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Author Topic: Us and them?  (Read 2754 times)

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Offline sweetasmeli

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Us and them?
« on: June 17, 2007, 09:02:40 AM »
During my call with my friend (Greek and negative for any new readers not up to date) she said to me that although it's great that I have other HIV+ friends from the internet etc, she reckons I have to be careful that we're not forming a team against everyone else, in the sense of 'us against them'. In other words positive vs negative folk.

Bearing in mind this was a very brief phone conversation, I just told her that it wasn't like that at all, not from my standpoint anyway. Although I also said that I hated to burst her bubble but that that is actually how it is from some negative folk out there, as they are the ones creating much of the stigma and 'us and them' issues.

I'm interested to know what others think about this.

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(,,,_ ,,,)/   (,,,_ ,,,)/ Cats rule!

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Yeia kai hara (health and happiness) to everyone!

Offline RapidRod

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Re: Us and them?
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2007, 09:07:17 AM »
That's one friend I would really have to think about if I should consider them a friend any longer and one I could do without.

Offline sweetasmeli

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Re: Us and them?
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2007, 09:15:46 AM »
Rod, I think what she was saying was to be careful that we (ie positive folk) are not always jumping the gun and expecting everyone to be reacting negatively (pun intended) towards us. I know that's not how I am but it just made me wonder what others thought about this...

(who wonders how much stuff gets lost in translation sometimes - Greek to English and vv)
/\___/\       /\__/\
(=' . '=)    (=' . '=)
(,,,_ ,,,)/   (,,,_ ,,,)/ Cats rule!

The difference between cats and dogs is that dogs come when called, whereas cats take a message and get back to you.

Yeia kai hara (health and happiness) to everyone!

Offline Iggy

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Re: Us and them?
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2007, 10:22:17 AM »
In short: Yes.  It is an Us and Them.

More detailed:  This post reminds me of when I was on a gay discussion forum once and wanted to start a section that was focused on HIV issues.  I was immediately labeled as a separatist who was denying those who were neg the chance to be participate in the discussion.  When I stated that my goal was not a HIV+ only forum so much as a forum where HIV issues were the priority vs. competing against the myriad of other issues that the board posted about - I was told that I was an isolationist as well as trying to create an unfair burden to the neg posters who would have to look on a separate board for HIV discussions  ::)   One neg poster even lectured me that I needed to not dwell in my "sickness" and see it as only a small part of my life  and thus why I should continue to let HIV issues remain in the  general board and compete with pics of naked men or polls about who had the best sex that weekend.

What they didn't understand is that no matter how good the intentions are of those who are not poz, sometimes it gets exhausting to have to explain the background or educate them on the details of HIV in order for them to understand what you are going through at the moment.   I can't tell you how many times I've been challenged on things about why I'm feeling a certain way by someone who is negative.

My favorite incident was with a neg acquaintance who was arguing with me about my fears of starting meds  and was trying to educate me that new meds have positively no side effects - and he knew that because he was educated on the subject by his talks with other poz friends and that he read  (and he said this with pride and pronounced it like an American erroneously trying to show off in a restaurant that they can order in French)  the JAMA at his doctor's office!

and so it goes....

So while I agree that we should all be vigilant to not be consumed with HIV, I also think we need to be vigilant to denying that life with HIV does demand a focus at times - and that focus can get blurry by those who do not understand or appreciate the issues first hand.

To answer your question again -  I say it is an Us and them ....not necessarily us vs. them, but it is an us and them, and that's not a bad thing at all.

Final thought -  you should ask that woman how often she talks about menstruation or yeast infection issues with her male friends.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2007, 10:23:55 AM by Iggy »

Offline Christine

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Re: Us and them?
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2007, 01:59:28 PM »
I agree with Iggy. It is not a separatist us vs. them, but there are definite issues and feelings that are better understood when you are talking with someone who is living through them.

I can say 'I am tired today', and my negative friends are empathetic. They tell me they are tired also, then go down the list of the things they did that day. I wake up exhausted, go to bed exhausted. Or they will complain about going to the doctor...how long they sat in the waiting room...or the cost of a medication.

They just don't have the frame of reference to completely understand.

It is not just hiv. People need to share and talk with other people who share similar events and circumstances in their lives. It gives one the ability to cope with life.

Plus, I agree with you, some of your conversation could be lost in translation.

Poz since '93. Currently on Procrit, Azithromax, Pentamidine, Valcyte, Levothyroxine, Zoloft, Epzicom, Prezista, Viread, Norvir, and GS-9137 study drug. As needed: Trazodone, Atavan, Diflucan, Zofran, Hydrocodone, Octreotide

5/30/07 t-cells 9; vl 275,000

Offline xyahka

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Re: Us and them?
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2007, 03:37:05 PM »
I agree with everyone.. it is not about us vs them but there is.. a moment when things can't get mixed.

I am glad you told your friend about her bubble, sometimes people think they are always right until someone makes them realise how wrong they are.

keep on bringing light to their lives sweeti. I know they will miss you once you leave.


Juan Carlos
13/03/07 1er diagnóstico /Peso: 79kg
19/04/07 CD4: 494 /CViral: ?? /Peso: 80kg
19/07/07 CD4: 659 /CViral: ?? /Peso: 79.5kg
06/03/08 CD4: 573 (después de meses muy deprimido) /CViral: ?? /Peso: 79kg
17/09/08 CD4: ?? /CViral: ?? /Peso: 84Kg
06/02/09 CD4: ?? /CViral: ?? /Peso: 85Kg /HCV: Neg /HBV: Neg.
07/03/09 CD4: ?? /CViral: ?? /Peso: 87Kg / Gym 3días/semana y Natación 2días/semana.
12/05/09 CD4: 470 /Cviral: ?? /Peso: 87Kg.
08/07/09 CD4: ? /CViral: ? /Peso: 77Kg.
09/12/09 CD4: 510 /CViral: ? /Peso: 78kg. No medicinas aún
10/01/10 CD4: ? /CViral: ? /Peso: 76Kg.
15/05/10 CD4: 320 /CViral: ? /Peso: 76Kg.
01/02/11 CD4: 291 /CViral: ? /Peso: 78kg.
05/05/11 CD4: 366 /CViral: ? /Peso: 78kg.
27/07/11 CD4: 255 /CViral: 138000 /Peso: 78kg.

Disfrutando y aceptando una nueva vida...

Offline DanielMark

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Re: Us and them?
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2007, 04:10:30 PM »
I wonder what she was trying to say to you Melia, and what if any event prompted it. Does she feel you are perhaps being overly defensive because of the silly toilet seat thing? Does she feel she isn’t being allowed to be closer to you?

Without knowing the total conversation, it just seems a rather odd (and mysterious) thing to say.




Offline SASA39

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Re: Us and them?
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2007, 04:07:54 AM »
I ave already PM you ( as I have predicted your new thread) but I have now to say it in public :
They are scared because of the following reasons :
1. This disease is contagious by sperm & blood.(and by their opinion by all other human liquids)
They are not convinced at all that they could not get HIV by touching some of ours scratches or just by friendly kiss.Just look at some scenarios at the "Am I infected " board ...........and what to say when a HIV specialized doc tell my wife to put 2 condoms for protection and a minute after that , that even that is not a ultimate protection after all , because they have learned in the university that there is not a ultimate protection.
2. This disease is notorious because a great majority of the patient are homosexuals and drug users and their social behaviour is not acceptable in today`s society.For many of them it is disgusting , and they do not want to have any common lines with us.
3.They have their own worries incl . paying for a new car , flat , children scholarship , secured job and they do not need a HIV thoughts of any kind of top of that.We just do not interest them............[/b]
4.Of top of all this this disease is deadly and there is no cure for it.If a anti HIV adds are too soft , then they tell : " So WTF , your disease is curable and why do you need us" , and if is too hard they are too scared and lot of them are thinking : " They have just got what they have deserved".
We could say anything an scream our throat out but in this case they are majority.........and a big one ( 5 millions against 2.ooo in Serbia > 1 in 2.500)
The similar thing is with cancer : even your best friends and close relatives say : " Oh I`m so sorry I would be there just call me , but 15 mins. later they are gone.(because they have their own families and worries).It is a part of our animal nature( and a matter of pure survival). The only who remains and suffer with you are your closest family members , ( mom ,dad , bro an sis ) and your kids and husband / wife.And that burden can be and it is to heavy for them either.............I think that a compassion and an act of sacrifice for others are a relict and a very rare thing these days , because a fight for  material and mental survival has become predominant everywhere...................
At least this is situation in my country.( last criminal fashion here is to rape a young girls in third/fourth grade by their older schoolmates seventh/eight grade)

Upper left corner : " Bigger kids are raping smaller ones - in every class even one kid is a victim of mental ol physical abuse"
Maybe I have been to direct ,but that is just my opinion............
Edited to add............
« Last Edit: June 18, 2007, 05:34:42 AM by SASA39 »
12. Oct`06.  CD4=58 %  VL not issued
25.Dec.`06.         203     VL= 0
25.Dec`06.- 19.Oct`16 :
various ups & downs- mostly ups - from 58-916 and back in #CD and few blips in VL.
19.Oct`16     CD4=644      VL=0

Offline sweetasmeli

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Re: Us and them?
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2007, 07:12:07 AM »
It's definitely essential to differentiate between 'us and them' as opposed to 'us against them'.

When I responded to her comment initially, I was referring to the notion of 'us against them'. That's why I said that my experience so far has shown that it isn't so much the case from positive folk against negative folk as it is from negative folk against positive folk.

I agree that in many ways there is no doubt an 'us and them' divide. And that's not a bad thing; it's just the way it is. In the same sense that I could never really understand what it's like for someone who has cancer, I would never expect someone HIV negative to really understand what it's like to be HIV positive. They can only guess, just as I (having never had it) can only guess about having cancer.

I wonder what she was trying to say to you Melia, and what if any event prompted it. Does she feel you are perhaps being overly defensive because of the silly toilet seat thing? Does she feel she isn’t being allowed to be closer to you?

Daniel, knowing her and knowing that she does care about me, I'm guessing that it was a little bit of both. I think she mistakenly thought I felt insulted because of my sensitivity about my HIV status, whereas I actually felt insulted because I'd already told her there was no risk of getting herpes from a toilet seat and yet the toilet door was locked anyway. It was as if she was doubting my word. But I'm guessing now that the locked door incident came from an 'ignorance and lost in translation' thing when I initially told her about my outbreak. And as the door has now been unlocked I'm satisfied enough to drop the issue; if it hadn't been unlocked, I doubt I would be working for her anymore. I also think she does believe I'm defensive because of my HIV status and because of everything I went through here in the village (the outing and firing etc); what she doesn't understand is it's not so much defensive as it is realistic about how some people do indeed suck.

I said in a pm to Al and I'll say it again here. Some folk may be ok tolerating other folk’s discrimination due to ignorance or misinformation, but I am not; especially with friends or family, and especially when the issues in question involve or discriminate against me. I will do my best to try to educate them and if in the end they won’t listen, well, I will simply distance them or completely eject them from my life, whoever they may be.

I also said to Al that the fact that she raised the question about ‘us and them’ didn’t upset me; it just confirmed my belief that non + people really have no idea about how + people think. But like I've already said,  I never would expect them to. And it also it made me wonder what other HIV+ people thought about this issue and it's interesting reading people's responses here…

Edited to add: I remember a couple of years into my diagnosis, I was out walking with a (negative) friend and I commented about getting more tired more quickly. He responded with something along the lines of: Don't do that; don't start thinking that you are more affected by having the virus than you actually are. At the time I was still getting my head around my diagnosis too and didn't know quite how to respond; I actually thought he may have a point. Knowing how much my friend loves me, I know he didn't mean any harm with his response; I realise his comment just came from ignorance due to the fact that he isn't walking in my shoes. Nowadays however, I wouldn't stay quiet about something like that.

By the way, Iggy, as far as this goes:
Final thought -  you should ask that woman how often she talks about menstruation or yeast infection issues with her male friends.
I have to admit I must be an exception to the rule (trust me to be! ::)) as I am totally open with both my female and male friends about all my personal stuff whenever I need/want to be. Or maybe it’s my male friends who are the exceptions to the rule in their responses to me, bless ‘em! Or maybe it’s cos I just have cool friends! Actually, sometimes even my dad gets to know when I have girly stuff going on and we chat/joke about it accordingly, so I guess I have a cool dad too! :D

« Last Edit: June 18, 2007, 07:25:35 AM by sweetasmeli »
/\___/\       /\__/\
(=' . '=)    (=' . '=)
(,,,_ ,,,)/   (,,,_ ,,,)/ Cats rule!

The difference between cats and dogs is that dogs come when called, whereas cats take a message and get back to you.

Yeia kai hara (health and happiness) to everyone!


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