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Author Topic: Something I noticed that seems to be missing at AIDS Conferences  (Read 12368 times)

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Offline aphaun

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  • Posts: 45
As you know, the XVI International AIDS Conference officially closed its session Friday August 18th. One of the driving factors acknowledged to be spreading the AIDS Pandemic is fear.

In most instances HIV, stigma and fear were discussed as problems that exist in developing countries, where ignorance and superstition amplify stigma. Stigma drives people to avoid testing and to rely on mystical treatments or avoidance of treatment rather than concrete life-saving ARVs and sound health information. Discussions seemed to argue that illiteracy and stigma is a problem in the poor countries of the world.

But I see a failure to recognize and talk about the reality of stigma in North American Society.

One major contributor to stigma and fear of disclosure is the United States’ policy with respect to HIV/AIDS. AIDS is incorrectly listed as an infectious disease in the category of leprosy. For this reason, legislation bars entry of HIV positive people to the United States.

“Since 1987, HIV-positive foreigners are banned from entering the USA. Today, the forced repatriation of HIV-positive tourists still happens. Although the US HIV tourist ban has been almost universally criticised – both from within and outside the US – the restrictions remain after almost 20 years. Due to the convoluted nature of the history of this discriminatory piece of legislation, an act of Congress is required to remove it.”—AIDSnet

We know that ignorance and fear fuel the spread of the disease. Fear of disclosure and its consequences prevents open discussion about HIV. Fear and stigma drives HIV/AIDS underground, creating a situation similar what we see in a developing country. People with HIV/AIDS are afraid to admit they have it, partly out of fear of the penalty of disclosure. Discussion about HIV is severely limited. This contributes to the vicious cycle of fear and stigma and amplifies ignorance about HIV/AIDS.

As Thomas Fabregas said at the 1992 VIII International AIDS Conference, “I didn’t bring AIDS to the United States; that’s where I got it.”

Today, as we face the threat of violent terrorist acts, there is increasing likelihood that border guards will discover medications that traveling patients on HIV therapy are using to manage their infection. Discovery of these medications will result in lifelong barring of that person from entry to the United States. This has nothing to do with the search for weapons. But the consequences of discovery of medications are enormous.

To understand this better please read the information at the following link:

http://www.aidsnet.ch/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=246][url]http://www.aidsnet.ch/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=246[/url]

Truthful dialogue and freedom from fear and stigma will help stop the spread of AIDS.

“Reform of the law in this area will require another act of Congress to repeal the ban.”—AIDSnet

I urge you, if you are in the United States, to bring this matter to the attention of your federal representatives and impress upon them how important it is to undo this counterproductive legislation.

aphaun

Offline Jeffreyj

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Re: Something I noticed that seems to be missing at AIDS Conferences
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2006, 05:18:16 AM »
http://mccain.senate.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=Services.Home

My state Senator will be getting an email. Thanks  for sharing this horrible information. This is a disgrace and really outrageous. My government really angers me at times.
Positive since 1985

Offline aphaun

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  • Posts: 45
Re: Something I noticed that seems to be missing at AIDS Conferences
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2006, 01:40:46 PM »
ApparentlyI messed up adding the link.

Please read this:


http://www.aidsnet.ch/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=246


aphaun

Offline emeraldize

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  • Posts: 3,335
Re: Something I noticed that seems to be missing at AIDS Conferences
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2006, 10:35:41 PM »
Aphaun and Jeffrey,

This is a topic Rocky and I discussed at the AMG because this law affects where AMG can be held. But, that alone is a minor reason for pursuing, relentlessly, a change in legislation.

I believe this could be one of the most important issues any of us goes after in the coming weeks and months. And, it is because it will open dialogue of all sorts and will demand that we address fear of disclosure and stigmatism along the way.

I intend to follows Jeffrey's lead and get letter-writing as well as recruiting others to do similarly.

Thank you.

Offline brandy

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  • Posts: 44
Re: Something I noticed that seems to be missing at AIDS Conferences
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2006, 07:15:12 AM »
Hi Guys,
Can I clarify something here? First of all HIVt TOURISTS are not baned from visiting the USA, the only time you are required to take the test for HIV is if you are applying for a PERMANENT VISA.
HIv is not the only disease that you are tested for it also includes tubercolosis, Hepatitis, and other communicable diseases.
Persons applying for a visiting visa, or to travel on business are not required to take this test.
Please note also it is not only the USA where this law apply it is a universal immigration law, I was a victim of this law, however I was one of the many persons who  as an activist for the country where i lived at the time, was invited to attend the UNAIDS Conference on HIV/AIDS that was held in New York a couple years ago.
The problem is countries like the usa for example do not want persons to become a burden on their economy, when you apply for a permanent visa, you do receive papers that state that if you are found positive for ANY of the diseases mentioned above, you will automatically be baned from entering the country, however you can apply for a waiver, for that if you have friends or relatives living in the USA, they will be required on your behalf to file a finanacial statement, that will show that should you become ill, they will be able to take care of you.
When i addressed the UNAids conference, this was one of the main issues, I said it was ironic that the one thing that kept me out of the USA, turned out to be the One Thing that brought me to the USA. I was told then that these laws will not be amended any time soon as it is up to the Government of every country to take care of their own, and if the laws were to be amended the influx of persons with any of these diseases would be costly to the economy.
Now in 2006  and living in the USA, I am wondering how many illegal immigrants who are in this country, living and working have these disease and why that is not being addressed. there are also those who enter on a visiting visa and decided not to go back home.
Maybe some day things will change but for now it still looks extremely bleak.

Brandy

Offline aphaun

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  • Posts: 45
Re: Something I noticed that seems to be missing at AIDS Conferences
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2006, 04:33:43 PM »
Brandy, as much as I wish what you state were true, I know that I do have to conceal my status when I enter the United States.

The ban does exist.

The United States is one of only a handful of countries to completely ban HIV-positive visitors, even for short term tourist stays.

The United States is in the company of such delightful travel destinations as: Armenia, Brunei, China, Fiji, Iraq, Korea (South), Moldavia, the Russian Federation, and Saudi Arabia.

You may read one person’s experience which I was able to tease out of a rather busy website.

http://www.positivelypositive.ca/articles/hiv_us_ban.html

The fact is, the ban exists, and United States Citizens ought to remove it to help end fear, stigma and AIDS.

—aphaun







Offline brandy

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  • Posts: 44
Re: Something I noticed that seems to be missing at AIDS Conferences
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2006, 04:52:23 PM »
aphaun,
I do not think what i say is true,it is a fact, VISITORS TO THE USA ARE NOT REQUIRED TO BE TESTED FOR HIV, ONCE AGAIN ONLY PERSONS REQUIRING PERMANENT RESIDENCE ARE REQUIRED TO DO THIS TEST, AND ONCE AGAIN THE TEST IS NOT ONLY FOR HIV, IT IS FOR ALL COMMUNICABLE DISEASES, I DO NOT KNOW WHY THIS IS AN HIV ISSUE.
LIKE I SAID I WAS A VICTIM OF THIS LAW, AND IT IS AN INTERNATIONAL IMMIGRATION LAW, PEOPLE WITH HIV VIST THE USA ALL THE TIME.
YOU NEED TO GET ON THE INS WEBSITE AND GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT.
BRANDY

Offline brandy

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  • Posts: 44
Re: Something I noticed that seems to be missing at AIDS Conferences
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2006, 05:03:58 PM »
I READ THE ARTICLE YOU SENT THE LINK TO, THIS PERSON HAS HIS FACTS MIXED UP AS WELL.
AT EVERY CONFERENCE ON HIV/AIDS THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF INDIVIDUALS FROM AROUND THE WORD WHO ARE HIV t AND LIVING WITH AIDS INVITED TO THESE CONFERENCES.
THAT IS POSSIBLE BECAUSE THESE INDIVIDUALS ARE GRANTED WHAT IS CALLED A WAIVER,  THE ORGANIZERS OF THESE CONFERENCES GO AS FAR AS TO OFFER THSES INDIVIDUALAS A PER DEUM, AND ALSO PAY FOR THEIR FOOD AND HOTEL COSTS.
ONCE AGAIN I WAS A PART OF THAT,H IS REASON FOR BEING DENIED ENTRY MIGH TBE THAT IT IS ALREADY ON RECORD THAT HE IS HIVt, IF HIS FREINDS AND FAMILY HERE WERE TO OBTAIN AN IMMIGRATION LAWYER,
AND DOCUMENT THEIR FINANCIAL RECORDS AND PROVE TO THE INS THAT HE WOULD NOT BE A BURDEN ON SOCIETY, HIS CASE COULD BE RECONSIDERED.
ALSO HE WOULD HAVE TO BE APART OF AN AIDS ORGANIZATION IN HIS COUNTRY, AND REALLY BE ON THE FRONT LINE TO QUALIFY FOR A WAIVER TO ATTEND CONFERENCES AND WORKSHOPS.

Offline brandy

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  • Posts: 44
Re: Something I noticed that seems to be missing at AIDS Conferences
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2006, 05:05:29 PM »
QUITE HONESTLY IN MY OPINION PEOPLE NEED TO START MAKING CHANGES IN THEIR OWN COUNTRIES AND STOP DEPENDING ON COUNTRIES LIKE THE USA TO SOLVE THEIR PROBLEMS.
BRANDY

Offline aphaun

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  • Posts: 45
Re: Something I noticed that seems to be missing at AIDS Conferences
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2006, 05:08:13 PM »
I don’t think it is necessary to shout.

Somehow you are oblivious to, or misunderstand, or managed to wiggle around and  through the barriers, but here are facts that describe processes I would do my utmost to avoid when visiting the United States.


http://www.unaids.org/unaids_resources/UNGASS/20060508_HLM_Waiver_en.pdf#search=%22disclosure%20of%20hiv%20at%20us%20immigration%22


Offline newone

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  • Posts: 57
Re: Something I noticed that seems to be missing at AIDS Conferences
« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2006, 05:09:15 PM »
Visitors are not required to be tested but they have to lie about their status if asked and if they carry HIV medications they are fu&^%ed...and sent back on the first availible flight to their original  country.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2006, 05:27:31 PM by newone »
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Offline newone

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  • Posts: 57
Re: Something I noticed that seems to be missing at AIDS Conferences
« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2006, 05:23:39 PM »
QUITE HONESTLY IN MY OPINION PEOPLE NEED TO START MAKING CHANGES IN THEIR OWN COUNTRIES AND STOP DEPENDING ON COUNTRIES LIKE THE USA TO SOLVE THEIR PROBLEMS.
BRANDY

..May be this is the answer, keep every hiv+ positive american tourist out of Europe, may this immoral  decision would help to highlight how unfair and stupid this law really is.
Sustiva, Truvada
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Offline aphaun

  • Member
  • Posts: 45
Re: Something I noticed that seems to be missing at AIDS Conferences
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2006, 12:01:19 AM »
Brandy,

Sure, Brad has his facts mixed up.

http://www.positivelypositive.ca/articles/hiv_us_ban.html

All he has to do is walk past the border guards who tell him he can't enter the U.S.A. and simply tell them Brandy says they've got their facts mixed up.

And sure, there are thousands of foreign HIV+ people wandering around the United States attending International AIDS Conferences, in spite of Brad being barred, the ban preventing entry, and despite the fact that since 1990, no International AIDS Conference has been held in the United States.

Though you say people need to start making changes in their own countries and stop depending on countries like the U.S.A. to solve their problems, it appears the U.S.A. has solved yours.

Offline brentxxoo

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  • Posts: 9
Re: Something I noticed that seems to be missing at AIDS Conferences
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2006, 06:29:57 AM »
Not only is he wrong about visitor Visas, most of you are also wrong about Immigration and permanent residence as well.

Yes HIV is considered a disqualifying medical condition for immigration.  But there is a waiver which can be granted for HIV+ immigrants.  This is called an I-601 waiver.  It is only available to spouses of United States citizens and a few others but it is there.  And no, it's not just a pretend statute.  And no I don't know a friend of a friend who got one.  My wife got one.  My wife is Russian (we met in Thailand to do some diving) and we are both HIV+.
 
If you ever travel outside the United States and drive by a US consulate you will see a huge line of people trying to immigrate here.  And if they have HIV or some other issues the ugly, but reasonable question of how are they going to pay for their medical care needs to be faced.

It might be nice to say, oh let them in.  But as a taxpayer I really don't feel like paying the bills for a million immigrants who can't afford to provide medical care for themselves.  And neither do you.  America does a lot but it can't support the entire world for free.  To immigrate to the US an HIV+ person has to pas three tests.  1. Are they aware of their illness and how it is spread.  2. Do they pose a danger to the health of people in the US.  3. Can they prove they won't be a public burden.

And my final point is about the reference that they treat HIV 'like leprosy.'  And why shouldn't they.  Both are infectious diseases.  Both have a social stigma placed on them.  Both are life long illnesses.  That comment was mildly hypocritical if the person who wrote it had HIV.  I bet they would scream boo-hoo if they saw a similar reference that used HIV as the counterpoint.

here's some pictures for you about what the face of HIV really looks like.

http://photos.yahoo.com/brentxxoo

Offline brandy

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  • Posts: 44
Re: Something I noticed that seems to be missing at AIDS Conferences
« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2006, 07:32:17 AM »
Brent,
it so good to see that there is someone else who has the understanding of how this thing works.
there are so many people on this thread who only see what they want to see, and not the bigger picture.
like i mentioned on that other thread persons living in the USA who have a problem with the law, should wirte aletter to their congressman/woman and tell them to amend the law, as they would be willing to open up their homes, provide jobs, health insurance food and clothing for all persons who wish to enter the USA.
It is Ironic that many people do not like Americans but heaven forbid if they cannot get to the USA.
I wonder for those on this thread from other countries who are hivt, and might be living with full blown aids,
if care and treatment for persons in their country living with this disease is adequate?
If persons living with this disease in their country have access to medication?
And if not what are they doing to change that

Offline Matty the Damned

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  • Ninja Please
Re: Something I noticed that seems to be missing at AIDS Conferences
« Reply #15 on: August 30, 2006, 08:00:46 AM »
Brent,

I find your comparison of HIV and leprosy to be inappropriate and offensive. I've reported it.

I won't comment on anything else you've had to say.  >:(

MtD

Offline Ann

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  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: Something I noticed that seems to be missing at AIDS Conferences
« Reply #16 on: August 30, 2006, 08:22:36 AM »
I'm not sure why anyone who is hiv positive would choose to become an illegal immigrant in the US. If someone is going to relocate to obtain treatment they cannot receive in their own country, I hardly think they'd choose a country where the ADAP waiting lists are growing by the day - they'd more likely to go somewhere where the almighty dollar doesn't dictate whether you live or die with hiv, somewhere with universal healthcare.

I'm an American living in Briton. I became positive after I had been living here for about six years. There's no way I'd go back home now, and face a very uncertain treatment future.

And by the way Brandy, it's not the American people so many object to, it's the current administration in the White House.

One more thing, hiv isn't a communicable disease, it's an infectious one. The HUGE difference between hiv and disease such as leprosy or TB is that the latter can be spread through casual contact, while hiv cannot.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

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Offline aphaun

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  • Posts: 45
Re: Something I noticed that seems to be missing at AIDS Conferences
« Reply #17 on: August 30, 2006, 11:34:34 AM »
Matty,

I’m glad you reported it.

Maybe that will change it.

I’m not happy about it either, but I personally can’t do very much about it.

“Under existing regulations, the list of dangerous
contagious diseases includes five sexually transmitted diseases -
- infectious syphilis, gonorrhea, granuloma inguinale,
lymphogranuloma venereum and chancroid. 
HIV was added at the end of 1987 by Congress. 
Infectious leprosy and active tuberculosis round out the current list of eight.”

http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/pre1995pres/910125.txt

I mentioned it to impress upon you all, the hideous prejudice and stigma we face.

That is why I appeal to people in the United States, (this means YOU), to work to change how we are viewed in the legislation.

It was my intention to draw your attention to these medieval attitudes.

It upsets you?
Good.
It upsets me too.
So do something about it!
Contact your Congress Representatives.
ACT UP!
Demand that this injustice be discussed and amended.
Bring the legislation up to date.


Offline aphaun

  • Member
  • Posts: 45
Re: Something I noticed that seems to be missing at AIDS Conferences
« Reply #18 on: August 30, 2006, 12:23:04 PM »
National Center For Infectious Diseases
Division of Global Migration and Quarantine
(formerly the Division of Quarantine)
http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dq/diseases.htm
   

Travelers' Health (Including the Yellow Book and Blue Sheet)
   The US Response to SARS: Role of CDC's Division of Global Migration

Related Diseases

Communicable Diseases of Public Health Significance

These currently include:

   1. Tuberculosis
   2. Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Infection
   3. Syphilis
   4. Chancroid
   5. Gonorrhea
   6. Granuloma Inguinale
   7. Lymphogranuloma Venereum
   8. Hansen's Disease (Leprosy)


This page last reviewed November 26, 2003

Offline brentxxoo

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  • Posts: 9
Re: Something I noticed that seems to be missing at AIDS Conferences
« Reply #19 on: August 30, 2006, 02:22:23 PM »


Oh you 'reported me Matty' oh no.  Eeeeeek!

Maybe if you actually read what I write you would realize that my position is the fair and humane one.  It offered the view that HIV and Leprosy are similar problems, deserving of similar compassion, and similar respect.  Gee I'm sorry that offended you.  I guess you are in that category of people who think it's OK to be offended at HIV discrimination but don't even see how often they discriminate against others.

Ann - I don't think they know how Leprosy is spread.  TB can be caught without having sex but can be easily contained if the person will follow proper medical treatment.  My point here, and in my first post is this.  If HIV discrimination is unfair, so must it be unfair to discriminate against other medical illnesses.  I'm really sorry for anyone who disagrees with me but feel free to report me all you like.  I am not so blind to think that just because I have HIV then it must be the only problem of any importance.  I also thought your attitude about receiving medical care was revealing. You don't want to come back to the USA for an 'uncertain future'.  In other words you are happy to stay where someone else pays for your problem.  ADAP is government welfare.  How sick are you?  Do you have a job?  The US thinks healthy people should work, but I've never seen someone who was sick here in the US be denied proper treatment.  But I've started to see a lot of people get mad because they can glomm free SSI/SSDI with zero viral load and 500+ Tcells.  So you stay in the UK.  Pay 5 pound for 4 liters of gas, and 2000 pounds for a cheap computer.  Lets face it they need to collect those taxes to keep that socialist system grinding away.

Having traveled all over the world with my wife we found it was rare to be in a country with NO means to treat HIV.  Usually the poorer countries would use Stocrin (Sustiva) and Combivir.  In the more developed countries we had no problems getting drugs local instead of having them mailed from the US.  The best place I from my point of view was the Scandinavian countries.  They are so polite and calm.  Ha ha when I had to refill a Rx the doctor was so worried I had just found out.  He was trying so hard to reassure me and comfort me.  And the comical part of that was it cost about $22 for a month supply for Stocrin v. $373 here.  I guess someone is making a lot of cash someplace in the US.  There were countries so poor that AIDS treatment was non-existant but in those places the social problems were so extreme it was hard to imagine that HIV was the only issue needing to be faced.  In Cambodia (by far the poorest country I have ever seen) countless  people missing arms and legs were begging on the street.  They had lost their limbs to the millions of uncleared land mines still in place and had no means to survive beyond begging.  In this context I would suggest that while HIV/AIDS is certainly a prime problem it is only one of many.

And Brandy,  you are very very correct.  Everyone likes to talk smack about America. But oh boy, let's not refuse these people a Visa.  Amazing to see that disconnect.  Everyone running down America but no other consulate in any other country ever had a line snaking down the street made up of people filling out immigration forms.  Not the EU, the UK, or Australia.  The lines were always in front of the US Consulate.  Even in the EU the lines at the US Consulate were huge.

Aphuan - You're glad he reported it.  And your signature block says 'it upsets you...good'.  So in other words what you mean is it's OK for you to say something other people don't agree with but anyone who disagrees with you should be 'reported.'  Haha so comical.  Its that attitude which made ACT-up become a joke.  Which was to bad as they did excellent work in the early days.

Activism is setting a good example.  Activism is not being a victim.  Activism is being empowered.


Offline brandy

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  • Posts: 44
Re: Something I noticed that seems to be missing at AIDS Conferences
« Reply #20 on: August 30, 2006, 03:04:04 PM »
Brent,
it seems like you and I are the only ones on this thread with the sense to see the picture for what it is.
 I wonder if it is because we ourselves had to deal with the ramifications of the hiv laws when it comes to entering the USA, and we bothered to explore what it ment, and how ourselves and or spouses could LEGALLY be able to enter the USA after a hivt diagnosis, and we did the right thing and provided the right documentations.

It appears to me that a lot of persons on this thread would rather ride on the back on the fact that they are hivt, rather than to see what can or can not be done.
I wonder how many of them would even be aware of this if they were not hivt.
We are not SPECIAL because we are hivt, many of us need to stop using this disease as a crutch, there is life after a hiv diagnosis, even for those who will never make it the the USA.
As for Ann who now resides the UK, maybe you can write a letter to the powers that be in the UK, and get them to allow all the hivt persons, who are denied entry to the USA (Because the USA is such a terrible place), to welcome all these persons with open arms to the UK.

Offline brandy

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Re: Something I noticed that seems to be missing at AIDS Conferences
« Reply #21 on: August 30, 2006, 03:10:13 PM »
Ann,
maybe you need to contact the National Center For Infectious Diseases and tell them that HIV is not a communicable disease, since it is obvious that you are better qualified  and versed in this area than they are.
Apparently the persons who make these decisions should contact you for future references.

Offline brandy

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Re: Something I noticed that seems to be missing at AIDS Conferences
« Reply #22 on: August 30, 2006, 05:39:28 PM »
Aphaun,
I see where you tired to start another forum along the lines of iimmigration, thanks to the moderators who decided to have it locked.
You seem to have an agenda here, you seem to be more hell bent about visiting your family and friends here in the USA, than you are about the actual immigration clause.
Lets see, maybe if you get off your sad ass, and stop crying foul, you might come up with plausable solutions, here is one how about your friends  and family visting you.
The heading for for your forum was THE BOSTON CONFERENCE, but nowhere in that thread was the conference mentioned, what was mentioned was a weekend family anniversary, hey maybe your family might be kind enough and understand "HOW HARD IT IS FOR YOU TO GET HERE, AND HAVE THE ANNIVERSARY IN TORONTO".
You are one of those who seem to want to ride on the back of hiv, and you have the nerve to say you can't speak out because you would be barred, you can't speak out beacuse you are not a US CITIZEN, AND IT'S UP TO THOSE IN THE USA TO STOP STIGMA, FEAR AND AIDS. Bull S..., you are nothing but a coward, who want to use others to fight your battle.
If it were not for the Millions of persons infected with hiv/aids, who decided to speak up about what it means to live with this disease, this forum( in as much as i am in disagreement with a few persons , but we all have our own opinions) would not exist, if it were not for the millions of persons infected with hiv/aids who gave their faces and voices to the cause,  hiv would still be the silent epidemic.
How dare you try to use your diagnosis as a crutch, when so many others are still dying from lack of treatment and care?
Get off your ass, start doing something positive, and give your issue a break, it has become REDUNDANT.
Brandy

Offline brentxxoo

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Re: Something I noticed that seems to be missing at AIDS Conferences
« Reply #23 on: August 30, 2006, 05:52:15 PM »
Brandy,

How refreshing it is to hear from someone who isn't afraid to call it like it is.  I've had HIV for almost 17 years.  I was diagnosed in January 1990.  And the victim mentality has been revolting for that long to me as well.

Oh boo hoo I have HIV give me free stuff.  Oh boo hoo I should be special because I have HIV.  Poor me, I want something and I have HIV that means all I have to do is whine about HIV and it should be given to me.

Sorry.  Life has never been that way.  You go work towards your goals and you deal with setbacks and adversity with a minimum of self pity.

I've seen plenty of people die with thier dignity intact.  But I've seen more people live without a shred of dignity.

Yeah there is plenty to do regarding HIV, immigration laws, medical care, and social perceptions.  But among the things to be fixed are the Victim Persona so easily attached and accepted by people who have HIV.

I'd much rather have HIV than suffer like Christopher Reeves did.  And I'd rather deal with HIV than be blind, or disfigured and shunned because of leprosy.  All things considered I could have it worse...much worse.  And I've never forgotten that.

Hey Brandy email me.  My wife and I would like to swap immigration stories.

Brent  (brentxxoo@yahoo.com)

Offline brandy

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Re: Something I noticed that seems to be missing at AIDS Conferences
« Reply #24 on: August 30, 2006, 06:12:48 PM »
Hey Brent,
You know Where I come from in Jamaica I have seen what the stigma, and fear of this disease can actually do to persons living with the disease, back when I was denied entry to the USA, instead of bawling and feeling sorry for myself,  I became one of the voices and faces of persons living with HIV/AIDS, who made the public realise that this disease is a human disease and persons infected have not lost their humanity, I stood up gave voice and ACTION to the cause, I remember how persons like myself would be in invited to Seminars and such on HIV/AIDS, but guess what we were not allowed to speak, the doctors, social workers etc. were the ones telling our story, I said BUll S..., nobody knows our experiences better than we do, I helped to break that barrier, I remember at one point at A seminar on hiv/aids, care and treatment of persons living with the disease, our haelth minister said the govt. did not have money to waste on persons who were going to die anyway, I Told him in no uncertain terms what I thought of him and his govt, HE later apologised, I did not.
We all are so fortuneate to still be alive and kicking in an age when meds are available, we should give thanks, I lost close to 60 friends who tied of AIDS related conditions, back when I lived in Jamaica every week someone was admitted to the hospital, every week someone died.
I am not patting myself on the back, but as persons living with this disease we have to be the ones on the front line, because for us  it is not a job, a charity or a hobby, it is a reality.
Brandy
P.S. tried to send you an email, but it came back, email me at brandyx60@yahoo.com
PEACE

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Something I noticed that seems to be missing at AIDS Conferences
« Reply #25 on: August 30, 2006, 07:19:24 PM »
Brent and Brandy,

I'm so glad that you two have found each other. You seem to share a common mind. You can exchange smug, self-righteous emails about all us mean old pinko victim mentality types that are making the world so unbearable for your good selves.

Who knows? You could even get together and start a blog. Change the world that way! See, the rest of us here have absolutely no idea what it's like. Privileged and pampered things that we are.

Thank Christ you've arrived to show us the way.

MtD

Offline brentxxoo

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Re: Something I noticed that seems to be missing at AIDS Conferences
« Reply #26 on: August 30, 2006, 07:28:36 PM »
Yes.  All to often the professionals will try to decide what is best for 'us.' Fortunately for me I have found doctors who realize we have to work in a partnership to be successful.  The reality is no one can or will worry about your skin as much as you will.

And I agree that is is too easy to sit down and wallow in self pity instead of doing something about the problem.

I actually don't agree with the US policy that tourist visas are denied if there is a suspicion of HIV.  Russia, China, Australia and Cuba are the only other countries which have such a policy although more and more are looking at doing that.  Now certainly a person with HIV should be reviewed to see if he is a risk for overstaying a tourist visa.  But it is moving backwards to try to restrict a tourist with HIV from entering the country.  Better to let aware tourists in than people with HIV in who don't even know they have it. It isn't unreasonable to determine if people can be financially responsible for themselves or are just trying to get in so they can freeload off the system.  But to have a blanket view that anyone with HIV shouldn't be allowed in is just a reaction to the Victim Stereotype where anyone with HIV is viewed as non-working and financially unable to take care of themselves.  And I assure you that is not the case.

Now if someone isn't working, no strong ties to their home country maybe they shouldn't just be given a visa to breeze in.  But even having HIV didn't prevent me from seeing Russia and Australia.  I just accidentally check the wrong box on the immigration form.  And I felt bad that I had to do that, and I felt bad that the governments felt they had to look at me that way.  And I know of a lot of people who come to the US on the visa waiver program (EU, UK, Australia) who do the same thing.  Yes there should be change there.  But crying about it doesn't make change.  Showing the world the law is incorrect, and overly broad is a better way to deal with it.  Showing the world that HIV isn't about  being a victim, and isn't about looking at the quickest way to get disability is the best way to remove these barriers of trust.

Poor poor matty.  But I'd rather exchange smug emails than weeping and wailing about how sad my life is.  And you have no 'idea what it's like' to be privileged and pampered probably because you never worked to achieve that.  Better to have nothing and whine than, God forbid, get a job and have something you earned.

As for thanking Christ for having me and Brandy here to show you the way I certainly understand your gratitude but really we're just happy to help out.

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Something I noticed that seems to be missing at AIDS Conferences
« Reply #27 on: August 30, 2006, 07:36:00 PM »
Tell it to Brandy, doll. She's the only one who cares.

MtD

Offline Ann

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Re: Something I noticed that seems to be missing at AIDS Conferences
« Reply #28 on: August 30, 2006, 07:45:43 PM »
Quote
In other words you are happy to stay where someone else pays for your problem.

Brent,

Someone else pays for my problem? Taxes pay for "my problem", taxes that I too pay.

I want to remind both you and Brandy and anyone else who cares to comment further in this thread - personal attacks are not tolerated on these forums. A few of you have been sailing very close to the wind on that score. If you need to review the posting guidelines of these forums, please read the Welcome Thread posted at the top of the Living With HIV forum.

Ann
 
« Last Edit: August 30, 2006, 07:48:32 PM by Ann »
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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 brandy

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Re: Something I noticed that seems to be missing at AIDS Conferences
« Reply #29 on: August 30, 2006, 08:03:23 PM »
to Ann,
First of all let me say I call the shots as I see it, I am not a hypocrite, if my opinionss offend you oh well, there have been opinions on this forum that have offended me as well.
If you want to restrict me from using this froum, don't even waste your time as this will be my last post, frankly I would rather converse with persons who are not as hypocritical as you are.
It must be so heartwarming for you that you are a moderator and can throw your weight around.
And as for you Matt, yes I would rather exchange smug emais with Brent, than MORONS like you

Offline brentxxoo

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Re: Something I noticed that seems to be missing at AIDS Conferences
« Reply #30 on: August 30, 2006, 08:09:05 PM »
My point exactly Ann.  Someone has to pay for your medical care.  Either through higher taxes, private insurance, company funded insurance...something.  There is no free ride.  We all have to pay in one fashion or another.  And once that idea is accepted then I think it would be far easier to deal with the ecconomic issues of HIV which would really help the social issues as well.  Living in the UK it's likely you don't pay any less in additional taxes (even if you are very poor) than you would pay to have a basic health insurance here in the US.  Just one pocket or the other.  And at least here you would never need to eat bangers and mash again...haahahha

There aint no free lunch.

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Something I noticed that seems to be missing at AIDS Conferences
« Reply #31 on: August 30, 2006, 09:20:31 PM »
Brent, you say that you've never known anyone who needed medical care to be denied it in the U.S. You might hear otherwise from those who are on waiting lists for ADAP to get the HIV meds.

Brandy, you're obviously as free to leave as you were to come here initially. Should you choose to participate again I will just remind you that attacking people is not acceptable here and will not be tolerated. (By you or by anyone else for that matter.) And there is a difference between disagreeing and attacking.   

This thread has gone in a direction of people expressing positions which are becoming increasingly polarized and hostile.

Anyone who reads the thread now will "get" what each writer has to say whether they agree with it or not.

Unless someone has some burning need to say something that would encourage progressive communication I would encourage people to step back and let this be for the timebeing.
Andy Velez

Offline aphaun

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Re: Something I noticed that seems to be missing at AIDS Conferences
« Reply #32 on: August 30, 2006, 10:16:11 PM »

The danger is the walls we build and prejudices we live by.

HIV is a symbol.

We need to see the person behind the symbol.


Offline Ann

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Re: Something I noticed that seems to be missing at AIDS Conferences
« Reply #33 on: August 31, 2006, 04:51:29 AM »
Brent,

Please don't put words into my mouth. I never said I receive "free" treatment. I am fully aware of where NHS funding comes from where I live. I only said my treatment would very uncertain were I to go back to the States, and there are many reasons behind that.

You seem to be very down on British society. I happen to like it, even if I never eat bangers and mash - I'm vegetarian. You seem to make an awful lot of assumptions about me. Please don't.

Ann
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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 Ann

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Re: Something I noticed that seems to be missing at AIDS Conferences
« Reply #34 on: August 31, 2006, 04:57:08 AM »
Brandy,

You are most welcome to voice your opinions here. However, name calling and other inflammatory language has no place in these forums. It is perfectly possible to voice your opinion without resorting to saying things like this:

Quote
And as for you Matt, yes I would rather exchange smug emais with Brent, than MORONS like you

No name calling or other personal attacks, please. Thank you for your cooperation.

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 shelly

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Re: Something I noticed that seems to be missing at AIDS Conferences
« Reply #35 on: August 31, 2006, 07:20:35 AM »
Hi,
I am new to this site and after reading all the posts on this thread, i just wanted to add my little bit,
There is some truth in what Brandy and Brent said, even though it might have seemed a little harsh, and I did read the other posts that Aphaun posted, and I have to agree with Brandy on that one it would seem his main  objective is to find a way to get into the USA.
Enough on that, last night I caught on the showtime channel, a documentary by Steve Lawrence (I think that was his name) on HIV/AIDS in Afirca, and at the end of that Documtary I had tears in my eyes, here we are fighting over wether it is right to allow hivt persons into the USA, and here you have people, women and Children, who have no access to proper running water, no access to televsions, no access to the things we take for granted, all suffering and dying from Aids, and all they are asking for is ARVS, so they can stay alive.
There were 18 orphans living in one house whose parents both died from AIDS, their 86 year old Grandmother had to be careing for them, she got sick and ended up in the hospital, these orphans ages 5-15, had to take care of themselves, they came home from school, had to go and dig for potatoes just to have something to eat, How many of our children know what it is like to have to dig for food?
It would seem to me that it would be more worthwhile to see what we can do to help those in other countries to be able to access care and treatment  rather than be so concerned about entering the USA.
So what if there are persons who will never get the chance to vist the USA? HIVt or otherwise, the point is life goes on.
There was one village where 80% of the women were either HIVt or had full blown AIDS, their mian concern was who would care for their children when they were gone.
Here in the Western world where we have access to Care and Treatment, we can see a life after a HIV diagnosis, the only thing they can see after a diagnosis, is DEATH.
We take so much for granted, without even realising just how lucky we are.
Maybe we can help by donating unused meds to the Steve Lawrence Foundation, or in some other way, but we are all in this together, and it just bothers me that while we can live healthy, fruitful lives, others are dying.
Shelly

Offline Tim Horn

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Re: Something I noticed that seems to be missing at AIDS Conferences
« Reply #36 on: August 31, 2006, 10:01:29 AM »
Wow, Shelly...

How REMARKABLE!  You have the same writing style as Brandy and, wouldn't you know it, the same IP number!  No wonder you have so much in common.

"There is some truth in what Brandy and Brent said..."  Really... you crack me up. 

Consider yourself banned, as you've officially violated the Terms of Membership of this site:

Only one user name is permitted per member. The user name you select upon registering for the Forums should be the user name you remain with throughout your participation in the Forums. Maintaining more than one user name is a violation of these Terms of Membership and is subject to automatic removal from the Forums, locking of the multiple accounts (including the original account), and banning to prevent future registration. http://forums.poz.com/Terms.htm

Tim Horn
« Last Edit: August 31, 2006, 10:06:47 AM by Tim Horn »

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Something I noticed that seems to be missing at AIDS Conferences
« Reply #37 on: August 31, 2006, 10:31:01 AM »
Brandy/Shelly,

I will only add to Tim's comments that you would possibly find a more receptive audience for a dialogue if the quaity of your comments reflected the kind of thoughtfulness you seem to be urging upon others.

Compassion includes basics like courtesy and humility. And humility should not be confused with humiliation.

In a very short time you managed to alienate people who are very concerned about the same issues you claim to be advocating about.

You've lost the privilege of posting on this site so I can only urge you to consider your role in causing that to  happen.
Andy Velez

Offline aphaun

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Re: Something I noticed that seems to be missing at AIDS Conferences
« Reply #38 on: August 31, 2006, 05:01:14 PM »
It’s very sad that AIDS activism is practically nonexistent. Twisted energies caused that powerful movement to self-destruct.

I recall the dearest, most sincere activists who worked themselves to death to find a solution to end this pandemic long before it enveloped the Globe.

ACT Up Golden Gate was crushed by competing idiots who used violence to obliterate not only ACT UP GG, but along with it, themselves and the Movement in the bargain.

By mentioning the late Thomas Fabregas at the beginning of this thread, I endeavoured to highlight a significant period in the history of the IACs. It was at the VIII IAC where Thomas challenged the immigration issue.

The threat of the Global Spread of AIDS was foretold at that IAC in the activist’s cry, “AIDS Knows No Borders”.

The last IAC was the XVI, and eight conferences have passed since Amsterdam.

Globally, we are in far worse shape today than we were in 1992.

That VIII International AIDS Conference was moved from Boston to Amsterdam because of the ban. Those are some fragments of the picture I was alluding to.

Whether I cross the border or not isn’t important.

It’s the prevention of the free movement of people to engage in constructive discourse to teach and learn and to help stop AIDS that is important.

That was what I hoped to illustrate. That was why I posted in the AIDS Activism Forum.


Offline brentxxoo

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Re: Something I noticed that seems to be missing at AIDS Conferences
« Reply #39 on: August 31, 2006, 06:15:13 PM »
Ok where to begin.

Ann - Actually I have few assumptions about you at all.  I'm not sure how you got the idea I had any assumptions.  If it was the parenthetical about being poor that was not directed at you it was a confirmation that poor or rich people end up paying for things one way or another.  As for the bangers and mash that was, exactly as it appeared, a joke to try to lighten the tone.  As for being down on British Society.  I think they are a little far along Socialist road.  I thought the US had it bad  for being 'politically correct' but the UK has us beat hands down.  I also don't like their intrusiveness into the most trivial details of my life.  In the UK you actually need a doctors note before you can use a Gym.  You also need a doctors note before you can Scuba dive.  Really, a 15 minute visit to a GP isn't going to detect the types of problems that would pose a serious danger to working out, or diving.  But I bet you get all kinds of doctors who don't know much about either who charge a hundred pounds for the visit then are to scared to 'give me permission' to do the activities I want.  Basically through government action the UK population needs written permission to do a lot of recreational activities.  Yeah, I thought that was gross.  And I thought that sheeeple mentality was reflected in many of the people I have met in and from the UK.  Of course not everyone was like that but enough were. 


Andy -  I'm not a big fan of heavy handed moderators.  While it can be difficult to distinguish between what is fair and constructive debate (or even reasonable arguing) the idea of policing civil, and non confrontational messages is the sign of someone who wants to steer debate in one direction or another.  You already jumped in and played police man to slow the topic down and now you've publically made an accusation about shelly (who may or may not be Brandy I didn't see the logs) but in doing so you publicly accused her of something and apparently restricted her ability to respond and or defend herself.  There are a lot of forums for discussing HIV.  And certainly some of them are free-for-alls in need of serious moderation.  But here, in this thread the topic was about immigrations.  And the fact is of everyone posting here, from what I can see, only Brandy or myself have any first hand knowledge about the topic.  And we not only have first hand experience we were successful at the process.  Clearly we have something of value to add to the topic.  Telling me that you don't like what I have to say pretty much indicates that you would rather have a thread filled with warm hugs and speculation and rumors rather than good factual information.  Something to consider there.  One thing I know to be 100% true is knowledge is power.  I'd rather have good information even if I disagreed with some of what was included in the information than half baked guesses phrased in politically correct terms designed to offend the least amount of people.  And based on what I've seen if you feel compelled to ban me for speaking freely do so without the public scolding with no threat of reply.  I would find that disagreebale.


And in general - donating used medicines is technically not allowed by the state and federal government.  In fact a highly respected doctor (a speaker at the International AIDS conference in Thailand) was threatened and abused by the Florida government for sending his patients unused medicines to some of the poorest Carribean countries.  Florida's position was that Medicare/Medicaid/Private Insurance had paid for these drugs so he was committing fraud against the Medicare/Medicaid/Ins. Co by sending the to other people.  He spent 2 years and a few hundred grand to make Florida go away.  But he sure won't try do direct unused medicine anywhere else ever again.  That's the type of shit that needs to be stopped.  Some wacko prosecutor thinking about a run for governor figured bringing down a respected HIV doctor would really be a coup.  Thank God he failed.  But pity the people who can't the the 2 bottles of Viracept I have left over from when I developed resistance and switched to Kaletra.




Offline aphaun

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Re: Something I noticed that seems to be missing at AIDS Conferences
« Reply #40 on: December 05, 2006, 12:11:58 AM »
The least likely person issued an Executive Order on World AIDS Day.
Though not the ideal decree, it is a surprise and cause for optimism in this area of stigmatization.
It will ease restrictions for entry to the USA by people living with HIV/AIDS.
Read about it at Kaiser and AIDS Healthcare Foundation's Global Advocacy Department.
Regards to all,
aphaun

 


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