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Author Topic: How did a women like you get hiv  (Read 8102 times)

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Offline tee

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How did a women like you get hiv
« on: September 06, 2012, 08:21:56 AM »
Helo, my name is Theresa, I am not to sure where I should be posting this comment how ever feel the need to scream. joined the poz personals last week and I have received many flirts and messages. The question has been HOW DID A WOMEN LIKE YOU GET HIV? REALLY is it because a am white a mother,daughter and grandmother. I have been 15 years living with hiv and the stigma that comes with it still 2012 blows me away. I would love to scream it from a roof top just so ALL of the white straight world can also get hiv. has any ever googled WHITE women living with hiv? the search brings up BLACK women.

Offline karry

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Re: How did a women like you get hiv
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2012, 07:43:01 PM »
Hi Tee
Unfortunately, many people out there still believe that HIV is something reserved for a certain race, sexual orientation or class of people. Its sad that what it takes at times to change these archaic believes is when someone in their milieu whom they considered "risk-free" ends up HIV-positive....or when they themselves get infected.

I always tell people that all it takes to be at risk for HIV is to have an immune system...and we all do!
A lot of ignorance is out there. Unfortunately, this ignorance is what fuels and keeps the stigma alive.
Cheers to you.
Karry ( black positive female)
Take it a day at a time....and be positive about it too!

Offline BT65

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Re: How did a women like you get hiv
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2012, 04:57:30 AM »
Hi Tee,
I also am a Caucasian grandmother, tested positive 23 years ago (if I'm doing the math correctly). 

Anyway, yeah, I'm very picky anymore about who I tell.  Like the apartment place I live in; it's an older house that now is 3 apartments.  I was talking to the lady who lives in the middle apartment and she still has a lot of outdated beliefs about HIV.  The man who lives in the other apartment has the same.  So I don't share my status with them.  Only because I know they would stir up a lot of trouble, and frankly I don't want to deal with it.  Now my next door neighbor knows, but she's from a large city (Chicago) and is more educated.   The reason I was talking with the others who live in my apartment building is because I work for an ASO (aids service organization) and they were asking me about the people I work with (clients).

I suppose that just because time changes, unfortunately that doesn't mean people's beliefs or ideas keep up with the changing times. 
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Offline Ann

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Re: How did a women like you get hiv
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2012, 07:26:09 AM »
Hi Theresa, welcome to the forums. I see you've been a member since last November and I'm glad you finally worked up the courage to post.

I too have come up against the dearth of information regarding hiv in white (European or of European descent) women. There's a big reason for that, not that it makes it right. I found it helps if you put "quotation" marks around "white women" when googling for articles.

From a fairly recent CDC article: In 2009, women comprised 51% of the US population and accounted for 23% of new HIV infections. Of the total number of new HIV infections among women, 57% were among black women, 21% were in white women, and 18% were in Latina women. The rate of new HIV infections among black women was 15 times as high as that of white women and over 3 times as high as that of Latina women in 2009. Click here to read more from the article National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 2012.

I also found two older articles, both published by The Body. White Women and HIV was published in 1999 and The Hidden Epidemic: White Women and HIV was published in 2001, partly in response to the 1999 article.

The subject of hiv in the white female community can be a minefield to navigate. Nobody wants to be seen as trying to pull the focus away from women of colour - but to my mind, we need to put more effort into getting the message out that as women, we are ALL at risk regardless of our racial, ethnic, social or economic backgrounds. We need to pull together rather than find reasons to split into factions. We will find strength in numbers, rather than in special interest groups.

I've also come across the attitude that you mention - "how did a woman like you end up poz?" I tell them straight out - any woman who has unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse IS "a women like me". Rather than let it bother me, I use these exchanges as teachable moments, but I'm very out about my hiv status. I make it very clear that if the person I'm speaking to has had unprotected intercourse at some point in their lives (and let's face it, most adults have), then they also have been at risk.

One thing I took from the articles above is that we white women are far more likely to remain firmly closeted about our hiv status. The only way we're ever going to change the perception that "women like us" don't get hiv is for us to come out of the closet and become more visible. We may not be present in the same numbers as our sisters of colour are, but we're still very much here and we need to make our voices heard. Nobody else is going to do it for us.

I hope to hear more from you soon.


edited for clarity
« Last Edit: September 07, 2012, 07:29:38 AM by Ann »
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