People in '87 knew very well what catching the virus would do, because they were watching so many of their friends die.  It was on the news more than anytime since.  Since HAART, media attention has disappeared almost.  I worry about the generation coming up now.  They will never have heard of anyone dying of AIDS--and that is great.  But, they also aren't getting any education about HIV--except you can just take meds for it.  And, I've made the same statement before that I should have known better than someone infected a long time ago.  Well, not really.  Okay, didn't mean to get off the main topic here. 

Still can't take responsibility for yourself Theodora?

MtD

Offline Joe K

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #45 on: February 06, 2011, 01:40:34 PM »
I don't like the idea that we "newbies" should have known better any more than someone in 1987. People in '87 knew very well what catching the virus would do, because they were watching so many of their friends die.  It was on the news more than anytime since.  Since HAART, media attention has disappeared almost.  I worry about the generation coming up now.  They will never have heard of anyone dying of AIDS--and that is great.  But, they also aren't getting any education about HIV--except you can just take meds for it.  And, I've made the same statement before that I should have known better than someone infected a long time ago.  Well, not really.  Okay, didn't mean to get off the main topic here.  

I am going to ask you to stop making insulting comments, regarding who knew what and when they knew it.  For you to suggest that everyone in 1987, knew all the facts about HIV is incredibly insensitive.  For you to suggest the new generation will never have heard of anyone dying of AIDS, I refer you to our own memorial forum, as well as the multitudes, worldwide, who die of AIDS every day.  Your comment regarding the lack of present day HIV education, is beyond response. 

What I find the most distasteful however, is your refusal to accept that YOU should have known about the dangers of HIV.  HIV prevention information has been around for decades and if you truly had no knowledge of HIV prevention, then the fault rest squarely on you.  Not on people who you never knew.

Offline Hellraiser

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #46 on: February 06, 2011, 02:52:26 PM »
I am going to ask you to stop making insulting comments, regarding who knew what and when they knew it.

The same could be said about you attempting to paint all those who were infected recently with the same brush.  How are you to know how much information was available to my generation and my circumstances, or Ted's?  You assume too much.

Offline GSOgymrat

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #47 on: February 06, 2011, 02:55:11 PM »
They will never have heard of anyone dying of AIDS--

That is very optimistic.

Offline Joe K

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #48 on: February 06, 2011, 03:14:59 PM »
The same could be said about you attempting to paint all those who were infected recently with the same brush.  How are you to know how much information was available to my generation and my circumstances, or Ted's?  You assume too much.

I never said any such thing and my comment was directed only to Ted. The idea that HIV prevention information was plentiful in the mid-80s is wrong, as witnessed by an uncaring President Reagan and a disinterested public. There was barely enough HIV service funding to meet even the basic needs of our community and printing prevention information was not always a top priority. Trying to keep people alive was.

I am the first to admit that HIV prevention messages are disjointed, underfunded and that millions of Americans have little access to science based prevention services. I would never be so callous, to suggest that everyone should know the dangers of HIV, but Ted was saying that we had the same amount of prevention services in the 1980's, vs. what we have today and that is simply not true.

And I stand by my statement that any sexually active gay man, should know HIV prevention information.

Offline bmancanfly

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #49 on: February 06, 2011, 04:18:19 PM »
The same could be said about you attempting to paint all those who were infected recently with the same brush.  How are you to know how much information was available to my generation and my circumstances, or Ted's?  You assume too much.

I agree.
"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

 Bertrand Russell

Online bocker3

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #50 on: February 06, 2011, 05:03:14 PM »
Please someone lock this thread now -- it is going to go downhill at an amazing clip.  Nothing good will come of this recent turn -- it never does whenever this sort of thing comes up.  Why can't people just let it be -- each side is set on their view.

PLEASE LET THIS ONE GO NOW.

Mike

Atripla - Started 12/05
Reyataz/Norvir - Added 6/06
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Offline woodshere

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #51 on: February 06, 2011, 05:53:40 PM »
 Why can't people just let it be -- each side is set on their view.


I couldn't disagree more!  I thought one of the purposes of this site was to discuss different issues and ideas.  If we lock everythread when people have a disagreement then what is the purpose.  Sure this old vs new has been discussed too many times to count and probably will be discussed many more times and will often take a turn for the worse.  However sometimes through it all minds will be changed or respect for a differing opinion will happen.  These days it seems many people only want validation of what they think and anyone who disagrees is placed on ignore.  How closed minded.
"Let us give pubicity to HV/AIDS and not hide it..." "One of the things destroying people with AIDS is the stigma we attach to it."   Nelson Mandela

Offline lipoenvy

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #52 on: February 06, 2011, 08:26:17 PM »
If it's a blessing, it's wearing a really good disguise.

"...someone who carried himself as if terrible things were giving him wonderful gifts -- compassion from grief, courage from fear, patience and serenity from sorrow."
-- Peter Cashorali, "The Ugly Duckling," from Fairy Tales

Online bocker3

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #53 on: February 06, 2011, 10:28:05 PM »
I couldn't disagree more!  I thought one of the purposes of this site was to discuss different issues and ideas.  If we lock everythread when people have a disagreement then what is the purpose.  Sure this old vs new has been discussed too many times to count and probably will be discussed many more times and will often take a turn for the worse.  However sometimes through it all minds will be changed or respect for a differing opinion will happen.  These days it seems many people only want validation of what they think and anyone who disagrees is placed on ignore.  How closed minded.

No -- not closed minded at all.  I am not taking a side here -- I agree with you that folks with opposing views should listen to each other and learn, even if their mind isn't changed.  However, I am simply that stating that history shows this topic is one that rarely ends without hurt feelings -- in fact they have already been shown in this one.  People don't try and "change minds" they simply reiterate how their side is "right" and the other side "doesn't get it".   Sure some minds may be changed, but these new vs. old almost always get into a pissing match by those who's minds will not change. 
You may enjoy sitting back and watching members rip each other apart -- I do not.  So save your condescending crap and stop projecting motives on me that I don't have.

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 woodshere

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #54 on: February 06, 2011, 10:37:43 PM »
You may enjoy sitting back and watching members rip each other apart -- I do not.  So save your condescending crap and stop projecting motives on me that I don't have.


I guess I left off the part in my original post that another tactic to use when someone disagrees with you is this shit you just wrote and go into the attack mode.  I did not say anything in the least that was condescending or projected motives on you.  I simply disagreed with the idea of locking a thread when a few members disagree.
"Let us give pubicity to HV/AIDS and not hide it..." "One of the things destroying people with AIDS is the stigma we attach to it."   Nelson Mandela

Offline BT65

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #55 on: February 07, 2011, 04:34:08 AM »
The idea that HIV prevention information was plentiful in the mid-80s is wrong, as witnessed by an uncaring President Reagan and a disinterested public. There was barely enough HIV service funding to meet even the basic needs of our community and printing prevention information was not always a top priority. Trying to keep people alive was.

This is very true.  The ASO we have here today started off in two little offices in a church administration building.  There were the founder, the co-founder, and volunteers.  There was no funding for prevention-we simply went around to different venues telling our stories, and urging people to get tested.  We held on to whatever we thought would make life a little more bearable.  And we sat beside each other when the time came to end the race.  The government showed no sign of wanting to educate the public about HIV/AIDS, nor wanting to give money towards those lives which were fading away, to make things a bit more tolerable for them.   There were only two doctors in the area who had the faintest clue about how to treat the virus.  And we were constantly scrambling to try to find something, anything, that would offer hope, however small it was.

HIV is not a blessing to me.  Oh, I've met some wonderful people I may not have met otherwise.  And I'm thankful for that; but a lot of those people are no longer here, and I hate that.  I live every day with things wrong in my body thanks to HIV, having to take handfuls of meds, and trying to tolerate side effects from those meds.  HIV came in, disrupted my life totally, and stole a lot of people, and dreams away.  It made me give up my career I had at the time.  I sat by far too many people's bedsides, and tearfully said good bye, than I would have had it not been for this damn virus.  I have permanent damage done to my health and body thanks to this.  I'm only 45, but my body says otherwise, more like 65.  I had to watch the heartbreak of those in my family who stood by me, when my health teetered on the edge more than once.  I had to explain to my young child that she would have to go stay with relatives, when my weight got to 80 lbs, because I was not capable of taking care of her, only capable of laying on the sofa with adult-sized diapers on, shitting myself, and depending on the kindness of Hospice nurses, and others who would change me, wash me off, and talk to me.  And I've been to far, far too many memorial services.  And it rips my heart out every time, whether it was then, or now.

Blessing?  Hell no.  It's been a nightmare.
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Online bocker3

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #56 on: February 07, 2011, 07:36:43 AM »
I guess I left off the part in my original post that another tactic to use when someone disagrees with you is this shit you just wrote and go into the attack mode.  I did not say anything in the least that was condescending or projected motives on you.  I simply disagreed with the idea of locking a thread when a few members disagree.

No, you didn't -- you lectured me on how a discussion should be held AND called me closed minded.  Now you will probably say that you weren't saying all this about me -- yet you quoted me.  I didn't suggest the thread be locked because of disagreement -- I suggested it because the topic was already heading down it's normal, ugly, path.

So, let me say one last thing -- perhaps you will take your own advice and listen to what I am say and not what you think I am saying, then perhaps you will learn, I was not trying to stop a discussion, I was trying to stop an argument that almost always goes no where on these boards.  You see, I did agree with your general comment that one can learn from a good discussion -- however, this particular topic rarely results in a good discussion.  If you are having trouble seeing the distinction, I'll happily disucss it with you -- but perhaps you aren't looking to discuss -- but to state that you are right and I am wrong.

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 Dachshund

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #57 on: February 07, 2011, 07:58:43 AM »
 
You may enjoy sitting back and watching members rip each other apart -- I do not.  So save your condescending crap and stop projecting motives on me that I don't have.

Mike

If you don't like to watch then don't watch. To call others condescending is well, condescending.

Offline drewm

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #58 on: February 07, 2011, 11:48:56 AM »
I have not been here as long as many of you so my experiences are relative to my being dxd last Spring. I find this experience to be incredibly personal on the deepest levels of my soul. I came here to offer up my own experiences and to learn from those of you who have been fighting this virus much longer than I have.

Assigning blame for HIV/AIDS is akin to assigning blame for cancer. My Dad died of lung cancer despite the warnings on cigarette packages that smoking kills. He smoked non stop even after being diagnosed. You can make all the judgement calls you want, God knows I have but at the end of the day, that disease was his much in the same way this one is ours.

The bottom line (no pun intended) is that we HAVE IT. There is not turning back the hands of time only hope for a cure and even better treatment. I am thankful for those who have paved the way for the progress that has been made and hope that all of us take something from this that is bigger and better than ourselves. A blessing? No. Adapting to life changing illness? ABSOLUTELY. I hope you all stay strong and healthy and hope I get some of that back.

All the best...
Diagnosed in  May of 2010 with teh AIDS.

PCP Pneumonia . CD4 8 . VL 500,000

TRIUMEQ - VALTREX -  FLUOXETINE - FENOFIBRATE - PRAVASTATIN - CIALIS


Numbers consistent since 12/2010 - VL has remained undetectable and CD4 is anywhere from 275-325

Offline Joe K

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #59 on: February 07, 2011, 01:18:03 PM »
Please someone lock this thread now -- it is going to go downhill at an amazing clip.  Nothing good will come of this recent turn -- it never does whenever this sort of thing comes up.  Why can't people just let it be -- each side is set on their view.

PLEASE LET THIS ONE GO NOW.

Mike

Hey Mike, I also disagree with your above suggestion, because while being sensitive to certain subjects is desirable, predicting that any discussion on a "tough" topic will only result in failure, seems counter productive to me. How are we to ever bridge this so-called "old vs. new" division, when not only is discussion not encouraged, it is assumed that any such discussion will serve no good purpose?

Offline Jeff G

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #60 on: February 07, 2011, 01:21:48 PM »
Hey Mike, I also disagree with your above suggestion, because while being sensitive to certain subjects is desirable, predicting that any discussion on a "tough" topic will only result in failure, seems counter productive to me. How are we to ever bridge this so-called "old vs. new" division, when not only is discussion not encouraged, it is assumed that any such discussion will serve no good purpose?



I agree completely . This thread has been a very civil one for the most part .   

Offline wolfter

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #61 on: February 07, 2011, 03:06:24 PM »
This thread has been more sensitive than many I've witnessed.  As I stated early on, none of us LTS have any idea if we'd have done anything different if the information was as readily available as it is today.  I"m sure some of us would (I would love to think I'd be in this group) take precuations and many of us wouldn't have.  I'll admit I get upset about all the new cases being diagnosed.  I also get upset with all the unwanted teen pregnancies, recreational drug overdoses, deaths from smoking and so many other things that can be prevented.  Perhaps this can marked up to our ages, as much as our HIV status.  The younger people don't always see eye-to-eye in other aspects of life as we middle agers, and this is just another topic of viewed differences.

Now, lets all have a glass of wine and dance to the oldies.
Complacency is the enemy.  ;)  Challenge yourself daily for maximum  return on investment.

Online bocker3

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #62 on: February 07, 2011, 07:31:05 PM »
Alright -- I can admit when I'm wrong -- and I was wrong here.

This thread did not go the route I thought it would, I was way to hasty and presumptious.

I do want to make one thing clear, in case anyone has misconstrued my intent.  I do encourage dialogue and discussion -- even on (especially on) "tough" topics.  What I do find disheartening is when folks are only interested in giving their view and not trying to see and understand the other side (not agree with it, but at least understand it).  We can all fall into that trap -- myself included.

So -- apologies to Woodshere, as I got a little testy.  I am happy that I was wrong -- I like seeing good discussion -- lord knows I've learned a lot on here and I hope I've helped others learn too, over time.

Hugs,
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 woodshere

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #63 on: February 07, 2011, 09:10:09 PM »
No problem Mike, it happens to all of us.  One of the joys of internet communicating.
"Let us give pubicity to HV/AIDS and not hide it..." "One of the things destroying people with AIDS is the stigma we attach to it."   Nelson Mandela

Offline kellybryana

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #64 on: February 08, 2011, 12:28:59 AM »
ALRIGHT! Alright already. HIV sucks. I know it. You know it. We all know it. I'm just trying to make the best of a bad situation, and was looking for some positive feedback and encouragement.

Every time I come on here, I am inundated with horrible negative thoughts, and my innocent question turned into a barrage of attacking responses (or thats how it felt for the most part). Then after a while, it turned into an argument between users. I've seen this happen in a multitude of threads too. Its like the negativity here feeds on itself. Like a virus.

MORE POSITIVITY!!! PLEASE!!!

Offline Hellraiser

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #65 on: February 08, 2011, 12:34:31 AM »
MORE POSITIVITY!!! PLEASE!!!

We have more than our fair share of that.

Offline Jeff G

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #66 on: February 08, 2011, 12:37:44 AM »
ALRIGHT! Alright already. HIV sucks. I know it. You know it. We all know it. I'm just trying to make the best of a bad situation, and was looking for some positive feedback and encouragement.

Every time I come on here, I am inundated with horrible negative thoughts, and my innocent question turned into a barrage of attacking responses (or thats how it felt for the most part). Then after a while, it turned into an argument between users. I've seen this happen in a multitude of threads too. Its like the negativity here feeds on itself. Like a virus.

MORE POSITIVITY!!! PLEASE!!!

There is one positive thing in my life since Aids ... no one in my family ask me for a bite of my hamburger anymore .

Seriously ... we were on our best behavior in your thread , you should see us on a bad day  ;)

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #67 on: February 08, 2011, 01:07:45 AM »
ALRIGHT! Alright already. HIV sucks. I know it. You know it. We all know it. I'm just trying to make the best of a bad situation, and was looking for some positive feedback and encouragement.

Every time I come on here, I am inundated with horrible negative thoughts, and my innocent question turned into a barrage of attacking responses (or thats how it felt for the most part). Then after a while, it turned into an argument between users. I've seen this happen in a multitude of threads too. Its like the negativity here feeds on itself. Like a virus.

MORE POSITIVITY!!! PLEASE!!!

Barrage of attacks? Fark! This thread has been like a meeting of the Methodist Ladies' Auxilliary. By our standards this thread is nearly sickening in the depths of it's civility and courtesy.

That can be remedied, of course. :)

MtD

Offline komnaes

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #68 on: February 08, 2011, 02:07:19 AM »
What I hope I have learned since my own diagnosis (and to a lesser extent the diagnoses of loved ones before my own) is to create and maintain my own positive outlook without having to constantly ask others to give it to me. And if I let a few online comments on an open forum left by strangers to change my mode I seriously don't know how I can survive this virus.

What I do care though are those that are obviously malicious, but I can assure the OP that they are rare (yes, some can get "naughty", but hey, what'd the fun of a forum without them?) and if they do appear you can always count on our wonderful moderators to stamp them out.

And to the OP, I don't think we can find a more supportive and informative online community than this one. But when you post an open question like is HIV a blessing in disguise you cannot expect others who have suffered horribly (both in terms of health, side-effects of meds, mental, losing loved ones, just to name the obvious) to give you only positive feedback.

Just my two cents..
Aug 07 Diagnosed
Oct 07 CD4=446(19%) Feb 08 CD4=421(19%)
Jun 08 CD4=325(22%) Jul 08 CD4=301(18%)
Sep 08 CD4=257/VL=75,000 Oct 08 CD4=347(16%)
Dec 08 CD4=270(16%)
Jan 09 CD4=246(13%)/VL=10,000
Feb 09 CD4=233(15%)/VL=13,000
Started meds Sustiva/Epzicom
May 09 CD4=333(24%)/VL=650
Aug 09 CD4=346(24%)/VL=UD
Nov 09 CD4=437(26%)/VL=UD
Feb 10 CD4=471(31%)/VL=UD
June 10 CD4=517 (28%)/VL=UD
Sept 10 CD4=687 (31%)/VL=UD
Jan 11 CD4=557 (30%)/VL=UD
April 11 CD4=569 (32%)/VL=UD
Switched to Epizcom, Reyataz and Norvir
(Interrupted for 2 months with only Epizcom & Reyataz)
July 11 CD=520 (28%)/VL=UD
Oct 11 CD=771 (31%)/VL=UD(<30)
April 12 CD=609 (28%)/VL=UD(<20)
Aug 12 CD=657 (29%)/VL=UD(<20)
Dec 12 CD=532 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
May 13 CD=567 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
Jan 14 CD=521 (21%)/VL=UD(<50)

Offline kellybryana

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #69 on: February 08, 2011, 02:17:22 AM »
touche sirs

Offline edfu

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #70 on: February 08, 2011, 02:22:09 AM »
MORE POSITIVITY!!! PLEASE!!!

If you want to be positive, go right ahead.  You have every right to do so.  Just don't expect it from everybody else and, indeed, get upset because they don't agree with you.   They have the same right to have a different opinion. 
"No one will ever be free so long as there are pestilences."--Albert Camus, "The Plague"

"Mankind can never be free until the last brick in the last church falls on the head of the last priest."--Voltaire

Offline kenbar37

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #71 on: February 10, 2011, 04:05:05 PM »
I have to say during the first few years it was somewhat difficult to deal with, but that was 1990. Now, I do think of it as a blessing! I for the past 20 years have developed a passion that passion, has been helping others. Those who are infected,like myself, and those who are not positive to help to remain negative, and those newly diagnosed to give them hope! I feel that is my responsibility for being positive. And I must say it has been an amazing journey and has allowed me so much in my life that I would not have otherwise had, it has allowed me to work with so many amazing people, that I might have otherwise not met, mush less gain so much knowledge and strength from. Hang in there, and never close yourself off from the gifts that life has to offer!   

Offline skeebo1969

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #72 on: February 10, 2011, 04:30:59 PM »


   KellyB,

       First let me say-- sister, I like your attitude!

       Blessings are hard to recognize with something like HIV; people's own experience with it's dreadful history helps this. 

       I don't like saying I met my wife because I am positive.  It just doesn't sound right.  But, you know what? It's the truth.   And because of HIV I have a baby.... wait, actually it was because I had unprotected sex again.  You know what I mean though....lol

       I guess other blessings exist, kinda of hard to put my finger on them sometimes though.  Taking life less seriously.... finally being ok with death....  ability to accept others without judgement..... Might these be blessings?  I suppose, for once, I am at peace.... willing to accept whatever happens beyond my control.

      So yeah miss KellyB, I guess there's some silver lining to that dark cloud after all...
I despise the song Love is in the Air, you should too.

Offline kellybryana

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #73 on: February 10, 2011, 07:09:38 PM »

   KellyB,

       First let me say-- sister, I like your attitude!

       Blessings are hard to recognize with something like HIV; people's own experience with it's dreadful history helps this. 

       I don't like saying I met my wife because I am positive.  It just doesn't sound right.  But, you know what? It's the truth.   And because of HIV I have a baby.... wait, actually it was because I had unprotected sex again.  You know what I mean though....lol

       I guess other blessings exist, kinda of hard to put my finger on them sometimes though.  Taking life less seriously.... finally being ok with death....  ability to accept others without judgement..... Might these be blessings?  I suppose, for once, I am at peace.... willing to accept whatever happens beyond my control.

      So yeah miss KellyB, I guess there's some silver lining to that dark cloud after all...

I have to say during the first few years it was somewhat difficult to deal with, but that was 1990. Now, I do think of it as a blessing! I for the past 20 years have developed a passion that passion, has been helping others. Those who are infected,like myself, and those who are not positive to help to remain negative, and those newly diagnosed to give them hope! I feel that is my responsibility for being positive. And I must say it has been an amazing journey and has allowed me so much in my life that I would not have otherwise had, it has allowed me to work with so many amazing people, that I might have otherwise not met, mush less gain so much knowledge and strength from. Hang in there, and never close yourself off from the gifts that life has to offer!   

Now THATS what I'm talking about!!! Thanks guys, you rock.


Offline Rev. Moon

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #74 on: February 10, 2011, 07:26:29 PM »
KeelyB, maintain your upbeat way of thinking.  We may be a rowdy bunch, but we are like an extended dysfunctional family.  You'll come to see that, even with our disagreements here and there (whether it is about the way we see HIV or any of the off topic discussions that we frequently have), there are many good people in this place.

Cheers.
"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 Jeff G

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #75 on: February 10, 2011, 07:29:19 PM »
KeelyB, maintain your upbeat way of thinking.  We may be a rowdy bunch, but we are like an extended dysfunctional family.  You'll come to see that, even with our disagreements here and there (whether it is about the way we see HIV or any of the off topic discussions that we frequently have), there are many good people in this place.

Cheers.

This is true ... and I think threads like this are useful so thanks for starting it . 

Online Miss Philicia

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #76 on: February 10, 2011, 07:36:03 PM »
I like AIDS.
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline Rev. Moon

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #77 on: February 10, 2011, 07:44:00 PM »
I like AIDS.

Are you talking again about those delicious classic aids sump toms that we discussed earlier today?
"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 Miss Philicia

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #78 on: February 10, 2011, 07:45:37 PM »
Are you talking again about those delicious classic aids sump toms that we discussed earlier today?

Yes, I think that's a spicy Szechuan dish, a cousin if you will of won tons.
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline kellybryana

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #79 on: February 10, 2011, 08:03:05 PM »
I like this place...I'm sure I'll get along here just fine.

I'm not just sure, I'm HIV positive!

Offline surf18

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #80 on: February 10, 2011, 08:13:02 PM »
Kelly you do have a great attitude
Your posts do put me in a good mood
Are you always positive Polly in your life?

Offline Sweet_C

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #81 on: February 10, 2011, 09:43:40 PM »
Yeah, I definitely can't in any way think of HIV as a "blessing", but I can say that you can still have a great life with it and you don't have to give up any of your dreams.  I've been positive for almost 2.5 years now and my life now is better than it was before.  After I was diagnosed, I got married and I'm expecting my first child.  My job is going well and I really can't complain about anything right now.  

There are many terrible things that can happen to a person, but IMO, HIV is one of the most manageable tragedies.  There are many days where I forget that I have it.  It's such a small part of my daily life now that I'm over the initial shock.  I have my down days every now and then, but mostly I'm living life.  Everything I did before I can do now.  I often compare my disease with my mother, who was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and died 9 months afterward.  It's terrible when you go to the doctor and they tell you that there's nothing they can do for you.  Her treatments were horrid and painful and didn't do anything to help her condition. Dealing with her death made it much easier for me to deal with my new status, because there is just no comparison at all between what she went through and what I'm going through.  So I feel incredibly unlucky and lucky at the same time.  I hate to compare and contrast my lives with others to make myself feel better than my own circumstances....but I can think of a lot of things that I think I would have a harder time dealing with than HIV.  My outlook may have a lot to do with the fact that I found out and was treated early and didn't have to deal with any bad health issues.

I think that in time you won't focus so much on your status and you will go on with your life, but with you will appreciate the good things in life more than you would have otherwise.  I know that I do. You are young and pretty and have your whole life ahead of you.  You have a great attitude, and I know that in time your status may be the thing that motivates you to make the most out of your life.  With HIV, you definitely learn that you are the author of your own life.  Your life can be a tragedy if you want it to be, or an inspirational story of triumph.  It's your choice.  
Tested positive on September 11, 2008

Offline kellybryana

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #82 on: February 11, 2011, 02:32:21 AM »
Hey surf, I try to be as positive as possible at all times, yes. I have my down times, of course, and I haven't always been like this. I was actually very negative at one point and I loved to play the victim.

I started to make changes after I watched "the Secret" like 3 years ago. It change my life FOREVER. Since then, I've been doing a lot of work in personal growth. By that, I mean, I've been reading a lot of Tony Robbins, Napoleon Hill, John C. Maxwell, Dale Carnegie, Jim Rohn, and Jeff Olsen books.  I also listen to books on tape a lot. My favorite is "The slight edge" by Jeff Olsen. Its not called "self help" for no reason. HELP YOURSELF!!! By having a positive mental attitude, you can change everything in your life.  ;D

Offline edfu

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #83 on: February 11, 2011, 02:51:37 AM »
Quod erat demonstrandum.
"No one will ever be free so long as there are pestilences."--Albert Camus, "The Plague"

"Mankind can never be free until the last brick in the last church falls on the head of the last priest."--Voltaire

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #84 on: February 11, 2011, 04:30:35 AM »
Hey surf, I try to be as positive as possible at all times, yes. I have my down times, of course, and I haven't always been like this. I was actually very negative at one point and I loved to play the victim.

I started to make changes after I watched "the Secret" like 3 years ago. It change my life FOREVER. Since then, I've been doing a lot of work in personal growth. By that, I mean, I've been reading a lot of Tony Robbins, Napoleon Hill, John C. Maxwell, Dale Carnegie, Jim Rohn, and Jeff Olsen books.  I also listen to books on tape a lot. My favorite is "The slight edge" by Jeff Olsen. Its not called "self help" for no reason. HELP YOURSELF!!! By having a positive mental attitude, you can change everything in your life.  ;D

Yairs. Not everyone derives great comfort from all that stuff.

Barbara Ehrenreich certainly didn't.

When author Barbara Ehrenreich was diagnosed with breast cancer she found the emphasis on positive thinking a burden rather than a support.

She describes positive thinking as an ideological force in American culture that is denying reality and promoting individual rather than social solutions to problems. She advocates a return to realism and critical thinking.


(Download Audio)

MtD

Offline skeebo1969

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #85 on: February 11, 2011, 07:53:55 AM »

   I had a dream once that Tony Robbins offered me a million dollars to sleep with my wife and didn't pay up after..  Personally for me, I like watching old Chuck Norris movies for my motivation and positive attitude.  How's it working?
I despise the song Love is in the Air, you should too.

Offline surf18

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #86 on: February 11, 2011, 08:11:51 AM »
thats funny you mention the secret kelly. i had read that four years ago and got really into the law of attraction. then it sorted of faded from my life. so when i was dx'd this summer. i told my mom , "mom get me that book the secret right now,i cant find mine" and i focused on the lady that beat breast cancer without treatment , and i went on vacation right after dx and i spend a week doing the law of attract thing. to be honest i believe it saved my life after dx. i was in bad shape and needed some sort of hope and the law of attract helped me through it. every night after i read this board i then read the powerful intentions law of attraction board before bed. puts my mind in a good place before bed.

Offline leatherman

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #87 on: February 11, 2011, 04:18:30 PM »
There are many terrible things that can happen to a person, but IMO, HIV is one of the most manageable tragedies.  There are many days where I forget that I have it.  It's such a small part of my daily life now that I'm over the initial shock.  I have my down days every now and then, but mostly I'm living life.
Thankfully there can be a great difference in the lives and situations of someone diagnosed and starting treatment nowadays than compared to someone who has had to deal with HIV or AIDS for many years.

However, not pointing these following comments at anyone in particular but just to the members thinking that somehow having a terminal disease has a good side or that it's a manageable situation, I would like to point out a fallacy of thinking this is a manageable.

Currently there are 6001 Americans who qualify financially and who need antiretrovirals based upon lab results and CDC guidelines who are on waiting lists. Although many are temporarily finding medications through other means, many who should be taking meds to fight HIV and stay alive have no access to meds.

As the weeks go by more and more states are failing or are unable to provide the proper support, and people who have been receiving support for their meds find that support taken away. Within the next few weeks, over 6500 people in Florida will be dropped from their bankrupt ADAP system. Thankfully a one-time stop-gap action (headed by the small non-profit org of Welvista in SC) will be taken to keep these people on meds but when this problem happens again in FY2012 there will probably be no help next time. Contrary to what some say, although the meds will be distributed through the ADAP system - FL ADAP will be bankrupt and will NOT be providing any medications.

Wednesday at the State House in Columbia SC, I was part of a rally demanding that our state legislators restore funding to ADAP after they slashed it so drastically this past year. There are currently 389 in SC alone who are on the waiting list. I and others from my ASO, none of whom is actually using ADAP or on the waiting list, spoke directly with 4 of our state legislators trying to get them to vote to provide adequate funding for ADAP, so that our fellow citizens could have the medications that would keep them from dying. And that's not just hyperbole. When this similar situation happened back in 2006, four people in South Carolina died from HIV while waiting for meds. Already one person on the wait list this time has lost her life.

With the 3085 already on the FL waiting list and another 6500 dropped that's 9585 people in Florida alone in jeopardy of having no meds. South Carolina only has 4% of that total and has held 3 rallies in the last year. I have yet to hear of any rallies in Florida where the people there are fighting to keep the drugs that will sustain their lives, but I hope they do. Nearly 10,0000 pozzies matching into Tallahassee would be quite a sight.

That's just so hard for me to understand. While some want to see blessings from being positive and others want to see it as something manageable, there are other Americans growing sicker without meds, and others losing access to meds this month. (Virginia is considering dropping it's entire ADAP membership in the hopes that Medicaid or the pharmaceutical companies will come in and save everyone's lives!)

Might I suggest that for those that are lucky enough to have access to meds, to be lucky to have found the right regimen and are lucky enough to experience little bad from being HIV positive, that you take advantage of your health and become an activist fighting to get and keep access to medications for others who aren't as fortunate or who are much sicker and unable to fight to save their own lives. You may find yourself in this boat one day and may wish the government was there to offer access to life-sustaining antiretrovirals.
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chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline newt

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #88 on: February 11, 2011, 04:27:25 PM »
Quote
Currently there are 6001 Americans who qualify financially and who need antiretrovirals based upon lab results and CDC guidelines who are on waiting lists.

Yet the Federal Govmt can find the money to beat the shit out a few opium poppy growers.

Terrible.

Us "socialist" Europeans (have you been here recently?) don't have this problem. It makes me angry. The 2012 International AIDS Conference is gonna be a humdinger if this ain't sorted out.

Soz, not very helpful, just indignant

- matt
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"

Offline bmancanfly

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #89 on: February 11, 2011, 06:07:06 PM »
It doesn't seem likely that ,  in this political and economic environment,  that things will improve on that front.   I think it is going to be a long time before we see resources available increasing again.

Maybe the solution is to find a more efficient and equitable benefit delivery system - thereby enabling more people to be covered.

"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

 Bertrand Russell

Offline Joe K

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #90 on: February 11, 2011, 09:45:26 PM »
Maybe the solution is to find a more efficient and equitable benefit delivery system - thereby enabling more people to be covered.

It's called Universal Health Care and for what we spend on our medical system, we could still have a first rate system at a much lower cost. Nothing will change until you take the "profit" out of health care. Drug companies and health corporations are making record profits, as they continue to suck every dollar they can, out of our system. Drop the drug patents, go generic and don't believe them when they tell you they spend all their profits on research, because they do not. They spend it on marketing their drugs, so they can make more money.

Someday, Americans will finally demand universal health care, but until then, the sad fact remains, that in America, some live are indeed worth less than others.

Offline sharkdiver

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #91 on: February 11, 2011, 09:48:29 PM »
How come I didn't get AIDS-lite ?

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #92 on: February 11, 2011, 09:55:48 PM »
How come I didn't get AIDS-lite ?

We were all out of Diet HIV that day.

MtD

Offline eric48

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #93 on: February 11, 2011, 11:25:01 PM »
Someday, Americans will finally demand universal health care...

mentioning universal health care makes a lot of tense in this discussion because it certainly makes a big difference in the perspective and relationship that a newly infected/diagnosed has with regards to the condition.

The cost in universal health care is a real burden for us (the European 'Socialists') in the global economic competition and has a direct impact on our unemployment rates (chronically higher), but I must admit we get PREMIUM attention/monitoring/choice of combos, etc.

HIV is a lot of worries and it is a blessing when you do not have to worry about the cost associated.

UHC  IS a BLESSING and it shows!

Cheers!

Eric
« Last Edit: February 11, 2011, 11:35:18 PM by eric48 »
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Offline Ann

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #94 on: February 12, 2011, 03:18:53 AM »

The cost in universal health care is a real burden for us (the European 'Socialists') in the global economic competition and has a direct impact on our unemployment rates (chronically higher), but I must admit we get PREMIUM attention/monitoring/choice of combos, etc.


Got some links to back that up? I'm not saying you're wrong, I just want to know how you came to that conclusion.
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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 kellybryana

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #95 on: February 12, 2011, 03:39:51 AM »
So how do we in America go about getting some of this UHC?

I'm all for socialism. I think the world would be a better place if it were run in a socialist manner. I'm really distraught about Florida losing ADAP funding. I really want to do something about this! What can I do?

Offline Hellraiser

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #96 on: February 12, 2011, 03:53:15 AM »
So how do we in America go about getting some of this UHC?

I'm all for socialism. I think the world would be a better place if it were run in a socialist manner. I'm really distraught about Florida losing ADAP funding. I really want to do something about this! What can I do?

Healthcare in America is all kinds of jacked up.

Offline Ann

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #97 on: February 12, 2011, 03:59:47 AM »
So how do we in America go about getting some of this UHC?


Move to the UK? I did! :)
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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 Hellraiser

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #98 on: February 12, 2011, 04:05:42 AM »
Move to the UK? I did! :)

Sure, marry me and let's enter into a loveless marriage for the healthcare.  Out of curiosity does that even work for a citizen who moved there and acquired citizenship?

Offline Ann

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #99 on: February 12, 2011, 04:43:07 AM »
Sure, marry me and let's enter into a loveless marriage for the healthcare.  Out of curiosity does that even work for a citizen who moved there and acquired citizenship?

Sorry mate, I'm never going to marry again and if by some fit of insanity I did, it wouldn't be you. Just the way it goes! You'll have to find some other fool someone else.

I married a Brit in NYC in '84, but we didn't move over here until '91. I had to produce a stack of info - basically my whole life's story - for the UK consulate in NYC and get it all arranged before I came over. Once we got here, we were all (daughter included) covered under the NHS. Don't ask me the detail, it was 20 years ago. I'm lucky if I remember what I had for breakfast yesterday.

But marrying me wouldn't work anyway - I do not hold a British passport. Yet. Haven't gotten around to it.
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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 Dachshund

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #100 on: February 12, 2011, 07:41:21 AM »
Sorry mate, I'm never going to marry again and if by some fit of insanity I did, it wouldn't be you. Just the way it goes! You'll have to find some other fool someone else.

 

 ;D

Offline Sweet_C

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #101 on: February 12, 2011, 09:13:19 AM »
Thankfully there can be a great difference in the lives and situations of someone diagnosed and starting treatment nowadays than compared to someone who has had to deal with HIV or AIDS for many years.

However, not pointing these following comments at anyone in particular but just to the members thinking that somehow having a terminal disease has a good side or that it's a manageable situation, I would like to point out a fallacy of thinking this is a manageable.

Currently there are 6001 Americans who qualify financially and who need antiretrovirals based upon lab results and CDC guidelines who are on waiting lists. Although many are temporarily finding medications through other means, many who should be taking meds to fight HIV and stay alive have no access to meds.

As the weeks go by more and more states are failing or are unable to provide the proper support, and people who have been receiving support for their meds find that support taken away. Within the next few weeks, over 6500 people in Florida will be dropped from their bankrupt ADAP system. Thankfully a one-time stop-gap action (headed by the small non-profit org of Welvista in SC) will be taken to keep these people on meds but when this problem happens again in FY2012 there will probably be no help next time. Contrary to what some say, although the meds will be distributed through the ADAP system - FL ADAP will be bankrupt and will NOT be providing any medications.

Wednesday at the State House in Columbia SC, I was part of a rally demanding that our state legislators restore funding to ADAP after they slashed it so drastically this past year. There are currently 389 in SC alone who are on the waiting list. I and others from my ASO, none of whom is actually using ADAP or on the waiting list, spoke directly with 4 of our state legislators trying to get them to vote to provide adequate funding for ADAP, so that our fellow citizens could have the medications that would keep them from dying. And that's not just hyperbole. When this similar situation happened back in 2006, four people in South Carolina died from HIV while waiting for meds. Already one person on the wait list this time has lost her life.

With the 3085 already on the FL waiting list and another 6500 dropped that's 9585 people in Florida alone in jeopardy of having no meds. South Carolina only has 4% of that total and has held 3 rallies in the last year. I have yet to hear of any rallies in Florida where the people there are fighting to keep the drugs that will sustain their lives, but I hope they do. Nearly 10,0000 pozzies matching into Tallahassee would be quite a sight.

That's just so hard for me to understand. While some want to see blessings from being positive and others want to see it as something manageable, there are other Americans growing sicker without meds, and others losing access to meds this month. (Virginia is considering dropping it's entire ADAP membership in the hopes that Medicaid or the pharmaceutical companies will come in and save everyone's lives!)

Might I suggest that for those that are lucky enough to have access to meds, to be lucky to have found the right regimen and are lucky enough to experience little bad from being HIV positive, that you take advantage of your health and become an activist fighting to get and keep access to medications for others who aren't as fortunate or who are much sicker and unable to fight to save their own lives. You may find yourself in this boat one day and may wish the government was there to offer access to life-sustaining antiretrovirals.

This is a very good point and it does make a huge difference in your outlook on life.  It's just embarrassing that in a country that has the resources to make sure everyone has proper medical care that this type of thing happens.  This is not just an issue for people who have HIV, but anyone who doesn't have insurance and medical care, because any medical condition can be life threatening if it's not treated properly.  I've always supported UHC.
Tested positive on September 11, 2008

Offline GSOgymrat

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #102 on: February 12, 2011, 09:27:38 AM »
So how do we in America go about getting some of this UHC?


First the majority of Americans need to agree that everyone deserves healthcare. Unfortunately not everyone shares this value and until most people feel passionately about Americans receiving appropriate, affordable healthcare the situation will not change.

Next you need to point out to people that they are already paying for other people's healthcare through taxation, expensive health insurance and artificially inflated fee for service. We are using a very inefficient system that has been pieced together out of greed and necessity. This is why Americans receive less healthcare for their dollar than other countries.

Then you need to convince people that our government, which is run by elected citizens and is not some external, controlling cartel, is the only agency with the power to effect such changes at the federal level. Insurance companies, hospitals, drug companies and healthcare providers are not going to create the most efficient system without federal oversight because they are ultimately motivated by profit and not delivering healthcare in the most economical and efficient manner.

Anyway,  those are my thoughts.

Offline Joe K

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #103 on: February 12, 2011, 11:41:13 AM »
The following chart, shows Total health care expenditures as a % of GDP (most recent) by country:

Showing latest available data.

Rank     Countries        Amount  
#    1     United States:   13.9 % of GDP    
#    2     Switzerland:   10.9 % of GDP    
#    3     Germany:           10.8 % of GDP    
=    4     Canada:         9.4   % of GDP    
=    4     France:           9.4   % of GDP    
=    4     Greece:           9.4   % of GDP    
#    7     Portugal:           9.3   % of GDP    
#    8     Iceland:           9.2   % of GDP    
#    9     Australia:           9.1   % of GDP    
#    10     Belgium:           9      % of GDP    
#    11     Sweden:           8.8   % of GDP    
#    12     Denmark:           8.6   % of GDP    
#    13     Netherlands:   8.5   % of GDP    
#    14     Italy:                   8.3   % of GDP    
#    15     Norway:           8.1   % of GDP    
#    16     New Zealand:   8      % of GDP    
#    17     Japan:           7.8   % of GDP    
#    18     Austria:           7.6   % of GDP    
=    19     Spain:           7.5   % of GDP    
=    19     United Kingdom:   7.5   % of GDP    
#    21     Hungary:           7.4   % of GDP    
#    22     Czech Republic:   7.3   % of GDP    
#    23     Finland:           7      %  of GDP    
#    24     Ireland:           6.9   % of GDP    
=    25     Poland:           6      % of GDP    
=    25     Mexico:           6      % of GDP    
#    27     Luxembourg:   5.9   % of GDP    
#    28     Slovakia:           5.6   % of GDP    

Weighted average:           8.3   % of GDP     
« Last Edit: February 12, 2011, 11:46:55 AM by killfoile »

Offline newt

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #104 on: February 12, 2011, 01:14:16 PM »
Indeed, and the average Brit lives longer than the average American by 18 months or so. Pay over the odds, end yer life in poverty, ruin your hard-earned inheritence for your kids and die younger. Principle has a high cost (but makes big pharma and the insurance companies returns to investors look good).

So, in short, what Mr GSO said.

- matt
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"

Offline pozniceguy

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #105 on: February 12, 2011, 01:20:00 PM »
I am the first one to ask  who is paying and how much??   having said that I cant agree  that a government run system would be more efficient....   just because US  spends more of GDP on health care doesn't  address the issues of quality / equity/ availability or affordability.   It is a very rare occurrence for any government  run system to be basically "efficient"   politics always play a part and the staffing/ operation of such systems tend to cost more than privately funded ones.....
over the past 30 yrs  more and more of the "government" systems are run under contract by private companies..... even the much maligned Medicare is run by private contractors  but the congress/health services depts  make the rules  which the contractors must follow   many of the rules are mandated by various lobby/activist groups  so their reps insert them in to the  actual contracts that are awarded for providing service.

 the basic  "fee for service" rule was built on exactly that sort of political pressure.  there have been many "models"  for efficient  healthcare done by  private companies...the most widely known is the  Kaiser-Permanente  system     this  type option has always been available to the Medicare   rule writers (  congressional committees)   but has never seriously considered because of the politics involved and the availability of groups willing to operate in that mode
when a few states tried to implement that type system for Medicaid there was huge political backlash about  "forcing" people to go to Dr's they didn't get to choose  ( keeping in mind many of these same people had no other access to  health care except  "emergency rooms"


so I see a total lack of serious political will  to  change this type of  system  no matter what the percent of GDP is....    and BTW   poking around social security.. ( which is a self funded program will not do anything to address the Medicare issue which is totally funded from appropriations...

Nick
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Offline Ann

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #106 on: February 12, 2011, 01:46:04 PM »
So how do we in America go about getting some of this UHC?



First the majority of Americans need to agree that everyone deserves healthcare.


Or to paraphrase Kofi Annan; when health is finally seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for.

 That's right, health care - particularly life-saving health care - should be seen as a human right. I certainly see it that way.

Perhaps if as much effort were put into gaining the human right of health care as there is put into the human right to marry who you want, ground might be gained. More effort needs to be put into the concept that health care for all - just as marriage for all - is a basic human right.
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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline leatherman

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #107 on: February 12, 2011, 02:11:57 PM »
Perhaps if as much effort were put into gaining the human right of health care as there is put into the human right to marry who you want, ground might be gained.
although I totally agree with your concept that health care is and should be considered as a right, I would proffer that the millions upon millions currently advocating for better health care in the US (groups concerned with breast cancer, mental illness, teen pregnancy, childrenhood innoculation and illness, HIV/AIDS, STDs, cancers, MS, diabetes, the handicapped, dental care, etc) are already a bigger crowd than the hundred of thousands advocating for marriage equality.

Many, many more diverse groups are advocating for health care while basically only LGBT groups are advocating for marriage equality.  Don't short shrift the much vaster amount of people advocating for all sorts of health care reform and the right to adequate health care. Marriage equality only comes up frequently in these forums because of the larger than average grouping of gay members. There are plenty of online forums today discussing health care issues without once considering gay mariage equality. Those for marriage equality only wish they had the numbers concerned with health care reform.

edited to add
remember to always follow the money. Queers getting married won't take money away from the health care or insurances industries; but adequate health care for all - now that'll be dipping into someone's pockets. So of course with marriage equality being less-costly, it will probably happen before health care reform. It has nothing to do with who puts how much effort into the topic as much as how much the current financial situations will be affected.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2011, 02:21:50 PM by leatherman »
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Offline Ann

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #108 on: February 12, 2011, 02:20:03 PM »
although I totally agree with your concept that health care is and should be considered as a right, I would proffer that the millions upon millions currently advocating for better health care in the US (groups concerned with breast cancer, mental illness, teen pregnancy, childrenhood innoculation and illness, HIV/AIDS, STDs, cancers, MS, diabetes, the handicapped, dental care, etc) are already a bigger crowd than the hundred of thousands advocating for marriage equality.

Many, many more diverse groups are advocating for health care while basically only LGBT groups are advocating for marriage equality.  Don't short shrift the much vaster amount of people advocating for all sorts of health care reform and the right to adequate health care. Marriage equality only comes up frequently in these forums because of the larger than average grouping of gay members. There are plenty of online forums today discussing health care issues without once considering gay mariage equality. Those for marriage equality only wish they had the numbers concerned with health care reform.

I guess maybe I wasn't clear. Rarely do I see the issue of health care referred to as a human right in the States. I'm saying if maybe it were made to be more of a human rights issue (as has been done with marriage equality), more ground might be gained.

But maybe that's just wishful thinking.
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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline leatherman

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #109 on: February 12, 2011, 02:35:17 PM »
you may not be hearing of it spoken of a right in the media; but thousands of advocates on the ground in every state use that language all the time: women's right to health care (often regarding abortions) or the right to sexual health care (often regarding teen pregnancy and birth control), the right to mental health care. These rights are advocated for in state and federal legislatures all the time. Sadly often the resulting budgets and law are made favoring the industries surrounding health care instead of upholding the rights of our citizens.

As an advocate for ADAP and HIV prevention, I find myself coming into more and more contact with these kinds of people. Perhaps one day we'll be able to work together in a better concerted effort to make the underlying basic cocnept of the right to health care as the main thrust of our many various agendas. But for now, everyone is having to fight too much for the limited dollars for their area of concern. :'(
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chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline GSOgymrat

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #110 on: February 12, 2011, 03:22:46 PM »
 having said that I cant agree  that a government run system would be more efficient....  

I can envision a government system that would be more efficient. If there was no private insurance, Medicare or Medicaid that would eliminate huge amount of waste. Imagine one single online billing system for everything, one medical records system, not every doctors office, clinic and hospital having their own system and department. If reimbursement for healthcare services were fixed nationally it would encourage healthcare workers to serve poorer areas where cost of living is cheaper. Control of reimbursement for medical specialties would allow for better access to healthcare, for example if PCPs get paid more than plastic surgeons you will have more people want to become PCPs. People could go to any doctor they wanted because reimbursement would be the same. Construction of new facilities could be standardize so that materials could be cheaply mass produced and assembled.  With a centralized national infection database physicians and scientists could quickly and accurately analyze epidemiology and infection control. Incentives could be provided to encourage innovation and additional education. Employers, particularly small businesses, would no longer be burdened with paying for insurance since healthcare would be taken out of people's checks the same was social security is. There are all kinds of advantages.

Yes, I know that mine is a fool's dream. There are millions of dollars spent in Washington to lobby against exactly what I'm proposing.


PS. My apologies for going completely off topic.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2011, 03:28:22 PM by GSOgymrat »

Offline newt

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #111 on: February 12, 2011, 06:34:44 PM »
The biggest improvement in mental health outcomes in the US coincided with the introduction of Medicare and Medicaid. Not new drugs, not new approaches to care, not anything else. Go figure.

Would you do defense on a need-to-insure-can-afford-it basis?

(Soz, completly off topic)

- matt
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"

Offline RapidRod

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #112 on: February 12, 2011, 06:51:29 PM »
Mental help in the US is atrocious. Most counties are left to deal with Mental Health themselves. In our county it is comprised of 3 counties and it may take over a month to get into the Mental health clinic. You can however sign yourself in at most of the major hospitals that do have Mental health wards. The US quit funding the majority of the Mental Health Hospitals and most have closed.

Offline thunter34

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #113 on: February 12, 2011, 07:08:42 PM »
PS. My apologies for going completely off topic.


Perhaps it's a blessing in disguise.
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline GSOgymrat

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #114 on: February 12, 2011, 07:11:37 PM »
Mental help in the US is atrocious. Most counties are left to deal with Mental Health themselves. In our county it is comprised of 3 counties and it may take over a month to get into the Mental health clinic. You can however sign yourself in at most of the major hospitals that do have Mental health wards. The US quit funding the majority of the Mental Health Hospitals and most have closed.

I work part time for a county mental health center. Don't even get me started.

Offline pozniceguy

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #115 on: February 12, 2011, 07:33:00 PM »
Ford  the type of Utopian system you propose has been proposed  in parts an pieces many times , the orig  "Obama care"  had most of that type of scenario...   even had a few Dr's and hospitals  sort of  supporting it......   the eventual pkg was stripped of many of the provisions for all sorts of reasons....   who /what will absorb the cost of converting /buying all the existing facilities ?  many are government owned  and many others are heavily subsidized... and others are private owners.   the "one payer system" has been proposed in many forms over the years...and to a large extent the Medicare payment schedule is the basis for many care givers(  hospitals and Dr's)     in practice a one "payer determines the payment"  system.  and the real killer is the "organization/committee/department "  that will operate such a system  is a Political Christmas present   for appointees / civil service thousands of  support people and   probably a major construction item in there as well....  even the most liberal  pols  couldn't swallow the cost for that...
even having the Government  "negotiate " drug cost with suppliers/manufacturers was killed because the Government would become the "market" for the drugs and be the determining  entity  of what could be charged by  sellers of said drugs(  some govmnt agencies already do this (  Military system, prisons, NHS, even Medicare  and Medicaid have drug price agreements)
sad but the way a "democratic" system works   compromise is the name of the game

Nick
remember the good times...honor the past but don't live there
Le stelle la notte sono grandie luminose, nel cuore profondo del Texas

Offline Joe K

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #116 on: February 12, 2011, 10:05:42 PM »
sad but the way a "democratic" system works   compromise is the name of the game

You mean American democracy, don't you. Many democratic countries have universal health care because they believe it is the proper thing to do for all citizens. America has been so corrupted, over the past thirty years and now big business and the very rich pull all the strings in DC. Take a close look at the Republican agenda and if you are a woman, a minority, gay or poor, look out, because you are in their sights. They will rape and pillage, all in the name of the almighty dollar, because nobody in government represents the average American.

If you saw the America, that I see from Canada, you would be appalled and well you should be. Republicans have started their attacks, beginning at the city and state levels and it's only going to get worse. I fear for Obama care, because I believe that if the Republicans cannot repeal the act, then they will starve the beast, by simply not funding key components. With the passing of Senator Ted Kennedy, a generation of leaders died, who could still wage political battle, but who ultimately fought for the average American and produced meaningful legislation that has stood the test of time.

Sadly, what I see is a country so divided by hate, that people would actually let their neighbors starve or die, rather than provide the necessities required to live, or would hunt them down for practicing the wrong religion. I see a country torn a sunder, and until some unity returns, Americans will never demand universal health care, because they are unwilling to speak with one voice. I want my America back.

To be honest, right now, I wish there were about 200 million irate Americans, demanding real change in our government and to reclaim our country.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2011, 10:07:22 PM by killfoile »

Offline pozniceguy

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #117 on: February 13, 2011, 12:09:54 AM »
  the following was recently   shared by  a friend  the heading says  " TAX system" but the  operational structure of the Health care issue is very similar as well  , it all boils down to  expectations, fairness and who pays  how much  vs  who gets  whatever    ... you  can add the moral issue, the  "right"  to health care or any other tag  but there will always be the cost issue  and who pays vs who receives.......    if you kill the goose (  or even beat the shit out of him) that lays the golden eggs   what will really be accomplished  ??/     will they move to Canada???.....



  Subject:  The Tax System Explained in Beer
     
      The Tax System Explained in Beer


    For those who understand, no explanation is needed.
    For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible!


    Economics Applied to Society

    Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill
    for all ten comes to $100 ...

    If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would
    go something like this ...


    The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
    The fifth would pay $1.
    The sixth would pay $3.
    The seventh would pay $7..
    The eighth would pay $12.
    The ninth would pay $18.
    The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.


    So, that's what they decided to do.

    The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with
    the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve ball.
    "Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce
    the cost of your daily beer by $20. Drinks for the ten men would now
    cost just $80."

    The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes.  So,
    the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free.  But
    what about the other six men?  The paying customers?  How could they
    divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his fair share?

    They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33.  But if they subtracted
    that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man
    would each end up being paid to drink his beer.

    So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's
    bill by a higher percentage the poorer he was, to follow the principle of
    the tax system they had been using, and he proceeded to work out the
    amounts he suggested that each should now pay.

    And so the fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% saving).
    The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33% saving).
    The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7 (28% saving).
    The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% saving).
    The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% saving).
    The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% saving).

    Each of the six was better off than before.  And the first four continued
    to drink for free.  But, once outside the bar, the men began to compare
    their savings.

    "I only got a dollar out of the $20 saving," declared the sixth man.
    He pointed to the tenth man, but he got $10"!

    "Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a dollar, too.
    It's unfair that he got ten times more benefit than me"!

    "That's true!" shouted the seventh man.  "Why should he get $10 back,
    when I got only $2?  The wealthy get all the breaks"!

    "Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison, "we didn't get anything
    at all.  This new tax system exploits the poor"!

    The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.


    The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down
    and had their beers without him.  But when it came time to pay the bill, they
    discovered something important.  They didn't have enough money between
    all of them for even half of the bill!

    And that, boys and girls, journalists and government ministers, is how our
    tax system works.  The people who already pay the highest taxes will naturally
    get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for
    being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore.  In fact, they might
    start drinking overseas, where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.
    Which is exactly what's happening.


    David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D.
    Professor of Economics.

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=
remember the good times...honor the past but don't live there
Le stelle la notte sono grandie luminose, nel cuore profondo del Texas

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #118 on: February 13, 2011, 12:24:00 AM »
How a thread about whether or not HIV can be some sort of blessing in one's life turned into Tea Bagger prattle about the US taxation system is beyond me.

MtD

Offline edfu

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #119 on: February 13, 2011, 03:17:01 AM »
All this discussion of the complete failure of the U.S. health-care system and the pernicious U.S. taxation system, while worthwhile, touches only upon symptoms of the essential problem.  Bob Herbert, for one, in The New York Times two days ago cut to the chase and nails it:


WHEN DEMOCRACY WEAKENS
By BOB HERBERT

As the throngs celebrated in Cairo, I couldn’t help wondering about what is happening to democracy here in the United States. I think it’s on the ropes. We’re in serious danger of becoming a democracy in name only.

While millions of ordinary Americans are struggling with unemployment and declining standards of living, the levers of real power have been all but completely commandeered by the financial and corporate elite. It doesn’t really matter what ordinary people want. The wealthy call the tune, and the politicians dance.

So what we get in this democracy of ours are astounding and increasingly obscene tax breaks and other windfall benefits for the wealthiest, while the bought-and-paid-for politicians hack away at essential public services and the social safety net, saying we can’t afford them. One state after another is reporting that it cannot pay its bills. Public employees across the country are walking the plank by the tens of thousands. Camden, N.J., a stricken city with a serious crime problem, laid off nearly half of its police force. Medicaid, the program that provides health benefits to the poor, is under savage assault from nearly all quarters.

The poor, who are suffering from an all-out depression, are never heard from. In terms of their clout, they might as well not exist. The Obama forces reportedly want to raise a billion dollars or more for the president’s re-election bid. Politicians in search of that kind of cash won’t be talking much about the wants and needs of the poor. They’ll be genuflecting before the very rich.

In an Op-Ed article in The Times at the end of January, Senator John Kerry said that the Egyptian people “have made clear they will settle for nothing less than greater democracy and more economic opportunities.” Americans are being asked to swallow exactly the opposite. In the mad rush to privatization over the past few decades, democracy itself was put up for sale, and the rich were the only ones who could afford it.

The corporate and financial elites threw astounding sums of money into campaign contributions and high-priced lobbyists and think tanks and media buys and anything else they could think of. They wined and dined powerful leaders of both parties. They flew them on private jets and wooed them with golf outings and lavish vacations and gave them high-paying jobs as lobbyists the moment they left the government. All that money was well spent. The investments paid off big time.

As Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson wrote in their book, “Winner-Take-All Politics”: “Step by step and debate by debate, America’s public officials have rewritten the rules of American politics and the American economy in ways that have benefited the few at the expense of the many.”

As if the corporate stranglehold on American democracy were not tight enough, the Supreme Court strengthened it immeasurably with its Citizens United decision, which greatly enhanced the already overwhelming power of corporate money in politics. Ordinary Americans have no real access to the corridors of power, but you can bet your last Lotto ticket that your elected officials are listening when the corporate money speaks.

When the game is rigged in your favor, you win. So despite the worst economic downturn since the Depression, the big corporations are sitting on mountains of cash, the stock markets are up and all is well among the plutocrats. The endlessly egregious Koch brothers, David and Charles, are worth an estimated $35 billion. Yet they seem to feel as though society has treated them unfairly.

As Jane Mayer pointed out in her celebrated New Yorker article, “The Kochs are longtime libertarians who believe in drastically lower personal and corporate taxes, minimal social services for the needy, and much less oversight of industry — especially environmental regulation.” (A good hard look at their air-pollution record would make you sick.)

It’s a perversion of democracy, indeed, when individuals like the Kochs have so much clout while the many millions of ordinary Americans have so little. What the Kochs want is coming to pass. Extend the tax cuts for the rich? No problem. Cut services to the poor, the sick, the young and the disabled? Check. Can we get you anything else, gentlemen?

The Egyptians want to establish a viable democracy, and that’s a long, hard road. Americans are in the mind-bogglingly self-destructive process of letting a real democracy slip away.

I had lunch with the historian Howard Zinn just a few weeks before he died in January 2010. He was chagrined about the state of affairs in the U.S. but not at all daunted. “If there is going to be change,” he said, “real change, it will have to work its way from the bottom up, from the people themselves.”

I thought of that as I watched the coverage of the ecstatic celebrations in the streets of Cairo.



 
"No one will ever be free so long as there are pestilences."--Albert Camus, "The Plague"

"Mankind can never be free until the last brick in the last church falls on the head of the last priest."--Voltaire

Offline Dachshund

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #120 on: February 13, 2011, 07:36:56 AM »
  the following was recently   shared by  a friend  the heading says  " TAX system" but the  operational structure of the Health care issue is very similar as well  , it all boils down to  expectations, fairness and who pays  how much  vs  who gets  whatever    ... you  can add the moral issue, the  "right"  to health care or any other tag  but there will always be the cost issue  and who pays vs who receives.......    if you kill the goose (  or even beat the shit out of him) that lays the golden eggs   what will really be accomplished  ??/     will they move to Canada???.....


Said the guy whose health care is funded by the American tax payer.

Offline mecch

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #121 on: February 13, 2011, 08:31:49 AM »
The cost in universal health care is a real burden for us (the European 'Socialists') in the global economic competition and has a direct impact on our unemployment rates (chronically higher), but I must admit we get PREMIUM attention/monitoring/choice of combos, etc.

UHC  IS a BLESSING and it shows!

Cheers!

Eric

Is universal health care that burdensome to a rich country?  Not sure.  Not sure it impacts its competitiveness and not sure it has any relation to unemployment.  Country by country considerations, please.  
Switzerland has 100 % insurance coverage. Insurance companies are private but heavily regulated. Switzerland has very low unemployment and remains competitive.  Bet you could say the same for Germany.

I would prefer that the camp that is against 100 % garanteed insurance in the USA should receive NO false data that they can use to decry the negative effects of socialist safety nets in Europe (or elsewhere).  For every socialist state where there are negative effects another state has none.  And, in BOTH states, the citizens will have health care, so who the fuck cares about some difficulties.

Greedy greedy, stupid stupid camp, this one, the Americans against universal coverage.  
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline bmancanfly

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #122 on: February 13, 2011, 11:47:32 AM »
 
        And that, boys and girls, journalists and government ministers, is how our
    tax system works.  The people who already pay the highest taxes will naturally
    get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for
    being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore.  In fact, they might
    start drinking overseas, where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.
    Which is exactly what's happening.


    David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D.
    Professor of Economics.

    No virus found in this message.
    Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
    Version: 10.0.1191 / Virus Database: 1435/3393 - Release Date: 01/20/11



=

I have a masters degree in economics,  so I'm pretty good at sniffing out economic horseshit when I encounter it.  I found it hard to believe that an economics professor could write something so stupid.

In fact, this is a viral email being  spread around (no doubt by the uneducated right wing) that Professor Kamerschen Ph.D. claims to have never written.  

It's just an attempt to lend credibility to a bankrupt political philosophy by falsely attaching a Ph.D.'s name to it.

http://www.viralgrapevine.com/how-tax-cuts-work-by-david-r-kamerschen-refuted-the-real-way-tax-work-removing-the-internet-garbage/



Medicare for all.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2011, 09:56:01 PM by bmancanfly »
"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

 Bertrand Russell

Offline Joe K

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #123 on: February 13, 2011, 12:58:42 PM »
 the following was recently   shared by  a friend  the heading says  " TAX system" but the  operational structure of the Health care issue is very similar as well  , it all boils down to  expectations, fairness and who pays  how much  vs  who gets  whatever    ... you  can add the moral issue, the  "right"  to health care or any other tag  but there will always be the cost issue  and who pays vs who receives.......    if you kill the goose (  or even beat the shit out of him) that lays the golden eggs   what will really be accomplished  ??/     will they move to Canada???.....

You don't have a clue as to what I am saying, when you offer up some propaganda email, to explain to the "boys and girls" basic economics. However, what really offended me is your repeated reference to expectations, fairness and who pays how much vs. who gets what. You mention adding the moral issue of "right" to health care, but obviously what matters to you is making sure you get your fair share of the benefit, while paying the least amount of the cost.

The "right" to health care is not only a moral issue, it is a basic human need. I can decide to buy a car or house, but when I'm having a heart attack, what "choice" do I have, other than to seek medical treatment? That is where the "rights" issue comes into play. Health care is a basic human need and therefore is a right, no matter how you look at it. This is why I advocate for removing the "profit" from health care, but that's another topic.

The bottom line is that health care is a right and someday in America it will be. A system can be built that will provide health care to "everyone", not just those you deem worthy, but EVERYONE. I cannot believe you posted this tripe, as to somehow justify denying universal health care to all Americans. I am beyond disappointed in you and you have now lost my respect.

Offline Jeff G

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Re: blessing in disguise?
« Reply #124 on: February 13, 2011, 05:01:39 PM »
I believe with all my heart and mind that health care is and should be a basic human right . I also am aware that thinking of it in this way is something new and revolutionary to many people .

As a LTS , healthcare as an issue is something I'm passionate about . When the subject of healthcare comes up I try and work to concept of healthcare as as a human right into to the discussion .
From what I have heard I wish others would pay more attention to this as an aspect of overall discussion about healthcare because many have never considered healthcare in any other terms except who's burden it it is .

 


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