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gregg629
Guardian

Reged: 04/16/01
Posts: 438
Loc: Boston
Getting back to life.
      #44420 - 11/21/02 10:07 AM

Hey, I wanted to try to help get this board back on track. I posted a few weeks ago and a pretty good thread was created. Lets try again and see if we can get this board back to what it should be. A constructive place for people living with HIV to come and share and support each other.

I'm looking for feedback from others who are living with HIV, gay, straight, doesnít matter, we're all in this together and go through a lot of the same things. Iím not looking for an argument on the dissident issue so please donít do that in this thread.

Hereís some things I was thinking about and questions that Iím interested in hearing about. Please feel free to add to the list of questions and answer as many as you feel comfortable with answering.

What types of things worry you about being positive?
Do you ever feel the stigma associated with being positive?
How do you handle dating and telling potential partners?
What are your feelings on safe sex?
Are you on meds and if so are you having any side effects?
How do family and friends deal with your status?

For me I guess what I worry about the most is the future, I have been positive for 4 years, have been on meds since the start and have had an undetectable viral load since 60 days after starting meds. I sometimes worry about if and when the drug class Iím on will stop working. I, along with my doctor decided to start with Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors instead of Protease Inhibitors. Iíve been doing great and have had no sign of the drugs loosing their effectiveness, but I have always had a negative outlook where PIís were concerned, so for me thatís something that I worry about/

As for the stigma associated with being positive, I have felt it quite a bit. Iíve had lots of guys tell me they would love to date me and that Iím very good looking and that if I was not positive they would chase after me in a second. I think only someone who has heard that before can understand how it feels to be told that. How it rips out your heart, especially when it comes from a guy that your attracted to. Iím curious about how heterosexual singles deal with this. Do you go through the same thing? Do people you date instantly brush you off when they find out your positive or is that more of a gay thing?

Well hopefully as this thread progresses Iíll answer more of my own questions and I look forward to reading others answers and responses.




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Dave Brader
Unregistered

Re: Getting back to life. new
      #44428 - 11/21/02 10:54 AM

I have been HIV positive for 18 years now. I have had AIDS for over four and have been on meds for over four years now. I was in a way fortunate to not know for years that I was infected. I say fortunate because I did not have to live with the stress of knowing all of those years. The unfortunate part of course is that by the time I found out I was seriously ill. Also, I have been married for 25 years, and my wife could have become infected during that time, but thank God she did not.

I have never had any real side effects from the meds. Some mild nausea and diarrhea at first that was about it.

I live in a small town, and have been very open about have HIV disease. Just about everyone I know knows I have it. You would think that living in a small, predominately MORMON town, I would have had lots of issues with the stigma attached to having HIV. It has not happened to me. I have found that the people I know not only have gone out of their way to educate themselves about the disease so they do not say anything stupid to me, but they also have gone out of their way to be supportive of me, and my family. Sure there are always a few small minded individuals who are always assholes, but they are assholes about everything, so they are really inconsequential. It is what your close friends, family, and people at church and the general attitude of the community that makes the difference, not individual assholes, who if you think back, annoyed you about many things before HIV became an issue for you!! I also believe that by being so open from day one, the fact that I was open and talking about it, left no room for the gossip mongers to start any crap! Nothing frustrates a gossip monher worse than having someone say, what are you talking about, I was talking with Dave the other day, and that is not the way it was at all!!! LMAO

I take every opportunity to use my HIV status to make people aware. Most recently a family friends daughter was found out to have a drug problem. She was using methamphetamines very heavily. I felt very greatful to be able to sit down with her and talk about HIV and the FACT that IV drug use is one of the easiest ways to become infected, and then tell her about my life living with HIV. I believe that my talk with her had a major influence on helping her fight her addiction to meth, and was happy to be able to use my REAL LIFE experience to help her.

Having HIV is not the end of life. I have found my life to be more fullfilling and rewarding since my dignosis of AIDS than it ever was before, when all I did was chase the almighty dollar!! I am closer to my two sons now that I ever thought possible. Not because I have AIDS, but because I have time. Time to spend with them, Time to talk with them, Time to pay attention to them. And because of that, I have never had the time to sit and feel sorry for myself. There was too much life to live to waste time doing that!

Dave Brader



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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: Getting back to life. new
      #44435 - 11/21/02 12:54 PM

Put an ad on PlanetOut. There are tons of good looking HIV + guys who are also looking for a relationship. Quit complaining about not being able to attract HIV- guys; there are a lot of us who are deformed (but alive) by the drugs who won't ever have the chance you do. Quit your belly aching and start living!



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gregg629
Guardian

Reged: 04/16/01
Posts: 438
Loc: Boston
Re: Getting back to life. new
      #44437 - 11/21/02 01:13 PM

WOW, There definitely sounds like some bitterness in your post.

First off I don't look at potential people based on their HIV status. I look at people the same as I did before I found out I was positive. I look at the person, who they are inside, not what their wallet holds, not which brand of clothing they wear, not the kind of car they drive, but the person they are inside. My question was more trying to figure out if in the Heterosexual world people seem to be as sensitive to someone being HIV positive as they seem to be in the gay world. Well let me specify that more.. in the gay community in Boston. Boston it seems is very HIV phobic. A lot of guys here in Boston donít want to get tested because they just donít want to know their status. They donít want to get involved with anyone who out and open about their status because of guilt by association. That is what I was trying to find out more about my by question and my answer.

I'm also sorry that you misread my trying to get a constructive conversation started as belly aching. If you read other things I have posted you'd see that I talk about how overall how positive and good my life is, how I work full time, help raise my 7 year old son, go out to clubs with friends, travel and enjoy life. I am definitely living.

There are things that I want to talk about and things that I feel are good to share. This board is supposed to be about living with HIV. If I wasn't living I wouldn't be posting here, I wouldn't be comfortable sharing thoughts or feelings with strangers. Iíd be curled up in a ball somewhere.

You mention that there are lot of you who are deformed by the drugs. I assume you are on PI's? As I said in my first post that's one of the things that scares me about them, I know that I'm lucky that I am on the cocktail that I am on, that the side effects are mild. Don't think for a moment that I don't realize that there are people out there who have it far worse then I do.

So do you think that someone whoís positive should only try to date other positive guys? Kind of the ďKeep to your own kindĒ way of thinking?

As a side note, I do have a profile on Planet Out.

Well I hope to hear back from you.

Gregg




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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: Getting back to life. new
      #44456 - 11/21/02 05:10 PM

Hi Gregg: I'm heterosexual and female and positive and I think the dating scene is much worse for us cause no heterosexual male thinks that a female can be positive or at least one they would be attracted to...They think it's only the unattractive girls or something. And even if they would never think of using a condom (I know from my friends who say they refuse) A condom wouldn't be enough for them to have sex with someone who is positive. I mean they would be too paranoid. That's how uninformed I think most of them are. They think you can get it from kissing. That's just most...you can always find a rare person. The hardest thing is to tell someone when you know they will reject you. And most of them do. Unless they are much older and kinda desparate to be with someone younger and think most other younger women will refuse them. But if they think they can get laid elsewhere they will immediately drop you. So it's pretty awful. So like I said it takes a lot of strength of character to tell. I just like to get to know a guy and see if they are just interested in something lite and superficial (IE just sex) and if so I drop them. IF they are willing to be my friend then maybe they'll stick around when they find out. Or I just go to a heterosexual and positive club I know about. But the pickings are kinda slim. I think gay men have lots more choice. Also my gay friends say that even if tell someone you are positive they will still have sex with you, but maybe not start a relationship. Is that what you find? R.d.



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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: Getting back to life. new
      #44464 - 11/21/02 05:50 PM

Hey Gregg: The bitterness is not in my post, it's in me! And it not's directed at you. But I would like for you to do something. I am not on any PIs. Four years of Trizivir and Viread have caused severe lipo. Be just as scared of the nukes and non-nukes as you are of PIs. Hey, I'd be living it up at clubs and raising a kid too, except for the liver problems and gross veins on the top of my skin. I used to be you. It all occurred over a few weeks one Spring when I started to melt away. Save yourself and demand that you doctor and the drug companies fix the problems with the side effects. Too bad more of you well positives don't start raising hell. Drugs can be made better. Look at thalidomide fiasco, Rizulin deaths and the most recent Hormone Replacment Therapy controversy. Question! Question! Question!



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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: Getting back to life. new
      #44466 - 11/21/02 06:03 PM

"I was in a way fortunate to not know for years that I was infected."

That IS EXACTILY our point. You have lived 18 years, fourteen without meds. If people did not take the useless test they would live healthy lives free of fear.

You are a prime example of the wisdom of our position.

Once again I must thank you.



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Thinker
Unregistered

Re: Getting back to death. new
      #44473 - 11/21/02 06:57 PM

Twelve years healthy, no meds.
Two years meds.....
Disease.....
Death.
Another 'AIDS' tragedy?

A ritual of suicide.
http://www.virusmyth.com



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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: Getting back to death. new
      #44479 - 11/21/02 08:13 PM

Do you believe that a disease can have a period of latency? Or is that to large of a concept for you? Lots of diseases advance with different time frames. Tests have made it possible to live with and even cure many diseases early due to detection. You're saying dropping dead is the first symptom of disease. Not very bright.



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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: Getting back to death. new
      #44487 - 11/21/02 09:44 PM

Twelve years healthy, no meds.
Two years meds.....
Disease.....
Death.
Another 'AIDS' tragedy?

LMAO, you dare to call yourself a thinker??

Dave Brader




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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: Getting back to life. new
      #44488 - 11/21/02 09:58 PM

"If people did not take the useless test they would live healthy lives free of fear."

Hey MORON!! Wake up!! I went 14 years before I became ill, but I was 44 years old when I became ill. Now if I had been infected when I was 20, I would have been 34. 34 years old, and very ill. Not a good thing no matter how you twist it!! You really are stupid aren't you?

Meds are ven much better now than they were only four years ago when I was diagnosed. If I had been tested earlier, I might not have ever had such a severe case of PCP, I could have been treated before I got that ill.

If I had not gotten that ill I might not be on disability. I could still be working. There are many more reasons that make sense for getting tested than you one reason for not getting tested. AND FOR ANYONE WHO DOES NOT UNDERSTAND, his one reason for not getting tested is so you can live in DENIAL. I think he made it clear beyond any doubt with this last post of his. DENIAL DENIAL DENIAL DENIAL is all he is about. He doesn't worry about the consequences of that DENIAL for one fleeting moment!!!!

Dave Brader




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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: Getting back to death. new
      #44489 - 11/21/02 10:19 PM

"You're saying dropping dead is the first symptom of disease."

'Thinker' never said that. He simply pointed out that it is the treatment not the so called 'syndrome' that is the real cause of disease and death. Why must you people ALWAYS be rude?



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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: Getting back to death. new
      #44497 - 11/21/02 10:37 PM

Not rude just truthful. "thinker" is saying nothing is happening till you take the meds. Then the problems begin. If you can't see how dumb that statement is, you've proven you know nothing about ANY disease or treatment. Please dissidents, if you're going to attempt to offer advice, show us you know SOMETHING about disease and treatments.



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Dave Brader
Unregistered

Re: Getting back to death.
      #44521 - 11/22/02 12:38 AM

"'Thinker' never said that. He simply pointed out that it is the treatment not the so called 'syndrome' that is the real cause of disease and death. Why must you people ALWAYS be rude"

Could it be because hundreds of thousands of deaths from HIV disease prior to treatments evening being discovered proved that theory wrong before the DENIALISTS even came up with that ridiculous theory??? LMAO

Dave Brader



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gregg629
Guardian

Reged: 04/16/01
Posts: 438
Loc: Boston
Re: Getting back to LIFE
      #44554 - 11/22/02 09:07 AM

Your missing the point and "thinker" is twisting things the standard way that dissidents twist things to try to support their warped way of thinking.

HIV left untreated will take around 10 years to destroy the immune system leaving the person open to AIDS and opportunistic infections. It's usually at the point when someone who has no idea of their HIV status starts to develop signs of AIDS that they go to the doctor, get on meds and start to deal with everything.

A lot of times, so much damage has been done to the immune system that no matter what drugs they take they are going to continue to go down hill.

To BLAME the decline in health on the drugs is typical of a dissident, but it's also shows how illogical you are. I have been on meds now for 4 years, my health is excellent, I'm not saying that the drugs aren't toxic and that they don't have long term side effects, but in my book the other side is a lot more dangerous, to let HIV have it's free run of my body and to allow it to damage my immune system until there's nothing left that I can do.

I have seen what the drugs have done for me, I have seen my viral load go from 150k to undectable my CD4 go from 250 - 900 in the 4 years that I have been on meds.

Gregg




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