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Author Topic: Dating, Disclosure, Romance, etc.  (Read 1532 times)

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Offline PozGuy212

  • Member
  • Posts: 12
Dating, Disclosure, Romance, etc.
« on: May 26, 2013, 04:29:23 AM »
Hey Forum,

I started meds last August and basically went celibate until early this year. I'm 23 and guys try to make romantic passes at me all the time, but disclosure has been the craziest door in front of my path. I haven't quite met any HIV+ guys yet honestly and the few ones I've met haven't been a match.

The one HIV+ guy I thought I had feelings for mutually in which was a friend for years turned out to be an asshole.

I live in NYC and I wanted to know from any members, particularly gay members, how did you get back into the kick of dating? Also, in my mind it would be interesting to see if all these guys would stick around if they knew my status.

I have a good friend who is very attractive and the only one that I've met who shares the same story but we are like "brothers" now in the same romantic situation looking for guys to be with that will accept us.

I'm independent and live on my own by myself and this single me against the world life has to come to an end.
  >:(
March 2009 - Tested POZ
Aug 2012 - CD4 60 / VL 250K+
Started Complera
Nov 2012 - CD4 180 / VL about 2K
Feb 2013 - CD4 350 / Undetectable
May 2013 - CD4 400 / VL 50
Switched to Stribild

Offline oksikoko

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  • Writing the congressman again
    • the treatment cascade
Re: Dating, Disclosure, Romance, etc.
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2013, 07:15:15 AM »
The one HIV+ guy I thought I had feelings for mutually in which was a friend for years turned out to be an asshole.

Some of us are assholes, yes. Just like negative guys, but there sure are a lot of us to choose from. You live in NYC. I'm shocked when I meet someone here who's negative. Granted I don't get out much, but still…

I'm 23 and guys try to make romantic passes at me all the time, but disclosure has been the craziest door in front of my path.

If you insist on dating negative guys, it doesn't have to be the first thing you tell them, though I would argue it should always be known by all involved parties before anyone gets nekkid.

Also, where is this place where everyone is hitting on everyone, because reasons.

Lee
Code: [Select]
2013-10-03:                ☣ VL (=) undetectable ☣ CD4 (+) 1105
2013-05-23:                ☣ VL (=) undetectable ☣ CD4 (-) 945
2013-02-25:                ☣ VL (-) undetectable ☣ CD4 (+) 1123
2012-12-16: Enter Stribild
2012-11-20: HIV+           ☣ VL (→) 132,683      ☣ CD4 (→) 920
2012-04-01: HIV-
Dates in this signature file conform to ISO 8601. ;-)

Offline mecch

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  • Posts: 11,486
  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Dating, Disclosure, Romance, etc.
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2013, 07:36:34 AM »
One thing you might consider is living with your friend, who's like a brother.  Might help with the alone against the world feeling.
Also, idunno, maybe a bit reading between the lines, maybe you like HIM...?

As for dating sorry I don't have a magic wand or crystal ball.  But you said that you are interested if guys will stick around if they know you are HIV+, so I guess tell them and find out.  I bet some will stick around, especially if you are simple and strong about the way you say it and live it.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline PozGuy212

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  • Posts: 12
Re: Dating, Disclosure, Romance, etc.
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2013, 07:40:52 AM »
Some of us are assholes, yes. Just like negative guys, but there sure are a lot of us to choose from. You live in NYC. I'm shocked when I meet someone here who's negative. Granted I don't get out much, but still…

If you insist on dating negative guys, it doesn't have to be the first thing you tell them, though I would argue it should always be known by all involved parties before anyone gets nekkid.

Also, where is this place where everyone is hitting on everyone, because reasons.

Lee

Thanks for the response, I see that you're in the big city too. How have your dating experiences been?

I know that a lot of guys probably do have it but are so in the dark about it. The positive dating sites don't have any great matches either to me. Honestly, I have never had too much luck with online dating


One thing you might consider is living with your friend, who's like a brother.  Might help with the alone against the world feeling.
Also, idunno, maybe a bit reading between the lines, maybe you like HIM...?

As for dating sorry I don't have a magic wand or crystal ball.  But you said that you are interested if guys will stick around if they know you are HIV+, so I guess tell them and find out.  I bet some will stick around, especially if you are simple and strong about the way you say it and live it.

Very true, my friend has the same sexual preferences (sexual role-wise) as me so I doubt that'll work practically.
March 2009 - Tested POZ
Aug 2012 - CD4 60 / VL 250K+
Started Complera
Nov 2012 - CD4 180 / VL about 2K
Feb 2013 - CD4 350 / Undetectable
May 2013 - CD4 400 / VL 50
Switched to Stribild

Offline mecch

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  • Posts: 11,486
  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Dating, Disclosure, Romance, etc.
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2013, 07:47:44 AM »
Very true, my friend has the same sexual preferences (sexual role-wise) as me so I doubt that'll work practically.

 ;D
I also don't have a time machine. But I wish I did. Cause I would whisk you 15 or 20 years into your future and you would see that top and bottom, etc, etc,  are often shifting.   And that there's such a thing as versatile. And that you end up falling in love with a whole person, and sexual role playing is but one small part of a relationship.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline oksikoko

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  • Posts: 680
  • Writing the congressman again
    • the treatment cascade
Re: Dating, Disclosure, Romance, etc.
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2013, 07:49:18 AM »
Thanks for the response, I see that you're in the big city too. How have your dating experiences been?

I don't date.
Code: [Select]
2013-10-03:                ☣ VL (=) undetectable ☣ CD4 (+) 1105
2013-05-23:                ☣ VL (=) undetectable ☣ CD4 (-) 945
2013-02-25:                ☣ VL (-) undetectable ☣ CD4 (+) 1123
2012-12-16: Enter Stribild
2012-11-20: HIV+           ☣ VL (→) 132,683      ☣ CD4 (→) 920
2012-04-01: HIV-
Dates in this signature file conform to ISO 8601. ;-)

Offline PozGuy212

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  • Posts: 12
Re: Dating, Disclosure, Romance, etc.
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2013, 07:58:28 AM »
;D
I also don't have a time machine. But I wish I did. Cause I would whisk you 15 or 20 years into your future and you would see that top and bottom, etc, etc,  are often shifting.   And that there's such a thing as versatile. And that you end up falling in love with a whole person, and sexual role playing is but one small part of a relationship.

True. But for now I'm very comfortable with our friendship, I look at him like my brother.


I don't date.

Lol, that's an easy approach. Never lonely?
March 2009 - Tested POZ
Aug 2012 - CD4 60 / VL 250K+
Started Complera
Nov 2012 - CD4 180 / VL about 2K
Feb 2013 - CD4 350 / Undetectable
May 2013 - CD4 400 / VL 50
Switched to Stribild

Offline oksikoko

  • Member
  • Posts: 680
  • Writing the congressman again
    • the treatment cascade
Re: Dating, Disclosure, Romance, etc.
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2013, 08:11:03 AM »
Lol, that's an easy approach. Never lonely?

Always, but when life hands you lemons...

If you're not  opposed to bars, there's a weekly Poz Party (not that kind of poz party) at the Ritz. I've never been, but I heard good things from respectable people. To be honest, I don't know for sure where The Ritz or Ritz or whatever is, but I hear it's a gay bar in Hell's Kitchen. You might know it.

Go to pozusa on face book if you can stand going to that site.

This is copy/pasted from the e-mail:

About the Weekly Party

The weekly party is the cornerstone of our programming and is a social mixer for HIV+ gay men, their friends, and supporters. It's a safe, fun place to hang out for friendship, support, love, or whatever else you're looking for. There's always a host to greet you when you arrive, so it's comfortable to come alone. Make sure you help spread the word!

END

They're active, even though it doesn't always appear to be...  I get an e-mail every week. It seems very boozhie, so if you're looking for a boyfriend-type, it may be worth dropping in. Dating other positive guys just removes a lot of the ambiguity. Negative guys are just not *like us*. But it takes all kinds, different strokes, good for the goose...

Wait that last one isn't right.
Code: [Select]
2013-10-03:                ☣ VL (=) undetectable ☣ CD4 (+) 1105
2013-05-23:                ☣ VL (=) undetectable ☣ CD4 (-) 945
2013-02-25:                ☣ VL (-) undetectable ☣ CD4 (+) 1123
2012-12-16: Enter Stribild
2012-11-20: HIV+           ☣ VL (→) 132,683      ☣ CD4 (→) 920
2012-04-01: HIV-
Dates in this signature file conform to ISO 8601. ;-)

Offline mecch

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  • Posts: 11,486
  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Dating, Disclosure, Romance, etc.
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2013, 08:15:55 AM »

True. But for now I'm very comfortable with our friendship, I look at him like my brother.

OK. I'm an old gheezer so this is all armchair quarterbacking, by the way.

Have you had a boyfriend?  If so, before or after being HIV+?

Is your friend having any luck dating? 

Count your blessings - the guys are making passes.  Not easy but you'll have to jump in and start disclosing to some of them and see what happens. 
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline mecch

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  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Dating, Disclosure, Romance, etc.
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2013, 08:19:54 AM »
And that doesn't mean running around the bar with HIV+ blinking on your tiara.  Just going about your life, if a guy seems interested you could go out at least once, and suss him out to see if its worth bothering to disclose. Maybe even a few dates.  Disclosure doesn't have to be instant.

Everyone knows you have to kiss some frogs before you meet your prince. 
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Ann

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Re: Dating, Disclosure, Romance, etc.
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2013, 09:47:20 AM »
Hi PozGuy, welcome to the forums.

I'd like to ask you to stop using formatting to make the font in your posts smaller. I need you to realise that some of our members have eyesight problems, so if you want more responses, you're not doing yourself any favours by making your posts difficult to read. Thank you for your consideration on this matter.

Personally, I always disclose right upfront - it's a great asshole filter. Obviously it's not as an effective a filter when the person you're disclosing to is also poz, but it for sure works with guys who are (or only think they are) hiv negative.

Good luck with the dating.

Ann
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 jkinatl2

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  • Posts: 6,007
  • Doo. Dah. Dipp-ity.
Re: Dating, Disclosure, Romance, etc.
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2013, 11:51:49 AM »
I've been in four serious relationships since testing positive 20 years ago. All were with HIV negative guys. It just sort of happened that way. Three of these relationships lasted almost precisely five years. The one I am in now is coming up on two.

Interestingly, I met all these guys online, in NON- HIV-centric dating sites. I'm not a big bar person, and I tend to be a little soft-spoken in public, which makes yelling over a dance beat rather tedious - and I am hoarse for three days (not to mention smelling like a cigarette factory-slash-brewery after). With most of my offline volunteer work HIV related, well, I was never in a position to "date" someone as a risk assessment counselor.

And I get what you are saying about sexual proclivities. While Mecch has a point about the fluidity of that stuff, knowing there will/might be a "you" that will emerge/might emerge two or three years from now is not exactly a comfort. You like what you like, and there is absolutely no reason to change a fundamental part of your quest for intimacy in order to find it.

For me, I have disclosed when it looked like things were starting to get serious. And, of course, I have not put anyone at risk for transmission. Some states in the US have such draconian HIV disclosure laws that ANY physical intimacy without disclosure can result in criminal charges. Even if there is no transmission, and even if there is no CHANCE of transmission. Remember, we still have a guy in Texas in prison for spitting on a police officer.

In the end, though, my relationships have ended for reasons that have nothing whatsoever to do with my HIV status. I lost touch with one ex, after a time, but theother two are still in contact, and I consider one to be a dearest friend - we do dinner once or twice a week, and plan to go skydiving again this spring.

It's hard to pin down a firm rule about disclosure. You will feel when it's time. If you rush it, you run the chance of giving the impression that you are a diagnosis first, and a person second. If you wait too long, the impression is that you are ashamed. In my opinion, it's an organic part of talking about who you are. Granted, with me as soon as I tell about my volunteer stuff on AIDSMEDS it sort of begs the question right off the bat. But it might be different for you. It's a personal thing.

I agree with Ann that it's a great asshole detector. But please remember you have a VAST arsenal of asshole detectors. If someone has an aversion to my pets, my creative or intellectual pursuits, my tree-hugging politics, my hobbies - well, might be time to keep shopping.

HIV shakes things up. It changes your center. And, as your diagnosis ages, that center keeps shifting slightly. It's up to you to figure that out, probably before embarking on a relationship. I've not remained single for any appreciable stretch of time since my diagnosis. No more than a couple of years, anyhow. I just gravitate towards the dating/relationship thing. Mainly because I'm a talker, and that doesn't really make for a stable sex-buddy relationship over time.

You live in a big city. Arguable the BIGGEST one. But I understand that maybe it's easy to feel lost in it, rather than immersed. You don't need millions of people, just a few who really get you, love you. And of those, just the one, perhaps, to fall in love with. Arguably harder to find in a crowd the size of NYC. Even though I live in Atlanta, I only know a shadow of the scope I'm talking about.

Perhaps wandering outside the HIV situation will help. Maybe joining a social club, or following a hobby or sport with a gay team/group? Yahoo groups are a good place to start looking. Gay chess players who like rugby and Doctor Who? Probably covered. Pot0Bellied Pig owning gay Libertarians? More than likely there.

There's a natural instinct to push back at the stigma, to think "damnit, I am 23 and cute. I shouldn't HAVE to hesitate before responding to the flirts and the seemingly effortless advances." And that's all true. But you are here, and you are not there.  You might find that if you lead with your personality, your interests, you will attract people to whom disclosure is not an insurmountable obstacle. Or maybe not much of an obstacle at all.

It's a different paradigm, certainly. HIV is not for the fain of heart. But I don't see you as particularly faint-hearted. Give it time - but also give it effort.

Best wishes.




"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 PozGuy212

  • Member
  • Posts: 12
Re: Dating, Disclosure, Romance, etc.
« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2013, 03:29:05 PM »
Thanks for all your responses

Particularly jkinatl2, a lot things you've said HIT HOME!

In the black gay community in particular, it seems like tons of people have it but very few people want to put it out there and there's of stigma & misunderstandings still.


I've been in four serious relationships since testing positive 20 years ago. All were with HIV negative guys. It just sort of happened that way. Three of these relationships lasted almost precisely five years. The one I am in now is coming up on two.

Interestingly, I met all these guys online, in NON- HIV-centric dating sites. I'm not a big bar person, and I tend to be a little soft-spoken in public, which makes yelling over a dance beat rather tedious - and I am hoarse for three days (not to mention smelling like a cigarette factory-slash-brewery after). With most of my offline volunteer work HIV related, well, I was never in a position to "date" someone as a risk assessment counselor.

And I get what you are saying about sexual proclivities. While Mecch has a point about the fluidity of that stuff, knowing there will/might be a "you" that will emerge/might emerge two or three years from now is not exactly a comfort. You like what you like, and there is absolutely no reason to change a fundamental part of your quest for intimacy in order to find it.

For me, I have disclosed when it looked like things were starting to get serious. And, of course, I have not put anyone at risk for transmission. Some states in the US have such draconian HIV disclosure laws that ANY physical intimacy without disclosure can result in criminal charges. Even if there is no transmission, and even if there is no CHANCE of transmission. Remember, we still have a guy in Texas in prison for spitting on a police officer.

In the end, though, my relationships have ended for reasons that have nothing whatsoever to do with my HIV status. I lost touch with one ex, after a time, but theother two are still in contact, and I consider one to be a dearest friend - we do dinner once or twice a week, and plan to go skydiving again this spring.

It's hard to pin down a firm rule about disclosure. You will feel when it's time. If you rush it, you run the chance of giving the impression that you are a diagnosis first, and a person second. If you wait too long, the impression is that you are ashamed. In my opinion, it's an organic part of talking about who you are. Granted, with me as soon as I tell about my volunteer stuff on AIDSMEDS it sort of begs the question right off the bat. But it might be different for you. It's a personal thing.

I agree with Ann that it's a great asshole detector. But please remember you have a VAST arsenal of asshole detectors. If someone has an aversion to my pets, my creative or intellectual pursuits, my tree-hugging politics, my hobbies - well, might be time to keep shopping.

HIV shakes things up. It changes your center. And, as your diagnosis ages, that center keeps shifting slightly. It's up to you to figure that out, probably before embarking on a relationship. I've not remained single for any appreciable stretch of time since my diagnosis. No more than a couple of years, anyhow. I just gravitate towards the dating/relationship thing. Mainly because I'm a talker, and that doesn't really make for a stable sex-buddy relationship over time.

You live in a big city. Arguable the BIGGEST one. But I understand that maybe it's easy to feel lost in it, rather than immersed. You don't need millions of people, just a few who really get you, love you. And of those, just the one, perhaps, to fall in love with. Arguably harder to find in a crowd the size of NYC. Even though I live in Atlanta, I only know a shadow of the scope I'm talking about.

Perhaps wandering outside the HIV situation will help. Maybe joining a social club, or following a hobby or sport with a gay team/group? Yahoo groups are a good place to start looking. Gay chess players who like rugby and Doctor Who? Probably covered. Pot0Bellied Pig owning gay Libertarians? More than likely there.

There's a natural instinct to push back at the stigma, to think "damnit, I am 23 and cute. I shouldn't HAVE to hesitate before responding to the flirts and the seemingly effortless advances." And that's all true. But you are here, and you are not there.  You might find that if you lead with your personality, your interests, you will attract people to whom disclosure is not an insurmountable obstacle. Or maybe not much of an obstacle at all.

It's a different paradigm, certainly. HIV is not for the fain of heart. But I don't see you as particularly faint-hearted. Give it time - but also give it effort.

Best wishes.

I feel like I should print this out and live by this. THANK YOU

OK. I'm an old gheezer so this is all armchair quarterbacking, by the way.

Have you had a boyfriend?  If so, before or after being HIV+?

Is your friend having any luck dating? 

Count your blessings - the guys are making passes.  Not easy but you'll have to jump in and start disclosing to some of them and see what happens.

And that doesn't mean running around the bar with HIV+ blinking on your tiara.  Just going about your life, if a guy seems interested you could go out at least once, and suss him out to see if its worth bothering to disclose. Maybe even a few dates.  Disclosure doesn't have to be instant.

Everyone knows you have to kiss some frogs before you meet your prince. 

I've had boyfriends, before.

Also, what's even more interesting to me is that the HIV+ people I know make it seem like guys didn't mind at all.
March 2009 - Tested POZ
Aug 2012 - CD4 60 / VL 250K+
Started Complera
Nov 2012 - CD4 180 / VL about 2K
Feb 2013 - CD4 350 / Undetectable
May 2013 - CD4 400 / VL 50
Switched to Stribild

Offline mecch

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  • Posts: 11,486
  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Dating, Disclosure, Romance, etc.
« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2013, 06:37:30 PM »
Also, what's even more interesting to me is that the HIV+ people I know make it seem like guys didn't mind at all.[/size]

Well, they may or may not be always having such easy going. But they got the right attitude, so maybe they are on to something. 

When i was HIV-  I had relationships with HIV+ people.  Even in the dark days of HIV in the 80's/90's.  HIV isn't a deal breaker for every HIV- person out there.  The heart wants what it wants.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Online Jeff G

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  • Member
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Re: Dating, Disclosure, Romance, etc.
« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2013, 06:51:51 PM »
Hi PozGuy, welcome to the forums.

I'd like to ask you to stop using formatting to make the font in your posts smaller. I need you to realise that some of our members have eyesight problems, so if you want more responses, you're not doing yourself any favours by making your posts difficult to read. Thank you for your consideration on this matter.


Offline joyluckclub

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  • Posts: 136
Re: Dating, Disclosure, Romance, etc.
« Reply #15 on: May 27, 2013, 08:07:00 PM »
I have some experience in the HIV+ and African American thing.

Most African American communities, particularly in the south (where I reside), are very concerned about religious life.

Unfortunately, the african american religious community has not done a good job of progressing and welcoming LGBT and HIV+ believers.

The slow pace has had a very negative impact of African American LGBT people.

Too bad, because Black Gospel Music was basically nurtured and created by LGBT people (James Cleveland, Rosetta Tharpe, The Caravans, Donnie McClurkin).

African American LGBT people tend to associate through 'informal associations' and 'clicks"  similar to why there are so many churches in African American communities......

Hope this explains some things.......

Though I do not live in NYC, I had one wonderful summer working as an intern  in 1994......
"Honey, be who you is"  Madea.........

Offline mecch

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  • red pill? or blue pill?
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline deibster

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  • Posts: 153
Re: Dating, Disclosure, Romance, etc.
« Reply #17 on: May 27, 2013, 11:48:34 PM »
Hi I used to live in NYC,
Have you ever heard of Friends In Deed in Soho on West Broadway?
Www.friendsindeed.org
It is like a community center for anyone with a life threatening disease, so everyone isn't glbt or Poz, but many of the clients are glbtq And Poz. They have meetings at lunchtime, if you work in that area, and meetings after work, like 6 and 7 PM. I got a lot of moral support out of going there & also met some new friends. Best wishes.
Hugs from Provincetown, Deibster
Poz since Dec 1992. Meds since 1995. Disability since 2005.

Prezista/Norvir, Epzicom, Cytomel, Prevacid, pravastatin, Fenofibrate, Remeron, Zoloft, Concerta, doxazosin, Allegra180, Nasocort, Centrum, Flax Oil, Fish Oil

Offline PozGuy212

  • Member
  • Posts: 12
Re: Dating, Disclosure, Romance, etc.
« Reply #18 on: May 28, 2013, 07:12:26 PM »
Sorry about my previous font size being so small. I have really good vision and on my computer 8pt doesn't look that small to me.

I have some experience in the HIV+ and African American thing.

Most African American communities, particularly in the south (where I reside), are very concerned about religious life.

Unfortunately, the african american religious community has not done a good job of progressing and welcoming LGBT and HIV+ believers.

The slow pace has had a very negative impact of African American LGBT people.

Too bad, because Black Gospel Music was basically nurtured and created by LGBT people (James Cleveland, Rosetta Tharpe, The Caravans, Donnie McClurkin).

African American LGBT people tend to associate through 'informal associations' and 'clicks"  similar to why there are so many churches in African American communities......

Hope this explains some things.......

Though I do not live in NYC, I had one wonderful summer working as an intern  in 1994......

Very very true. The black gay community is clique-ish and judgmental. I'm accepted because the way I look but I'm pretty sure being HIV+ would be a whole new ballgame.
March 2009 - Tested POZ
Aug 2012 - CD4 60 / VL 250K+
Started Complera
Nov 2012 - CD4 180 / VL about 2K
Feb 2013 - CD4 350 / Undetectable
May 2013 - CD4 400 / VL 50
Switched to Stribild

 


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