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Author Topic: First Memories of HIV/AIDS  (Read 8897 times)

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Offline randym431

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  • Posts: 1,125
Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #50 on: January 11, 2007, 04:55:52 AM »
My first thought was "this has to be an attack from the gov to weed out the undesirables".
And my second thought was "at least this thing did not affect me".
Oh.. how times change.

Offline thunter34

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  • Posts: 7,326
  • His name is Carl.
Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #51 on: January 11, 2007, 10:57:59 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

A lot of people had that same response:  cutting themselves off from physical intimacy.  That was also the basis for the Paul Rudnick play, Jeffrey.  I even heard it echoed numerous times around Atlanta that a lot of guys were opting just to substitute chemical highs for intimacy.
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline aztecan

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  • Posts: 5,430
  • 29 years positive, 57 years a pain in the butt
Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #52 on: January 11, 2007, 11:30:04 AM »
My first memory? That's a tough one.

Probably overhearing a conversation at Mac's Baths on Hyperion Street in Los Angles about the weird disease killing people. That was late 82 or early 83.

I remember people saying poppers caused it.

I remember talking with Rock Hudson before he became ill, then, a few years later, seeing the video footage of him as he was carried of the plane that brought him back from France, where he had received some controversial treaments or tests.

I remember meeting Liberace when he was still hale and healthy. A sweet, diminutive man.

I remember visiting a friend in the hospital (Hollywood Presbyterian to be exact), and his going on about how he would have plastic surgery to repair the damage done by the KS lesions  - once he regained his health. He died a few days later.

I remember the first time I did a home visit. The apartment was very dark. It had an odd odor, like that found in a nursing home. The man was lying on a bed. He barely acknowledged me.

I remember that fat pig Jerry Falwell railing against gays, saying it was God's punishment.

I remember a co-worker telling me he was never having sex again because he wanted to protect himself. It was already too late.

I remember being scared, but never believing it could happen to me. It was 1983 and I was only 25 or 26 at the time. LIttle did I know it was already too late for me as well.

"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline Maestro

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  • Posts: 225
Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #53 on: January 11, 2007, 01:32:40 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.

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.

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

Boo,

I certainly wasn't getting in to the blame game.  But there are very few, if any jobs at all, that have someone travelling as much as a flight attendent.  That's the signifigance.  Of course other people were spreading it.  The name of the person and persons is not as signifigant.  But I think if you are saying that the fact that him (and others) who where very frequently travelling the world had nothing to do with the spread, I cannot agree with that.  I never said that was the main factor.  Just that signifigance of him in the study was his unique position (no pun intended!).

Offline ACinKC

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  • Bring it VIRUS! #2 Ranked In-crowd Member!
Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #54 on: January 11, 2007, 02:50:29 PM »
I vaguely remember things starting around 1984 or 85.  I watched the news and read alot of newsweek and such.  But i WAS only 12, i do remember Rock Hudson and Freddy Mercury.  I REALLY remember Magic and the after school specials and how bad I felt that people weren't more educated about the disease.
LIFE is not a race to the grave with the intention of arriving safely
in a pretty and well-preserved body, but, rather to skid in broadside,
thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming--WOW! WHAT A
RIDE!!!

Offline gatortony

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Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #55 on: January 11, 2007, 04:10:25 PM »
I remember the term "gay cancer" and GRID floating around the clubs and tea dances

I remember boiling hatred spitting out of the mouth of the priest who taught my 10th grade religion class as he told us "God will not be mocked"

Then of course the mosquitoes, the avoidance of going to gay run restaurants and the East Coast versus West coast tales of nurses in space suits and the day people posted a skull and crossbones on my high school locker.

Misty blood colored memories, to be certain.
Heureux, qui comme Ulysse a fait un beau voyage.....

Offline jack

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  • fomerly the loser known as Jake
Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #56 on: January 11, 2007, 06:50:47 PM »
I think it must have been 1982 or 83, I read an article at lunch time in the Wall Street Journal about a mysterious cancer or illness among gays. My first reaction was not to believe it. You know, like the that killer bird flu. Every year the media comes up with at least two or three new things that are gonna kill everyone and destroy life as we know it. Anyways, I will never forget that day.
The WSJ did excellent reporting on the subject and everyday I prayed there would an article saying it was all a mistake, but there were only more stories of the mysterious gay cancer.
We have all had our lives changed by this virus,  I am trying to spend less time on what might have been and more time what can be, but it is tough, and like quitting drinking or any bad habit,its a one hour at a time process. I look back at the opportunities I missed because of this virus and I really don't know if more will come,I had many come my way and had to pass on them cause I was gonna die in two years. But WTF, I am gonna try and live every day like I dont have this virus, of course this is easy to say because for the first time in 18 years the drugs are not making me sick. I dont know why. I dont care why. Its just good to feel like life is worth living.
Gawd, I would love a vodka on the rocks right now, or maybe a crown with a splash of water. Wheres the NyQuil?

Offline jack

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  • fomerly the loser known as Jake
Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #57 on: January 11, 2007, 07:11:09 PM »
I forgot, the AIDs jokes were a bummer. Wow.

Offline thunter34

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  • Posts: 7,326
  • His name is Carl.
Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #58 on: January 11, 2007, 07:56:30 PM »
But WTF, I am gonna try and live every day like I dont have this virus, of course this is easy to say because for the first time in 18 years the drugs are not making me sick. I dont know why. I dont care why. Its just good to feel like life is worth living.
Gawd, I would love a vodka on the rocks right now, or maybe a crown with a splash of water. Wheres the NyQuil?


This is one of the best passages I have read from you, jack...because I'm thrilled to read that the meds aren't making you feel sick.  Delighted to read that you neither know why nor care why that is....and are simply enjoying the feeling that life is worth living.  If you were nearby, I'd be glad to buy you that drink.  Happy for you.
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline jack

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  • Posts: 1,578
  • fomerly the loser known as Jake
Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #59 on: January 11, 2007, 08:35:35 PM »
thanks Hunter. great thread.  I had to quit drinking after I almost died from a crixivan/martini incident ten years ago and "office and 30 rock "are on tonight,so I will have to say thanks but no thanks,but thanks for asking.
I occasionally climb out of my dark hole of gloom

Offline jonsi

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  • Posts: 32
  • i'd rather dance with you than talk to you
Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #60 on: January 12, 2007, 02:55:19 AM »
oh... when i started reading this tread the first thing that came to my mind was...

Empty spaces - what are we living for?
Abandoned places - I guess we know the score..
On and on!
Does anybody know what we are looking for?

the show must go on - freddy mercury... i know it was said already on th thread, but, hey! i'm still too young to remember further back in time!
ţetta er ágćtis byrjun...

Jónsi.

Offline indyguy

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  • Posts: 260
  • Hoosier Boy Single Again.
Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #61 on: January 12, 2007, 05:26:17 AM »
For me here in Indiana it was Ryan White. I remember my church youth paster and I going to see him at Riley Childrens Hospital and praying with him. As we were walking out we ran into Elton John who was coming to see Ryan. He was a very brave kid.
Meds doing well so far.

Offline bear60

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  • Posts: 4,104
Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #62 on: January 12, 2007, 09:34:59 AM »
"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."  quote lydgate 
and dont forget PHILADELPHIA!!!! ( THE FILM WITH TOM HANKS)
...
Just want to add:  i just saw a british BBC show ( in three parts) on DVD called "The Line of Beauty".  If anyone wants to see a good show and relive some of the mid eighties years of cocaine, parties and wild abandonment, this should give you a jolt. It ends with a look at the coming HIV epidemic.
Poz Bear Type in Philadelphia

Offline yowsaa

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  • Posts: 86
Re: First Memories of HIV/AIDS
« Reply #63 on: January 12, 2007, 11:42:38 PM »
I remember in the early 1980's as a young man, my father commenting how this was God's way of getting rid of the gays. I sometimes wonder if he remembers this comment when ~20 years later, his straight, middle aged son, told him he was HIV+ .

 


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