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Author Topic: "Clean"  (Read 1369 times)

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Offline Tar Heel

  • Member
  • Posts: 98
"Clean"
« on: March 05, 2014, 05:39:48 PM »
It pisses me off to no end when they use the term "clean" to describe their HIV status.  I'm poz but that doesn't mean I am "dirty."  Anytime you try to meet someone (especially gay men), and you begin a conversation, they say they are "clean."

Has anyone else had this issue?  I usually just end the conversation because I don't think I can kindly correct them without my irritation being apparent. 

I knew that here on 'Poz' that you guys would understand my frustration.  Thanks for letting me vent.
"So much has been given to me that I have no time to ponder on that which has been denied." ~ Helen Keller

Offline Joe K

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Re: "Clean"
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2014, 05:48:03 PM »
Hey Tar,

I hear you and we don't use the word "clean," for many of the reasons you mention.  While I agree the term is irritating, however, it's been in the lexicon for decades.  The way I look at it, I can tell folks how the term offends me, or I can just look past it, because I know it's only personal, if I allow it to be.

Joe

Online Jeff G

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  • How am I doing Beren ?
Re: "Clean"
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2014, 05:53:57 PM »
The subject was discussed here http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=51807.0 .


Offline YellowFever

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  • Posts: 163
Re: "Clean"
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2014, 05:58:53 PM »
I'm reclaiming that word. If I say I'm clean, its because I've douched.
08/2010 HIV- 08/2012 HIV+
10/2012 CD4 415(15%)
04/2013 CD4 457(15%)
10/2013 CD4 520 (20%) VL 650 (wtf?)
02/2014 CD4 410(20%) VL 390 (yay!)
08/2014 CD4 580(?%)

Offline Tar Heel

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Re: "Clean"
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2014, 06:09:42 PM »
Sorry Jeff, I haven't posted in a while and didn't go back and read all the former posts. 

And yes, YellowFever, I totally agree. 

The term 'clean' defines your hygiene, not your HIV status.
"So much has been given to me that I have no time to ponder on that which has been denied." ~ Helen Keller

Online Jeff G

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Re: "Clean"
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2014, 06:16:51 PM »
Sorry Jeff, I haven't posted in a while and didn't go back and read all the former posts. 

And yes, YellowFever, I totally agree. 

The term 'clean' defines your hygiene, not your HIV status.

No need for sorry ... there is allot to read here even if you do log in everyday .

If you want I can merge this thread into the other so that you can be counted among the legions of well washed and squeaky clean people living with HIV who are offended by the thoughtless term clean . 

Offline Tar Heel

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Re: "Clean"
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2014, 06:28:05 PM »
I was basically just venting.  It was nice to see some replies that agreed with me.  Now I can settle down, have a Diet Mtn Dew and watch Survivor in peace.   :)
"So much has been given to me that I have no time to ponder on that which has been denied." ~ Helen Keller

Offline Dr.Strangelove

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Re: "Clean"
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2014, 06:30:01 PM »
It pisses me off, too, when I hear it. Thankfully, where I live I rarely come across it. On occasion, I chatted up people whose profiles use that word to try to explain them my perspective.
I write something along the lines:
"Hey, I noticed that in your profile you ask the guys who contact you to be 'clean'. You probably know that nowadays it's impossible to recognize if someone has HIV or not by appearance. So, positive people like myself kind of have the choice to tell our status upfront or not, because we look perfectly healthy and you would never suspect us to be positive unless we tell. If you do expect positive guys to be honest with you about their status, maybe it's not a such a good idea to imply we are 'dirty' by using the term 'clean' for HIV-negative." bla bla
From my experience it doesn't change their mind about serosorting of course. But some have acknowledged how using the word clean might indeed come off as an insult to us. Others have just said that that's the term everyone uses, so what.


Offline zach

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Re: "Clean"
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2014, 06:53:55 PM »
i feel the pain, but try to cut them alot of slack. what really bothers me is "dirty" i'm not dirty. and no one infected me, i exposed myself through unsafe sex. i'm infected with a virus. alot of terms that are in the lexicon, its hard for me to judge the speech or phrases as somehow discriminatory

i hear alot of quasi inflammatory speech, i can legitimately be called a hillbilly, some take offense to that, doesn't bother me at all. i always try to think about intent. if they're trying to piss me off, they don't have to try hard, just let me know, i'll be pissed

Offline denb45

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Re: "Clean"
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2014, 07:20:08 PM »
I'm reclaiming that word. If I say I'm clean, its because I've douched.

When I say I'm "clean" to me, it means I just took a long hot shower w/ lots of steam  ;D


HUGS

DEN
"it's so nice to be insane, cause no-one ask you to explain" Helen Reddy cc 1974

Offline OneTampa

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Re: "Clean"
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2014, 10:51:02 PM »
There was a thread about this "clean" bit last year I think.
"He is my oldest child. The shy and retiring one over there with the Haitian headdress serving pescaíto frito."

Offline Irish Eyes

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Re: "Clean"
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2014, 11:51:51 PM »
Yeah OneTampa, this zombie thread is all washed up.
10/30/13          Exposure
Mid-Nov-Jan    Seroconversion (7-8 rough wks)
12.26.2013      WB dx. HIV+
02.01.2014      OraQuick (result Negative?)
01.31.2014      VL 250700
02.03.2014      CD4  491  26%
02.26.2014      CD4  503  26%
03.05.2014      HLA B6701  not present
03.18.2014      VL 530873 (typical fluctuation)
03.21.2014      Start Stribild
04.14.2014      VL 104 after 24 doses
05.12.2014      VL 129 after 52 doses
06.10.2014      CD4 940 32%
06.11.2014      VL 87
07.22.2014      VL 20
09.23.2014      VL 43

Offline Theyer

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Re: "Clean"
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2014, 05:50:19 AM »
I too find it a offensive term, I don,t come across it much as I am a born again virgin waiting for the depo testosterone to kick in. However this thread has got me thinking how unusual it is that so many terms are bandied about unchallenged and with no sense off un right on shame towards our minority group. The web dating sites would not allow offensive racial slurs to mount up , stupid sentence coz when is a racial slur inoffensive.

Continuing with this thinking aloud , I am wondering how many people/hours are needed to have an effective blitz on this sort off thing.
"If we can find the money to kill people, we can find the money to help people ."  Tony Benn

Offline aaware72

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Re: "Clean"
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2014, 11:46:27 AM »
It pisses me off to no end when they use the term "clean" to describe their HIV status.  I'm poz but that doesn't mean I am "dirty."  Anytime you try to meet someone (especially gay men), and you begin a conversation, they say they are "clean."

Has anyone else had this issue?  I usually just end the conversation because I don't think I can kindly correct them without my irritation being apparent. 

I knew that here on 'Poz' that you guys would understand my frustration.  Thanks for letting me vent.

My suggestion would to be ask what do you mean clean?  Make them think about what they are saying.  I find sometime there is no offense meant by most and they don't sometime understand what some might perceive to be.  In my opinion the worst thing you can do is to not challenge what they are saying and not having the conversation. 
"Yes, knowledge is power. Self-knowledge brings mastery of one's body."

Offline harleymc

  • Member
  • Posts: 256
Re: "Clean"
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2014, 02:53:47 AM »
I've started reclaiming "disease free" as well as "clean". HIV is an infection not a disease state.
An irrational phobia about people with HIV, well that sounds a bit like a disease to me.

Offline mecch

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  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: "Clean"
« Reply #15 on: March 13, 2014, 05:54:19 AM »
It pisses me off to no end when they use the term "clean" to describe their HIV status.  I'm poz but that doesn't mean I am "dirty."  Anytime you try to meet someone (especially gay men), and you begin a conversation, they say they are "clean."

Has anyone else had this issue?  I usually just end the conversation because I don't think I can kindly correct them without my irritation being apparent. 

I knew that here on 'Poz' that you guys would understand my frustration.  Thanks for letting me vent.

When someone HIV+ really feels that he/she is not dirty, hearing this clean / implied dirty business does not hurt. But it is STILL annoying and offensive.  As you have experienced, its mostly a non-thinking, but offensive use of language by most people.  I think if you are in the mood, or if the person seems of interest to YOU, you should discuss the issue with them.  You will get ALL sorts of responses, from conversational hostility, to hatred, to ignorance and stupidity, to gratitude that you explained it.  These reactions to you discussing "clean", will serve as a sorting mechanism.  Kinda shows you the lay of the land, so to speak.

Other things to mention to these people who so very much cling to "clean", is that

"We all carry around some viruses - so is anyone really clear of all disease or viruses?" this is like the DDF UB2.  because ditto, drugs... yeah who is really drug and disease free?  Anyway, these people are just keeping it simple, they really don't want subtlety so any subtle or critical thinking, probably won't be appreciated....

"Using clean is too vague. What exactly do you want to know? STD's? HIV?"  this will make most of the stupider ones flee or insult you and then flee. 

another: "I'm not sure what information you need. So what you are saying is if i don't have HIV, I'm clean, and if I am HIV+, I must be dirty? Right?  Or do you need to know that I take a shower everyday?" It helps to wink on that one.

One of my favourite if tangential responses, if its an online conversation, is this video.  If the person doesn't get it, they really aren't very clever about language nor do they have much of a funny bone:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PioTMe1pNls

Sometimes online when I'm really not in the mood to be informative or nice I'll type: "I'm very dirty, very very dirty, and HIV+" and block them.  Or just as well: "I'm clean, and HIV+."  Whatever, you are responding, that's something already.

Probably best to keep it simple and direct. "I'm HIV+" and then see if you get a chance to discuss the language issue.

I found that responding to the people who ask this question using "clean", was certainly one of the things I did that helped me to feel fully clean and HIV+.  I didn't have all that much trouble - feeling that I was different, or immoral, or dirty or whatever.  But I had to do a little work. 

When I responded to some people online about the clean/dirty, and got the hatred, anger or disgust, rather than being humiliating, it can be a bit empowering and also you just realise that people have hideous prejudice and you need to do a self check to limit your own prejudices, never become just a damn fool, like the haters, and do your little bit to change the world to a better place.  Showing a hater that he's filled with ignorance and hatred, well that alone may well not change him or anything, but every little drop of resistance helps.





« Last Edit: March 13, 2014, 06:26:14 AM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Mrmojorisin

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Re: "Clean"
« Reply #16 on: March 14, 2014, 11:47:33 AM »
It pisses me off to no end when they use the term "clean" to describe their HIV status.  I'm poz but that doesn't mean I am "dirty."  Anytime you try to meet someone (especially gay men), and you begin a conversation, they say they are "clean."

Has anyone else had this issue?  I usually just end the conversation because I don't think I can kindly correct them without my irritation being apparent. 

I knew that here on 'Poz' that you guys would understand my frustration.  Thanks for letting me vent.

 I have heard this same sentiment repeated from many people. Personally for me, I don't get offended at all about the term. I never even thought about it until someone in my support group brought up the subject. I don't believe that for most who use the term are not automatically insinuating that a positive person is dirty when they use vernacular.
 There are plenty of people who discriminate against positive people on purpose and with malice for me to worry about someone who is unaware the term is insensitive. I believe that if you simply point out the fact that many do find it offensive, most will change their habits.. Of course, you will find an asshole or two, but they are not worth your time and worry anyway.
Started Meds On 5/1/2012 Norvair, Truvada, Prezista, and Bactrim

4/17/2012--CD4 83/ VL 353,000  7.0%
5/15/2012--CD4 218/ VL 4,970    14.1%
6/27/2012--CD4 146/ VL 420      6.1%
10/11/2012-CD4-223/ VL-62       9.5%
2/14/2013--CD4-215/ VL-119      13.6%
7/3/2013---CD4-256/ VL-UD       18.0%
10/18/2013 CD4-223/ VL-UD       22.2%
01/23/2014-CD4-381/VL-UD       25.3%--Dropped the Bactrim
05/01/20140CD$-370/VL-UD       23.5%

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