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Author Topic: Coming Out of My Shell  (Read 7382 times)

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Offline Jeffreyj

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,403
Coming Out of My Shell
« on: June 03, 2006, 02:11:46 am »
Hi Everyone,
Some of you may remember me as Derbydog. I posted once under that name. Anyway, I have been hiv poz since 1984. This is only my second post, after 22 years of living with HIV I finally am wanting to do more about getting the word out anyway I can about HIV/AIDS. It is so sad that here in the USA we have so many new cases every year! It sickens me. It's beginning to piss me off too. So I guess that is why I'm starting to come out of my shell. I want to do whatever I can to help. If i can reach one person a day and at least make them think about HIV...That in itself is a small victory. So I make it a point to go into a local chatroom, pick on a person 18 or 19 years old. I'll ask them....Do you know how you can get HIV? It amazes me that so many are not too sure. What makes this real scary is that this is a gay chat room. Are our schools doing anything to educate our young people? This is disgracefull and to me, unacceptable behavior.
    I'd like to say to ZEPH that I am so very proud of you deciding to do that newspaper interview! Just this past week the AZ Republic Newspaper called me and wanted to do an interview. I agreed. 2  or more years ago I'd have said no...I was too worried about people finding out or thinking less of me for having HIV. Now I can safely say I don't give a rats ass what people think. I am proud of who I am. I'm a nice person. If people can't see that because I'm HIV POZ well that is there problem. I think ignorance breeds fear. That's why, like ZEPH, I've decided to do the interview with the newspaper.
    The reporter called me back yesterday to ask a few more questions. I told he to please remind people that HIV/Aids IS PREVENTIBLE. I asked her what section of the paper should I look for on Monaday. She said PAGE ONE. I was like wow. Wouldn't that be nice! Making page one of a newspaper without committing a felony...Now that would be cool. So I'll keep you all posted.
   So if anyone has any ideas on how I can help the cause, please feel free to let me know! I guess I'm going through my "coming out" phase of being hiv poz. It just feels like the right thing to do. I'm looking forward to getting to know you all better. From what I've seen there are some really nice people on here. I wish you all well and can't wait till MONDAY! And more important, I can't wait to meet new friends on this site! Have a great weekend! Love to you all.....Jeffrey J
   The interview went really well. It lasted for 90 minutes, and believe me It could have been 90 days! I didn't hold anything Back. I was upfront about everything and told her the truth. I was nervous before we met, but once we got started it was like a run away freight train. It felt good to tell my story
Positive since 1985

Offline DingoBoi

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  • Posts: 1,355
  • Bailey's Infected Cream™ Served since 2004
Re: Coming Out of My Shell
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2006, 02:52:42 am »
i'm proud of you... even though I am open being a blogger... i am still scared at times of people knowing.   

at least people i don't tell myself.

we each OWN our illness in different ways... some deny it for a long time, some are ashamed... some burst out 'out of the blue' with revelations.

this is quite a trend and makes for a new thread which i will post now.

Offline Sky

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  • Posts: 225
    • Myspace
Re: Coming Out of My Shell
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2006, 03:46:21 am »
Good for you!!!  I'm extremely open about my status, the only ppl that don't know are my family, for obvious reasons...and I don't think I can take seeing them hurt over it, so it's best to leave it be for now.  Being so open about it I have found more people are curious, even fascinated with the fact of coming face to face with someone with HIV.  I feel that I've touched many people's lives and help them to better understand to hate HIV, not the person with it.  People like yourself that have been through this for 20+ years truely are remarkable people, thank you so much for sharing with us.  *hugs*

Poz since 2003.

Offline Andy Velez

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 34,126
Re: Coming Out of My Shell
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2006, 08:18:37 am »
Welcome back, Jeffrey.

It's great to read that you're willing to be out and interviewed now about your status.

We need all the help people can offer in relation to stopping new infections. The deadly combo of our government's antiquated, politicized attitudes and the religious right are just some of the powerful forces which are preventing effective HIV prevention education.

Every new generation coming along has to learn about transmission and how to prevent it. Among those who are older, we're also failing to get the word out enough to those in retirement communities where spouses,  gay,  straight and anywhere in between on the sexual spectrum, are continuing to bring HIV home to their partners.

Life is way too short to live in a shell unless you're an oyster.

« Last Edit: June 03, 2006, 11:27:08 am by Andy Velez »
Andy Velez

Offline Jeffreyj

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,403
Re: Coming Out of My Shell
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2006, 08:42:08 am »
Andy, Thanks so much for your insightful comments about the gov and the right wing! That is so true! It's a constant battle with them. We just have to keep on battling them. I'm up for it because I disagree with their right wing antics! So keep on keeping on man. God bless you and be well. Thank you kindly again for your fine thoughts....Jeff
Positive since 1985

Offline RAB

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  • Posts: 1,895
  • Joined March 2003
Re: Coming Out of My Shell
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2006, 09:07:40 am »

Thanks for the intro buddy, welcome back, and good for you for stepping up and doing the interview!  Like Andy said, it's important!


Offline david25luvit

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,409
  • Member since March 2005
Re: Coming Out of My Shell
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2006, 10:32:16 am »
Well, Jeffery, as the old saying goes,"better late than never" I commend you on your progress
and your commitment to educate the public at large about the plight of HIV+ people.  You
are an inspiration to us all...like Zephyr and Lisa!  A Big Thumbs Up, Good Buddy!  We are honored
to have you and many others in our midst.
In Memory of
Raymond David McRae III
Nov. 25, 1972- Oct. 15, 2004
I miss him terribly..........

Offline zephyr

  • Member
  • Posts: 457
    • Zephyr L.T.N.P. Foundation, Inc.
Re: Coming Out of My Shell
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2006, 02:09:15 am »
Hi Jeff...

Glad I found this thread, and I thank you for sharing your story with us! I'm very impressed with what you have to say, and appreciate every word you typed. Good for you!!

Twenty-two years in the shadows, and now stepping into the light. Amazing. I'm proud to meet you, truly.

Well honey, that freight train you've mentioned is headed north to California now, I can hear the rumbles on the rails, our Michael (sonomabeach) started this in Coastal California, it zoomed over to Kansas City to Trish, then down to you, and back to me up here in the Sierra Nevada foothills....who says we aren't makin' a difference???

Can't help it, but here comes another "WHOO HOOO'.........Rock on, Jeff, rock on!



p.s. Andy....
We need all the help people can offer in relation to stopping new infections. The deadly combo of our government's antiquated politicized attitudes and the religious right are just some of the powerful forces which are preventing effective HIV prevention education.
is one of the most powerful statements ever written on these forums. I'm grateful to you for saying this, may I use it in my interview? Course, I live in a conservative town, and I'm sure the letter's to the Editor will spout "Fire and Damnation', but what the hell, at least they'll be TALKING about it! Love you. (Hope my link works, it's my first time ;))
"It is character that communicates most eloquently."

Offline heartforyou

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,127
  • I must be a survivor in many ways...
Re: Coming Out of My Shell
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2006, 03:10:08 am »
What a brave thing to do Jeff.

But obviously you needed all those years to come to terms with HIV and life.
I did some articles myself. The last one had an almost recognisable pic of me in it.

As soon as my business is sold I won't hold back.

People like you and Zeph and Trish, actually many of us are helping to prevent AIDS from spreading by being open to our friends and relatives about our virus.

Welcome here and feeling your courage helps mine to blossom.


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 JohnOso

  • Member
  • Posts: 817
Re: Coming Out of My Shell
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2006, 04:29:23 am »
Way to go Jeffrey!   I lived in Arizona for a couple of years, and I know what a conservative bent that state has (relatives in Mesa -- double yuck).

I'm anxious to read what you have to say and hope you'll provide a link.

(I'm also curious how this reporter found you in the first place though, lol)

Take care,


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