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Author Topic: First Memories of HIV/AIDS  (Read 7947 times)

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Offline thunter34

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First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« on: January 09, 2007, 11:45:22 PM »
This talk about the 'In The Life' interview with Andy and about ACT UP got me to thinking:  What are some of your first memories of HIV/AIDS?  Here are mine:

1.  Billboards plastered all around the south that read:                 AIDS:  Judgement has come!

2.  Hollywood actresses pleading for 'kissing clauses' to protect them from potential infection from lip-locks with co-stars.

3.  T-shirts that read:  STOP AIDS with the figures of one guy bent over in front of another and that little circle with the bar running through it.

4.  My 7th grade algebra teacher telling all of us that we would never have to worry about it...as long as we weren't "that way" (said with a large limp wristed gesture).  That was my first memory of realization that this thing was someday going to cross my path.

5.  The term GRID (Gay Related Immuno Deficiency).

6.  Rock Hudson

7.  News casts about people getting quarantined in their homes.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2007, 12:15:06 AM by thunter34 »
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline Eldon

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Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2007, 11:46:29 PM »
Shock.

Offline thunter34

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Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2007, 11:52:16 PM »
No kidding.

Oh, yes...and jokes also.  Like this gem from the early to mid 80's:


Say, have you heard about that new hospital they're building for AIDS patients in Atlanta?

Yeah.  They're gonna call it 'Sick Fags Over Georgia'.



Hardy Har Har.


As you can tell, that one burned a hole into my brain that's never fully healed.
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline lydgate

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Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2007, 12:21:47 AM »
I'm racking my brain and I can't recall my first memory of coming across the words (well, acronyms) "HIV" or "AIDS." It must have been something I read in my dad's TIME magazines, circa mid-80s.

But I vividly recall:

(1) Rock Hudson.

(2) Asking my school counselor in 9th grade (87 or 88) why gay men were being infected at such high rates. I was definitely not out at the time; I got a lot of flak from my peers for asking a questions about faggots.

(3) Magic Johnson.

(4) My first test, freshman year, even though condoms were used.

(5) The March on Washington, 1993. Walking silently past the protestors who had signs reading "AIDS is God's punishment to faggots" etc.

(6) Shouting at some hapless junior executive of a Bombay phone directory: next to the list of ASOs, there was a graphic of a skull-and-crossbones.

Jay
Her finely-touched spirit had still its fine issues, though they were not widely visible. Her full nature, like that river of which Cyrus broke the strength, spent itself in channels which had no great name on the earth. But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.

George Eliot, Middlemarch, final paragraph

Offline Jnm594

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Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2007, 12:38:28 AM »
Ditto to the above and I grew up in FL and remember several times where people were forced to move out of town or literally had thier homes burned down along with kids being expelled from school, remember the two kids in central florida that had their house burned down and the fire department wouldn't come and put it out? I vividly remember discussions that the state would forcibly relocate people to state land in the everglades and another discussion to turn Guantanamo Bay into a quarantine zone since it technically is U.S. land.

Anyone else remember when they thought it could be transmitted by mosquitos? The town I grew up in shut down at dusk so they wouldn't get "the plague", stores closed, drive in closed, etc.

Oh how far we've come and how far we still have to go.
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Offline skeebo1969

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Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2007, 12:41:24 AM »

  Man the only thing I can really remember is:

  1) Rock Hudson being wheeled out of a plane on a gurney on news.

  2) How bad the peas tasted when I was watching the news of Rock

  3) Rock's death

  4) Rock's pics on People Magazine
I despise the song Love is in the Air, you should too.

Offline GSOgymrat

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Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2007, 02:16:14 AM »
I vaguely remember reading an article in The Advocate. I do remember there being a story on the cover of Time or Newsweek. I remember the first person I knew who had AIDS: he and his partner didn't live very long. Unlike a lot of people on here I don't know a lot of people who have died of AIDS even though I was out in the mid-80s.

Offline cubbybear

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Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2007, 03:09:46 AM »
My first memory of HIV/AIDS was a commerical on television that involved the grim reaper playing 10 pin bowling, sept the pins were people.  The boom would come down to sweep the people away and they were dead and stuff.  I think I was about 14 or so.  When I was 18, and was just hitting the gay clubs, people would point out others and say, so and so over there has aids, stay away from them.  It's was all a bit scary.
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Offline Queen Tokelove

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Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2007, 03:24:45 AM »
My first memory of hiv/aids was when I lived in Miami, a friend of mine who was a drag queen named Angie died. The next one was when another friend, gay, who lived in my apt building. Other people in the building use to whisper about not eating anything from him or using his utensils because you will get aids.. ::)
Started Atripla/Ziagen on 9/13/07.
10/31/07 CD4-265 VL- undetectable
2/6/08 CD4- 401 VL- undetectable
5/7/08 CD4- 705 VL- undetectable
6/4/08 CD4- 775 VL- undetectable
8/6/08 CD4- 805 VL- undetectable
11/13/08 CD4- 774 VL--undetectable
2/4/09  CD4- 484  VL- 18,000 (2 months off meds)
3/3/09---Starting Back on Meds---
4/27/09 CD4- 664 VL-- undetectable
6/17/09 CD4- 438 VL- 439
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01-22-10-- CD4- 525 VL- 59,000
Cherish the simple things life has to offer

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Offline carousel

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Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2007, 04:32:38 AM »
.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2007, 10:39:33 AM by carousel »

Offline OzPaul

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Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2007, 05:10:30 AM »
1981 NY. There was no name.

Men, friends and acquaintances with purple lesions, rapid weight loss, the shits and some beginning to die before our eyes. The NY Times had a very small blurb about 'gay cancer'. The panic in the gay  community was palpable.

Very scary.

I was a 21 year old ballet dancer.

Paul

Offline ChaplinGuy

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Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2007, 06:53:27 AM »

My first memory was in the 2nd grade (mid-1980s), when a kid in my class joked that I had AIDS. I had no idea what he was talking about, and of course at that time was not HIV+. (In fact, I remember thinking he had said I had "eggs" and didn't understand why that was bad.) I had forgotten that memory until testing positive last year, but now it seems like some kind of foreshadowing.

Offline Coffeechick88

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Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2007, 07:18:33 AM »
I was only born in November of 1980, so while I did hear some about it early on, it really didn't mean much to me.  My cousins lived in Kokomo and my mom took me there often to play, and I did hear talk of Ryan White during the whole time that deal was happening.  But being a kid, I just went back to playing.  Also during second grade, I remember someone asked me a question.  After answering, they said, "Are you positive?"  I said, "yes."  He said, "HIV positive?"  Then he guffawed as if that was the funniest thing he had ever said.

I did remember hearing about Magic Johnson and hearing the teacher say, "It's because he couldn't keep his pants zipped."  I was either in 5th grade or beginning 6th grade I don't remember.  Also, since the only sex education I had involved when they separated the boys and girls and we had to watch a video where they made pancakes shaped like the female organs as a teaching tool and my parents refused to talk to me about sex and the only bit of sex knowledge came from some of my friends who had caught their parents "doing it", I raised my hand and asked, "How does forgetting to zip your pants give you that?" thinking in literal terms.  As far as I heard if you weren't gay, you didn't get it (we had a family friend who was gay and also had it, but my parents never really let me near him--I only met him when I actually got diagnosed.), so this was a new thing for me.  The teacher got a red face and explained that he had sex with a lot of people.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2007, 07:22:53 AM by Coffeechick88 »
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Offline bear60

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Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2007, 08:17:11 AM »
This too:
ACT UP
SILENCE = DEATH
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Offline alterman

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Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2007, 09:27:26 AM »
I remember a friend of mine in 1987 was walking down by my house where all the fellows hangout at.He was so sick because I could see him laboring so hard to catch his breath.
I ask him where was he going, he said to the hospital,I told him to get in my car,and when he got in I ask him whats wrong Boo.He said I got asthma.I know he was a drug user because him and me both use to shootup.And he told me to stop using drugs and get on methadome because its something going around man and its making everybody sick.
I was wondering why his brother or his mom didn't give hiome a ride to the hospital.they treated him so bad.
Boo died about a month after I saw him.

Offline allopathicholistic

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Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2007, 10:37:49 AM »
 Man the only thing I can really remember is:

  1) Rock Hudson being wheeled out of a plane on a gurney on news.

  2) How bad the peas tasted when I was watching the news of Rock

  3) Rock's death

  4) Rock's pics on People Magazine

1) yeah - and the "before and after" pics of rock hudson - which were not necessary

2) "patient zero" (that came a little later)

Offline poet

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Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2007, 10:48:41 AM »
I was infected in a NYC bathhouse in 1984 and to my recollection there were two pictures: background noise- think of blurred images- that something was going on; life as usual in the West Village, East Village, bathhouses and bars: lot's of men walking down to the Hudson River and back and lot's of (unprotected) sex.  By 1987 I was working as a home attendant/whatever so my images were of ks up close, guys in their last days, weak, tired, abandoned, hickman catheters, breathing in vapors against pcp, obituaries which I used in collages.  Win
Winthrop Smith has published three collections of poetry: Ghetto: From The First Five; The Weigh-In: Collected Poems; Skin Check: New York Poems.  The last was published in December 2006.  He has a work-in-progress underway titled Starting Positions.

Offline thunter34

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Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2007, 12:15:35 PM »
Keith Haring


Robert Mapplethorpe

[attachment deleted by admin]
« Last Edit: January 10, 2007, 12:30:06 PM by thunter34 »
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline thunter34

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Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2007, 12:40:35 PM »
And this Ad Campaign from Benetton:

[attachment deleted by admin]
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline Jeffreyj

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Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #19 on: January 10, 2007, 01:00:05 PM »
I read an article in Rolling Stone Magazine about a "Mysterious Killer " in the gay community. This was sometime in 1984. That article is what made me go get checked out, and probably saved my life.
It was believed to be some sort of "Gay Cancer" if I recall correctly.

My DR telling me I had HTLVIII....(now HIV) and that I was going to die, since there was no known cure.

Scary days, indeed.
Positive since 1985

Offline Boo Radley

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Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #20 on: January 10, 2007, 01:01:59 PM »
I was working in the government documents department in the library at Crapola U in N.O in June of 1981.  I remember the first report in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) which described cases of 5 gay men in NYC (and maybe others in LA) who had PCP, 2 of whom had died.  Keep in mind before this time PCP was always a SECONDARY complication of another (known) pathological condition, rarely fatal. 

Luckily I moved out of govdocs after 6 months but returned on lunch hours occasionally to pore over MMWRs to find more developments.  By that time guys in N.O. were getting sick and dying and I was a sexually active 31 year old.  My best friend was sure there was a government conspiracy to interfere with each man's god-given right to have sex like a rabbit but I've never been big on conspiracy theories -- besides, they couldn't just make up numbers of dead people without someone catching on, even though mostly the mainstream press used AIDS stories as small filler articles or didn't bother to report on it at all.  Besides, people we knew were ill. 

By late 1982 several thousand gay men all over the USA were ill and it appeared each would die.  Our wonderful President Ronnie Raygun ignored AIDS for several more years and the CDC and NIH were given no new funding to perform necessary research on the epidemic.  The "news medium" still pretty much ignored this plague or made scant mention of it.  It only got worse over the next several years.  If it wasn't for gay men and lesbians (and some straight-thinking straights) many ill people would have had no assistance while becoming increasingly more ill and unable to care for themselves.

Rock Hudson made AIDS a reality when his illness was finally revealed to the American public in 1985 (that's sarcasm in case it's not obvious).  AZT became available in 1987 and for many people it was all that kept them alive.  Being the person I am I put off testing until December, 1989 because it seemed so useless to know since there was only one therapy available and it was pulled off the shelves of failed cancer treatments.  Discovering my soon-to-be-ex's bottle of AZT made me change my mind.

Boo
« Last Edit: January 10, 2007, 01:05:15 PM by Boo Radley »
String up every aristocrat!
Out with the priests and let them live on their fat!





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Offline pozguy75

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Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #21 on: January 10, 2007, 01:15:10 PM »
Well being 31...my first memory of AIDS was Rock Hudson...what a shocker that was. I was in elementary school, 4th grade and I can remember the jokes then: What do you call Rock Hudson in a wheel chair? Roll AIDS...ha, bloody ha!

It wasn't really until Greg Loughanis and Magic Johnson ended up on the TV, was I really aware...since then well...I am here...
Dx 2005
ATRIPLA

Offline Boo Radley

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Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #22 on: January 10, 2007, 01:43:51 PM »
... 2) "patient zero" (that came a little later)

This term makes me think of Randy Shilts' And the band played on, which is still one of the best books on the early days.  Shilts apparently misunderstood the sociological significance of Gaetan Dugas (AKA Patient Zero) and overstated his part in the epidemic, giving some readers the erroneous impression Dugas "brought" AIDS to the USA.  That was never implied or believed by the CDC scientist who found this initial cluster of infected men who had sexual contact with other infected men.  Dugas was one of many men who contracted HIV (and spread it) early in the epidemic but he remained relatively healthy longer than most other known infected people.   He wasn't a saint by any means but he was only one player in a game that eventually had thousands of players.

Boo
String up every aristocrat!
Out with the priests and let them live on their fat!





Everything I do, say, think, excrete, secrete, exude, ooze, or write © 2007 Sweet Old Boo, Inc.

Offline thunter34

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Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #23 on: January 10, 2007, 01:53:47 PM »
One of those news shows (60 Minutes, I think) painted a very unflattering portrait of Gaetan Dugas back somewhere around the late 80's.  That unflattering portrait extended to all of us queer folk, really...because the whole thing had a very ominous "see what these queers have brought'' feel to it. 

All of this Patient Zero mention makes me think of the musical 'Zero Patience', brought about partially as a response to 'And The Band Played On'.

[attachment deleted by admin]
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline Salteen

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Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #24 on: January 10, 2007, 02:01:41 PM »
My first remembrance of AIDS, was when I was ten, my mother finally broke down and told me that she had HIV/AIDS.  Then she told me that I also had it.  Talk about cofusing, I didn't know what it was or what might be wrong. 

Offline Maestro

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Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #25 on: January 10, 2007, 02:38:57 PM »
This term makes me think of Randy Shilts' And the band played on, which is still one of the best books on the early days.  Shilts apparently misunderstood the sociological significance of Gaetan Dugas (AKA Patient Zero) and overstated his part in the epidemic, giving some readers the erroneous impression Dugas "brought" AIDS to the USA.  That was never implied or believed by the CDC scientist who found this initial cluster of infected men who had sexual contact with other infected men.  Dugas was one of many men who contracted HIV (and spread it) early in the epidemic but he remained relatively healthy longer than most other known infected people.   He wasn't a saint by any means but he was only one player in a game that eventually had thousands of players.

Boo

I was under the impression that the signifigance of patient zero was that he was a flight attendent which meant that he was traveling around the country (and world) on a regular basis.  I think this put in the unique position in the early days of bringing the virus to many far off locations quickly.
There is probably a "normal" progression of a virus through a population, but this gets exagerrated once air-travel is figured in.

M


Offline thunter34

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Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #26 on: January 10, 2007, 03:10:34 PM »
If anyone is interested, here is a link to the New York Times July 3rd, 1981 article about the 'Mysterious Gay Cancer'.


http://www.nytimes.com/1981/07/03/health/03AIDS.html
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline lydgate

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Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #27 on: January 10, 2007, 04:01:05 PM »
The opening scenes of Longtime Companion -- Blondie's "The Tide Is High" is playing, the various characters read that Times story on Fire Island or New York.
Her finely-touched spirit had still its fine issues, though they were not widely visible. Her full nature, like that river of which Cyrus broke the strength, spent itself in channels which had no great name on the earth. But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.

George Eliot, Middlemarch, final paragraph

Offline AlanBama

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Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #28 on: January 10, 2007, 04:03:41 PM »
Some random early memories for me:

1) the controversy about the Rock Hudson - Linda Evans kiss on "Dynasty"
2) a very handsome bartender at my local club who suddenly lost a lot of weight and started walking with a cane - this was Tulsa, OK in the early 80's and I had no idea what AIDS was.
3) visiting my first friend to die from AIDS, Doug, in the hospital and being required to gown, mask and glove to come into the room
4) seeing the horror stories on the news about them burning down the house of the Ray family, the hemophiliac boys who had contracted HIV

The various ages of our forum members is very apparent in this thread; some of your earliest recollections about AIDS were taking place when some of us here were already living with HIV.

I'll be honest, I don't like to look back, even though I think we all need to at times.  It makes me sad; those days were so dark and we had so little hope.  With a diagnosis of MAC of the liver in 1991, I was given a prognosis of 6 months....  16 years later, I am proud to write "Hey Dr. H and Dr. D - I'm still here!  We did it."

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Online Miss Philicia

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Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #29 on: January 10, 2007, 04:06:48 PM »
I graduated in '83 from high school so that was around the time it was all over Eyewitness News during out evening dinner's together as a family... not that we discussed sodomites over pork chops or anything.

Plus I swear my parents often invited the church choir director over for dinner and if he wasn't the biggest nelly I'd ever seen I don't know who was.  My parents really liked him though.

Can't believe my parents didn't think I was gay at that age -- they always called me "The Creative Son"
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline thunter34

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Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #30 on: January 10, 2007, 04:14:30 PM »
A bit later on, yes...1991 to be exact.

But the loss of this man:  Freddie Mercury


Still my pick for the Best Male Vocalist in Rock & Roll.

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AIDS isn't for sissies.

Online Miss Philicia

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Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #31 on: January 10, 2007, 04:21:48 PM »
Johnny Depp is playing him in an upcoming movie.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline thunter34

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Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #32 on: January 10, 2007, 04:23:12 PM »
For any who are interested:



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ADh8Fs3YdU


The Show Must Go On, from Innuendo.
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Online Miss Philicia

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Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #33 on: January 10, 2007, 04:24:05 PM »
We could never marry.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline Mouse

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Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #34 on: January 10, 2007, 04:33:59 PM »
I was born in 1990. There hasn't been a time in my life that I wasn't aware of it or knew exactly how you got it/what it did to you/etc.

I remembering being in elementary school though (like 3rd grade) and being out in recess playing under this bridge thing we had out there and someone calling someone gay for some reason, and then this other kid making this entire game out of don't go near that kid because he's gay (which... you know, he really wasn't? lmao) cause if you touch him you'll get AIDS or something. So we spent the rest of recess running away from him.

I haven't even thought about that in years. It's eerie.

But I've known about it forever and it's always been taught in every health class I ever had to take since middle school. We watched this video in 8th grade where this gay guy was talking about how he got it from his boyfriend or something and then died, and the guy kept going on about how he would feel better if just one person was prevented from getting it from him talking about it.

And then like a year later I tested positive.

Talk about feeling guilty.

Offline Cerrid

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Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #35 on: January 10, 2007, 04:54:17 PM »
1. Rock Hudson, like many others here
2. 'Christian' politicians talking quarantine camps and tattoos, I think shortly after the test became available.

Back then, I still lived with my parents and hadn't come out so most of my early memories rely on mainstream media coverage. I also remember (but I don't know why) a newspaper story on some homemade fat recipes as an attempt for a cure. A few years later, Freddy Mercury and Magic Johnson. Soon after, I came out and for the first time, I met real people with AIDS. Then the acronym was not so abstract anymore.
"Boredom is always counterrevolutionary. Always." (Guy Debord)

Offline Javicho

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Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #36 on: January 10, 2007, 04:59:39 PM »
All I remember was AIDS is going to kill you, that happens when I was in 6th grade every single person satart colling me names and said that I was going to die because I was gay  ::) At that time I only cry and I was hopping to change so AIDS don't kill me... :'( to sad to go back... :'( sorry guys...

J.


Offline aupointillimite

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Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #37 on: January 10, 2007, 05:22:01 PM »
I remember it was summer 1988, and I was not yet 6.  Our dog had gone into heat and there was blood on the kitchen floor.

I remember going out to touch it, and my mom yelled at me to never touch anyone's blood because of AIDS.  I think I asked her what it was, and all she told me was that it would kill you.

Also... there was a pastor in my grandparents' church who suddenly started wasting away out of nowhere in 1990.  He publicly said that it was a bizarre form of anemia, but as he was unmarried, everyone kept whispering AIDS... he eventually did die in the early 90s, I believe... he was a cool guy, I remember that much.  That was what made me associate "AIDS" with something negative... all the Christian vitriol hurled at the poor man...

Your tastebuds can't repel flavor of this magnitude!

Offline allopathicholistic

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Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #38 on: January 10, 2007, 05:42:04 PM »
Patient Zero might've been scapegoating, to some degree

Offline Boo Radley

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Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #39 on: January 10, 2007, 06:08:55 PM »
I apologize in advance for being argumentative but I am so anal-retentive I can't sit down for fear of sucking up the furniture.

I was under the impression that the signifigance of patient zero was that he was a flight attendent which meant that he was traveling around the country (and world) on a regular basis.  I think this put in the unique position in the early days of bringing the virus to many far off locations quickly.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong but the only significance of Patient Zero was he was the first individual in a study done on specific men who either had sex with Dugas or with someone who had sex with Dugas, some of whom became infected, then infected others, and so on.  The cluster of these men and their shared activities established a pattern consistent with a sexually transmitted infectious disease.  That was all the study demonstrated or was meant to demonstrate.

Actually, Patient Zero's jaunting from city to city enabled the sociologist who did the initial cluster study to be able to more clearly demonstrate the probable sexual mode of infection.  Dugas may have been in many more cities than a non-steward but business men (and women) do travel quite a lot and probably no doubt also helped spread the virus as well as tons of gay men who like to travel to hotspots like LA, NYC, Chicago, D.C., Boise, Boston, New Orleans, Miami, Hotlanta, Houstex, Dullass, etc.  I'm pretty certain I was infected by a Houston guy I had an Xmas to New Year liaison with in 1982 (he died within the next 2-3 years) because it is the only time I ever got the typical flu-like symptoms within a week of his departure.  If it wasn't him it could have been any one of several other visitors I had casual sex with back then.  At this point who infected whom is unimportant.

Quote
There is probably a "normal" progression of a virus through a population, but this gets exagerrated once air-travel is figured in. 

It's an unfortunate fact of disease transmission that people like Dugas exist.  Do you think he was the only gay airline employee who spread HIV?  Because he traveled for work he spread HIV in a greater geographic region.  Many men were engaging in casual sex (many still do!) without practicing safer sex and were spreading HIV widely in their local cities and burbs.  Any city that had a bathhouse or an active gay nightlife (plus all those public restrooms and other cruising spots "str8" men used along with openly gay men) had an HIV disease problem. 

Modern travel played a significant role with SARS but disease progression was prevented by a very big effort on the part of governments and airlines to quarantine possibly infected people.  There was no such chance with HIV since it is not, like SARS or Ebola, spread by casual contact and it usually takes so long to progress to a disease stage. 

Boo
« Last Edit: January 10, 2007, 06:10:56 PM by Boo Radley »
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Offline otherplaces

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Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #40 on: January 10, 2007, 08:43:51 PM »

My first memory of AIDS is a public service commercial with an emaciated teenager with purple spots everywhere.  I was probably 12 or 13.  After my diagnosis the memory hit me like a 50 ton truck.  I told my therapist about this and he stopped for a second and said, 'Oh my, you never knew when there wasn't AIDS...you're too young".  I don't think he'd considered that.  Then he told me how rare it is for anyone to die like that now, and when the AIDS clinic he worked at closed after HAART was introduced.  I really had no idea things had come so far.  I just knew they were better but figured I'd still eventually die a horrible death like the commercial.  Maybe I will, maybe I won't...who knows.

brian


Offline Joe K

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Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #41 on: January 10, 2007, 09:00:20 PM »
My first memory of G.R.I.D. was when a very close friend, Ken died from it in 1984, two months before I tested positive myself

Offline whizzer

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Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #42 on: January 10, 2007, 09:07:28 PM »
My first memory?

It was the early 80s, I wanna say '82 but it could have been late '81.  I was reading the MMWR and saw an  article  titled "Pneumocystis Pneumonia and Kaposi's Sarcoma in Homosexual Men in New York and Los Angeles", or something to that effect.  Two obscure diseases - I'd never heard of Pneumocystis carinii but knew KS to be a mostly benign cancer of old Jewish men.  In these cases, though, it was anything BUT benign.

Later that year, or the next (I'm bad with dates), there was an MMWR article about generalized lymphadenopathy in gay males, then one about  injection drug users and Haitians having the same kind of disorders.

That was when minds smarter than mine started musing that this was bearing an uncanny resemblance to the way Hep B was spread, only everyone who got this new disease seemed destined to die a horrible death.  How was Hep B spread?  By sharing needles,  sexual contact, or being exposed to the blood of someone infected

So in 1983 I stopped having sex - with anyone - for the next 11 years.

 I was deathly afraid of this unnamed ailment.  I had a real fear that somehow, sometime, this monster was going to reach out and grab me, and I was going to do everything I could to prevent that from happening.  In subsequent years the monster was shown to be a bloodborne infectious disease, like Hep B, and it got a name, several, in fact, but finally ended up with the one that stuck - Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.  I like saying the full name;  it has weight.  The acronym really doesn't do justice to what a heavy burden the infection brings with it.

Odd how sometimes your worst fears can come true in spite of your best efforts.

For some reason, this thread has brought forth a profound sadness in me. 


Offline thunter34

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Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #43 on: January 10, 2007, 09:18:54 PM »
In the early days, the reaction that society was having to the disease seemed just about as horrific to me as the disease itself...and both were utterly terrifying to me.  I somehow find myself a bit less afraid of the disease now that it has become a part of me.  I haven't had to face the true terrors this diease has the potential to unleash, yet I still sense that I can be braver in the face of it now than I could then- when it was still this shadowy spectre.  I think my fear of potential knee-jerk reactions from society still runs high.  Probably because it remains a shadowy spectre.
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline Oceanbeach

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Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #44 on: January 11, 2007, 01:23:35 AM »
The first time HIV got close to home for me was while in college.  A group of us were having a study session at my house and the topic of AIDS came up.  Someone mentioned that the first case of AIDS was reported in Humboldt County, this was about 1982-83.

My thoughts... How was this person going to get any medical care in Humboldt County?   Have the best day
Michael

Offline lydgate

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Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #45 on: January 11, 2007, 01:43:46 AM »
Whizzer, reading your post made me feel sad. For two reasons: because the thread made you (as it made me) think back, quite consciously, to previous versions of myself, over two decades. But also because you wrote: "So in 1983 I stopped having sex - with anyone - for the next 11 years." That's a lot of time -- forgive me -- without physical intimacy.

And that made me think of an ex-boyfriend who's given up sex, now. And that includes no kissing. Admittedly, this started only when a common friend of ours died of AIDS in 2002; and admittedly he has mild OCD; but I can't think of him now without getting sad -- he's missing out on so much (I think). And that then makes me think of people who gave up so much in the 80s and 90s... including sex.

Jay
Her finely-touched spirit had still its fine issues, though they were not widely visible. Her full nature, like that river of which Cyrus broke the strength, spent itself in channels which had no great name on the earth. But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.

George Eliot, Middlemarch, final paragraph

Online Miss Philicia

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Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #46 on: January 11, 2007, 01:50:00 AM »
Once I saw Lee Ryder's hardon in an issue of Blueboy I didn't really care if I got it or not.

sad, isn't it?  (ok... I'm kind of kidding but not really)

Oh, and my first sex with guys was a 3-way and I was the Queen Bee.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline Boo Radley

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Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #47 on: January 11, 2007, 02:13:32 AM »
Oh, and my first sex with guys was a 3-way and I was the Queen Bee.

What, pray tell, does that euphemism mean?  You got all the Royal Jelly?

Now that I think about it... never mind.

Boo
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Offline StrongGuy

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Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #48 on: January 11, 2007, 02:25:26 AM »
I was young like in 8th grade and me and my brother decided to hop on the subway to see an outdoor rally by George H. Bush (the first loser - was just elected) in Manhattan (we weren't and aren't Republicans, but he was the president and were young so it was something to do).

Anyway, we were bored and adventerous so we found a huge crowd and mingled in and the second Bush came out on the platform the crowd around us erupted -- signs rose up and began chanting "100 DAYS. NOTHING DONE. TIME TO FACE THE AIDS CRISIS."

So we joined in...

In retrospect it feels like one of those full circle Oprah moments when I think about how I was there then and where I am now.
"Get your medical advice from Doctors or medical professionals who you trust and know your history."

"Beware of the fortune teller doom and gloomers who seek to bring you down and are only looking for company, purpose and validation - not your best physical/mental interests."

"You know you all are saying that this is incurable. When the real thing you should be saying is it's not curable at the present time' because as we know, the great strides we've made in medicine." - Elizabeth Edwards

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"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

 


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