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Author Topic: The Talk went well...Wow!  (Read 5096 times)

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Offline Jeffreyj

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,403
The Talk went well...Wow!
« on: August 11, 2006, 06:55:54 PM »
Iit was the most interesting evening I have had in a long long time. As some of you know, I spoke to a youth group in Phoenix, Arizona last night. It was scheduled to run 7:00 to 8:00. It lasted until 9:00.

Basically I spoke for only 10 minutes. I shared my story on how I got infected, how my wife and I dealt with finding out. I told them that the "cocktails stopped working after 15 years of a great marriage. I told them how she fought so very bravely and died just 20 days after becoming ill. (At this point I got emotional, started to shake so much I couldn't read my notes. I took a sip of water, and somehow gathered my self). The remaining 5 minutes I spent discussing the life of the teenager Ryan White. Only about 1/4th of the kids had ever heard of him. After I told them that he couldn't go to gym class, use the public restrooms and drinking fountain, and that they threw out his utensils after dining out...I could see many shaking their heads in utter disbelief. Oh, and by the way, he died at 18.
At this point, I had a raffle to kind of break things up and get a much need breather. I asked them if they had any questions. Well, the flood gates opened. I had a few slides to show them. That had to wait, as the next 90 minutes I answered approximately 50 questions!  It was about 8:30 when the coordinator said could you please wrap it up in 5 minutes. I could not believe how fast the time went after those first painful 10 minutes! I thought you would be interested in some of the questions that were asked.

How many pills do you take?

Once you have a symptom, does it go away?

How did your family respond when you told them you were POZ?

Is there a cure yet?

Once you have HIV can you get rid of it?

How do the drugs make you feel?

Are the drugs addicting?

How is your sex life now? ( It's up and down, I said lol)

Here was the weirdest one:

What do you think about putting everyone who has HIV together in one place and let the virus die off?

Hmmmm...he looked a tad stoned, and looked like a Bush family member)

It was that ridiculous question that promted me to say this:

"The CDC estimates over One Million are HIV+ Today. They also estimate that 250,000 are unaware that they are positive.

You could here a pin drop after I said that!

The adults that were there I found out were crisis councilors. The coordinator was worried because 3 of the kids that were there were HIV+. After I spoke, I had heard that several kids were crying. It was an emotional evening for many of us there.
I had prepared 100 packets with 8 pages of information:one page on where to get tested. I only had about 50 when I left! Several kids afterwards were asking where to get tested! That made me feel great!

I would like to thank several people here for giving me the support and encouragement to do this. I will post a special thank you to those people later in this thread.
 I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Aidsmed have changed my life...for the better!
I love this place!

« Last Edit: August 11, 2006, 07:10:43 PM by Jeffreyj »
Positive since 1985

Offline frenchpat

  • Member
  • Posts: 519
  • Love your friends, don't eat them.
Re: The Talk went well...Wow!
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2006, 07:14:00 PM »

I admire your courage and dedication; it is a real gift that you gave those children.

well done,

People have the power - Patti Smith

Offline J.R.E.

  • Member
  • Posts: 7,542
  • Joined Dec-2003 Living positive, since 1985.
Re: The Talk went well...Wow!
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2006, 07:24:31 PM »
Hello Jeff,

I am proud of ya. It's a tough thing to do to be able to get up and speak in front of someone. I have never had to do this is front of a group of people. I have had people at the bar at me questions.( and of course their adults, which doesn't always make things easier :) .

You accomplished something ! You helped to educate some kids, take away some of the stigma. Hopefully they will never have to find out what living with HIV is all about.

It also doesn't surprise me that only a quarter of the kids knew who Ryan White was.

Good job there Jeff !!-----------Ray
Current Meds ; Viramune, Epzicom, 20mg of Atorvastatin, 25 mg of Hydrochlorothiazide.
Amlodipine Besolate 5mg-- Updated 9/24/2017

Diagnosed positive in 1985,.. In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started on  HAART on October 24th, 2003.

 As of 9/18/2017,  Viral load remains <40
CD 4 @358 /  CD4 % @ 13

 65 years young.

Offline heartforyou

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,126
  • I must be a survivor in many ways...
Re: The Talk went well...Wow!
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2006, 07:59:51 PM »

I am proud of you.
It must be very forefilling.

Diagnosed in 1987 and still kicking
Kivexa (Epzicom),Tivicay once daily.

Switching to Viramune, Isentress and Emtriva

Happiness is the freedom of breathing fresh air every day.

Offline bluelove

  • Member
  • Posts: 178
Re: The Talk went well...Wow!
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2006, 08:23:23 PM »

You have a lot to be proud of.Those kids learned something last night they will never forget.(Hopefully)

You gave them the  best education possable the human one.

A proud to know you


Offline Eldon

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  • Posts: 2,664
Re: The Talk went well...Wow!
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2006, 08:42:31 PM »
Hello Jeff, it's Eldon. I am glad to hear that things went well in the meeting last night. We need more people just as yourself to take the time out to share with our youth and in other cases our adults.

Education, prevention, and awareness is the key!

Great going Jeff!!!

Offline Jeffreyj

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,403
Re: The Talk went well...Wow!
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2006, 08:50:45 PM »
I recieved this today from the event coordinator:

thank you for everything last night - - from the great information to the heartfelt discussion to the amazing prizes!  You were all very amazing and so generous and I am humbled to know people like you in my life.  The effect you had on the youth was pretty intense and I prepared my volunteers before group that some things may come up for many of them.  That was very evidently true.  They were not upset with you at all.  Many of them had never spoken of a loved one that had died of AIDS or AIDS related complications, many of them engage in risky behviors themselves, and many are very afraid about choices they have made or are concerned about people close to them.  With a couple youth very vocal about their own positive status, your stories just finally made sense to them.  This was education at a very heightened level - not just talk.  You made everyone feel comfortable enough to ask questions they had always wanted to ask but couldn't for whatever reason.  Having a face to the disease and people that seemed to actually care about THEM made it very real and they felt comfortable with you both.  Your kindness helped them and also created an opening that hadn't been opened for many.  All summer we have been talking about prevention and last night was the first time that TEN (10)! kids asked me where they can get tested and how to find free testing.  Sometimes we have to hit them hard to make an impact and that's what you both did.  It made a difference in all of our lives and we are all better for it.  This group (and you'll find ANY group you present to) responds significantly more strongly to personal stories and reflections - to that personal honesty you all bring to what you do and say. 
Positive since 1985

Offline emeraldize

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,398
Re: The Talk went well...Wow!
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2006, 11:27:46 PM »
What a great post to read...inspiring, genuine and so thoughtful. Nothing compares to sharing information with kids and that you made them feel comfortable enough to ask questions means you gained their trust. No small feat.

Offline zephyr

  • Member
  • Posts: 457
    • Zephyr L.T.N.P. Foundation, Inc.
Re: The Talk went well...Wow!
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2006, 11:36:18 PM »

I'm so glad you updated us on your presentation today!! I was just talking about you to a colleague this morning...they were sp impressed that you would do this!!

And, what a great idea to post some of the questions they asked! Brilliant! I've always been curious about what is on (the youth's) minds, and am grateful you have done this.

You have one down, with many more to come...I am very happy to know you!

Good job, honey!!


Zeph :-*
"It is character that communicates most eloquently."

Offline jkinatl2

  • Member
  • Posts: 6,007
  • Doo. Dah. Dipp-ity.
Re: The Talk went well...Wow!
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2006, 11:55:20 PM »
Powerful stuff, Jeff. And a powerful spirit to convey those words.

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline Biggums

  • Member
  • Posts: 199
Re: The Talk went well...Wow!
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2006, 12:25:28 AM »

Some things have eternal significance.  I believe your talk with those kids was one such event.
44 year old gay man .......just broke up with the only man I've ever really loved.

You can love completely without complete understanding.

Offline aztecan

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,517
  • 32 years positive, 60 years a pain in the butt
Re: The Talk went well...Wow!
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2006, 12:59:43 AM »

I want to give you the biggest hug I can. I wish I could have been there, to see those kids and feel their reaction.

There is no greater service person can make for humanity than to selflessly better the lives of others. I am proud to know you.


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

Offline Life

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,389
  • Member 2005
Re: The Talk went well...Wow!
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2006, 01:03:53 PM »
My mind paints pictures of events, and of the lives that unfold here, on the boards.... Today was one of Jeff amongst scared / nervous / frightened / mad kids, not knowing what to expect.  A spotlight glowing ever so brightly on you Jeff as the rest of the room was darkened and suttlely quiet as they listened to you... Ten minutes seems like ten years.   Of the love for your beloved wife... The tear that fell across your face as you told of her fight, and of your love, for eachother.   Oh but the quiet tears that flowed beyond the spotlight were ever so much harder as your story unveiled..   Cockiness gave way to compassion.  Sorrow gave way to hope.   Desperation and fear comingled and was eventually replaced with love...

Jeff, you have made a difference to 100's.   For as the word spreads from your experience, more and more will realize that "this," is alive, and by no means has missed or skipped, this generation. 

As I see you wipe the perspiration from your brow,  that overwhelming feeling of "peaceful good" emerges...  Grace my friend,  Grace...

I am very happy to know you as a friend Jeff...  :)

Offline DancerBoy

  • Member
  • Posts: 284
Re: The Talk went well...Wow!
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2006, 02:01:46 PM »
Jeffrey, it's people like you that ultimately make the difference.

You truly are an inspritation.
Boys are Stupid

Offline blondbeauty

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,787
Re: The Talk went well...Wow!
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2006, 02:11:32 PM »
Good job, Jeffrey! With that talk you have educated many kids on how to prevent HIV, and they will be able to educate other friends or give them the courage to get tested. No campaign of prevention of HIV is as effective as what you did. Till I found out I was HIV+ TV advertisements was the only HIV education I ever recieved.
The only member in these forums approved by WINBA: World International Nail and Beauty Association.
Epstein Barr +; CMV +; Toxoplasmosis +; HIV-1 +.
Counts when starting treatment:
V.L.:80.200 copies. CD4: 25%=503
Started Sustiva-Truvada 14/August/2006
Last V.L.count (Oct 2013): Undetectable
Last CD4 count (OCT 2013): 52%= 933


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