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Are Stigmas as bad as in the 80's?

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ElleBelle:
HI all! I am new to the site and I will be up front. I am straight female in her mid 30's. I was too young to remember the AIDS epidemic in the 80's and until recently thought that, except for in Africa, HIV/AIDS was under control. Then I read a few articles that told me otherwise. I didn't know that on average there are two new cases of AIDS reported everyday here in Canada. I didn't know that young people (teenagers) had no idea that there was no cure.

This got me to thinking, are the stigmas that were prevalent in the 1980's, such as it being a "gay disease", still prevalent now? I am so uneducated about this. I hope that you can all help make me a better informed person.

Much love!

Jeff G:

--- Quote from: ElleBelle on March 22, 2013, 10:13:36 AM ---HI all! I am new to the site and I will be up front. I am straight female in her mid 30's. I was too young to remember the AIDS epidemic in the 80's and until recently thought that, except for in Africa, HIV/AIDS was under control. Then I read a few articles that told me otherwise. I didn't know that on average there are two new cases of AIDS reported everyday here in Canada. I didn't know that young people (teenagers) had no idea that there was no cure.

This got me to thinking, are the stigmas that were prevalent in the 1980's, such as it being a "gay disease", still prevalent now? I am so uneducated about this. I hope that you can all help make me a better informed person.

Much love!

--- End quote ---

Hi Elle . I take it from your post that you are not HIV positive yourself , am I correct ?

We are a support forum for people living with HIV and we do have a forum titled Someone I care about has HIV , that's self explanatory .

If you are curious and want to educate yourself about HIV , you will find all that information here . You seem like a caring individual so I have moved your thread over to the Someone I care about forum . Please only post in this thread unless you need risk assessment , then feel free to start a post in Am I Infected . Thanks Jeff . 

Ann:
Hi Elle, welcome to the forums.

First off, your thread has been moved from the Activism forum to the Someone I Care About forum, because overall, it's a better fit.

I have to request that as you are not hiv positive yourself, that you limit your activities in these forums to this thread only. You may read anywhere you want to, but please only post here in this thread.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Hiv is far from under control in terms of new infections. New infections are on the rise particularly in younger people. However, age isn't the most important factor here, the non-use of condoms is the important thing.

Hiv doesn't discriminate - it can affect anyone who happens to be human. That's why it's called the Human Immunodeficiency Virus.

I once thought like a lot of people - that in recent times, hiv was only something people in Africa or gay men needed to worry about. I found out the hard way - at age 34. (I'm 50 now.)

Those of us who live with hiv are just like anyone else. You might very well know someone who is hiv positive, but don't know they are mainly because of the stigma against us that is still very much alive. Many people feel they have to hide the fact that they have hiv.

While you're here, I want to pass some information along to you that I hope you will share with people you know. I also hope that you get tested if you've never been tested before, and that you encourage others to also get tested regularly.

Here's what you need to know in order to avoid hiv infection:

You need to be using condoms for anal or vaginal intercourse, every time, no exceptions until such time as you are in a securely monogamous relationship where you have both tested for ALL sexually transmitted infections together.

To agree to have unprotected intercourse is to consent to the possibility of being infected with an STI. Sex without a condom lasts only a matter of minutes, but hiv is forever.

Have a look through the condom and lube links in my signature line so you can use condoms with confidence.

Anyone who is sexually active should be having a full sexual health care check-up, including but not limited to hiv testing, at least once a year and more often if unprotected intercourse occurs.

If you aren't already having regular, routine check-ups, now is the time to start. As long as you make sure condoms are being used for intercourse, you can fully expect your routine hiv tests to return with negative results.

Don't forget to always get checked for all the other sexually transmitted infections as well, because they are MUCH easier to transmit than hiv. Some of the other STIs can be present with no obvious symptoms, so the only way to know for sure is to test.

Use condoms for anal or vaginal intercourse, correctly and consistently, and you will avoid hiv infection. It really is that simple!

Ann

mitch777:
Elle,

Welcome to the forums!

You asked a pretty broad question and I think Ann covered it well.

I would just add that the stigma compared to the 80's has improved to some extent due to education.

I hasten to add that if you used to have 10 bullies, bigots, or whatever living on your block and now have 5, can you breathe a sigh of relief?
All it takes is ONE to create problems.

I doubt hate and fear will ever disappear from the planet.

It doesn't stop me from living my life to the fullest. :)

PS- A sense of humor does wonders.


wolfter:
The obvious answer is NO!  HIV positive folk can now swim in public pools, attend school and live in neighborhoods without fear of being "burnt" out.  People no longer throw dishes away that we've touched...and so forth.

Your post is a prime example of how the educational system is failing.  Makes me want to scream at all school boards that still teach abstinence only education.  While they refuse to acknowledge that sexuality is a normal thing, they think they can scare people into not having sex.  Often, at the expense of our youth.

I posted not too long ago about my nephew (a college senior), who knows a few fellow students who have recently tested positive.  It infuriates me that we would still allow our youth to become infected instead of having honest discussions with them regarding sex.  I've been positive longer than my nephew has been living so he has dealt with this issue his entire life.

That entire "manageable" disease ideology is entirely wrong from a preventative viewpoint.  It fails to address all the peripheral issues.

Wolfie

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