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HIV Life >> Women

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sunflower
Grand Master

Reged: 08/31/06
Posts: 159
Loc: AK
strange...
      #228194 - 06/25/07 01:57 AM

It seems weird that women are one of the fastest growing groups of new infections and there are so many topics that are female specific and yet we don't use this forum much. Why is that??? Have many of you been identified with the HPV virus? I have - and have had a colposcopy (cervix biopsied - ouch!). Have your gynocologists been supportive? Have you asked for an HPV screening when getting a pap? Have you learned how to use a dental dam for oral sex?? I tried once and it was awkward - does it take time to learn to use ?? How did you use it?? keep it in place? Do you typically use condoms when giving a blow job?? Here's a question I would like the answer to - have you figured out a position where the act of intercourse makes you orgasm?? I have not and I am 44 YO! I can do it manually before, during or after but I have NEVER orgasmed during sex with out manual stimulation - that feels so lame to me! hahahahahaha Since becoming HIV+ have you had less sex or started using mutual masturbation instead of penetration?? Does it feel fulfilling - I have used it more and it feels ok but not like a good romp - smile.
Are you more depressed? I am.
This seems like a great place for us to talk about those issues that are particular to women - menopause, periods, hormonal craziness, and what info we are tracking that is particular to being female - HPV, vaginal warts, cervical cancer (an AIDS defining illness). Also - how is your family treating you? Are they supportive? DO you feel ostrasized? Are you overburdened with caretaking? Lets use this place to create a web of support for each other - not to the exclusion of others or other forums but to build community.

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dElle
Newbie

Reged: 03/13/07
Posts: 5
Re: strange...
      #228249 - 06/27/07 06:45 PM

Hi....welcome! I usually just browse and read other posts/forums but never participate. I don't really know why. But let me take my first step: I have gone through some of the same things you mentioned (HPV and the colposcopy) I'm 38 y/o, been + since 5/2004, work in the healthcare industry, in a committed relationship, and not really had any depression to speak of. No one other than my + fiance knows my status and I have had no need or want for that matter to tell anyone. And other than the whole HIV thing, I'm a pretty healthy, happy person. Same as usual, just a different day. Whew! That was a bigger step than I thought! At this point, I think I would enjoy sharing "war" stories of what I go through, not only as a HIV + woman, but just a woman in general. God Bless.

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teardrop
Newbie

Reged: 03/14/07
Posts: 9
Re: strange...
      #228250 - 06/27/07 07:53 PM

I too am always depressed and have pretty much just stopped having sex. I think it's because I never want to take a chance of anyone ever getting this virus from me. I don't like condoms and I don't like dental dams and I don't like the anxiety of it all. When a guy is attracted to me, I look at him and know in my heart if he knew my positive status, he would be running for the hills and I don't blame him. I don't like telling every guy I have sex with my status so I don't (but I do demand he use protection to keep him safe), but I also know that if the relationship was to go further, he would have to know. Then he would run and hate me for not telling him from the beginning. It's an ugly, vicious cycle so I've removed myself from it for the time being. I'm just too ashamed to do this anymore. Does anyone else feel this way? What can we do about it? Why can't I be happy like I was before all this started?

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sunflower
Grand Master

Reged: 08/31/06
Posts: 159
Loc: AK
Re: strange...
      #228257 - 06/27/07 10:33 PM

Teardrop -
Thanks for responding. I am not always depressed just sometimes...taking meds for it and also working out on a semi-regular basis. It is interesting that you feel men would run - I have told 4 different men and have had sex with 3 of them - they did not run - they have listened and I have been open to questions - and mainly they did not know much about it but were curious. When I have told men I am interested in, I have made sure not to ask and require them to caretake my emotions - I have been straight forward and fairly nonemotional allowing them to experience their own emotions not have to worry about mine - I think this allows them the freedom to listen, not freak, and gives them the space to feel whatever comes up. So far, I have not had a negative experience when sharing my status AND I imagine at some point I will. I will deal with it then.
It is certainly hard to be spontaneous :) and yea, I don't feel as attractive for sure. I hope that goes away as time goes on or that I can adjust my perception to minimize that feeling.
I am so sorry that you feel ashamed - you are the same glorious, funny, good person you were before, you just need to take precautions. That doesn't make you less of a person.
Is the shame based on the fact that you feel stupid for getting this?? When I feel ashamed, and yes I do at times, it is because I know i could have prevented it if I had taken better care of myself. Put my safety first instead of his pleasure. AND I accept the responsibilty of having made that choice.
I wish for us the ability to let go of shame, accept what happened, and allow people to love us anyway.
Hope I haven't sounded to lecture-ish :).
BTW - have you used dental dams much? ANd why don't you like them? IS it cuz they are kinda high maintenance? Have you ever heard of underwear that hold them in place? I have never tried but would like to because that is a great feeling!!! HAHAHAHAHA
Take good care! Lor

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sunflower
Grand Master

Reged: 08/31/06
Posts: 159
Loc: AK
Re: strange...
      #228258 - 06/27/07 10:41 PM

dElle - I am glad you responded! Yes - let's share our experiences as women. I just got my results from my pap - it is unusual again AND I am putting off the colposcopy until fall - we will do another pap and see how I am then. I was in a committed relationship for nearly 2 years after I found out - I let it go because I am not ready to commit for longer - I may decide to move or change careers. Are you a nurse?? I am an engineer and have been pos for about 2.5 years. Currently I am working with a career coach to help me figure out what i am passionate about and what else I might want to do for a job. I want to be able to hear my own voice about what my values are and separate out the family/societal "shoulds". Let's create community here and share what we experience as HIV+ women and women in general! Thanks for the input!

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teardrop
Newbie

Reged: 03/14/07
Posts: 9
Re: strange... new
      #228268 - 06/28/07 05:27 AM

Your words have given me something to think about. Maybe I'm making things too hard on myself and not giving things a chance. I really do need to face reality about a lot of things including my love life. I like "natural", and that's why I don't like the condoms and dams. Things have changed now, and it's time I change too. Thank you sooo much for giving me a little bit of hope for the future.

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teardrop
Newbie

Reged: 03/14/07
Posts: 9
Re: strange... new
      #228269 - 06/28/07 05:37 AM

I'm very happy for you. You seem to be doing really well and that's wonderful. I too work in the Healthcare field. I was in a committed relationship, but my boyfriend just couldn't deal with things. He hated condoms as much as I did and he finally told me he loved me but just couldn't do this forever so he left me. I think that's probably why I have so much resentment right now. I feel very inadequate and unattractive and I've convinced myself no one will ever want to be with me so I've given up. Your story is inspiring however, and maybe I'll rethink some things.
Have a wonderful day~

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sadface
Legend

Reged: 02/15/06
Posts: 797
Re: strange... new
      #228270 - 06/28/07 08:25 AM

Call me crazy, but what is a dental dam??
Thanks,
M.

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Jackie__Blue
Legend

Reged: 01/20/07
Posts: 1186
Re: strange...
      #228275 - 06/28/07 09:37 AM

Have many of you been identified with the HPV virus? I have - and have had a colposcopy (cervix biopsied - ouch!).

I had a colposcopy last year. It was my first. My PAP came back OK, except for the fact I have HPV, so the doctor wanted to play it safe. I'm supposed to be getting another one this month. I'm not sure why I have to get another so soon, since nothing showed up in either test in December. I think it's a bit overkill. I get the impression that the reason is simply because I have HIV.

Teardrop, I know it's a matter of what risk someone will accept. However the risk of tranmission from oral sex is almost non-existent. Transmission to the person giving (1 in 10,000 exposures with an infected partner.

There is only a theoretical risk for any person that receives oral sex. No confirmed cases of transmission and the CDC set the risk at 1/2 of 1% in 10,000), dental dams are more a personal choice.

Also some studies done with long term sero-discordant couples have shown no cases of transmission when the couples always use condoms for intercourse, but don't use anything for oral sex.

Also - give yourself a chance. Not every guy will turn on heel and run when finding out you have HIV.






Edited by Anon_One (06/28/07 09:48 AM)

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12yrspoz
Member

Reged: 03/05/07
Posts: 17
Loc: minneapolis,mn
Re: strange...
      #228278 - 06/28/07 11:30 AM

Hello Everyone

Just wanted to share in the interesting topic that is being talked about HPV. I have had a few PEP that have came back unsual and have had Leeps and Copols done.I was told that the fact of having HIV put us at greater risk of getting Cerv.Cancer that is why we have to have some many PEPs done to make sure that we don't have it.I myself have ask for my doctors to find another way to find out if I have Cerv. Cancer because the Leep and the Copols are very painful and I just feel the they are scraping at me only to tell me 5or 6 months later that they need to do it again.

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dElle
Newbie

Reged: 03/13/07
Posts: 5
Re: strange... new
      #228289 - 06/28/07 11:54 PM

Wow...didn't realize so many of us have HPV. I guess it's just par for the course. I don't know why treatment varies from person to person when we receive a negative result from our Colposcopy. I don't have to get another pap for a whole year. But some of you are saying it's just a matter of months from one pap to the next-whew! To answer your question, I am not a nurse but am considering nursing school. I have to find out if I have to disclose my status. If so, I won't go. I am so proud of any of you that are brave enough and strong enough to disclose. I just can't stand anyone looking at me differently. There is so much stigma still attached to this that I just can't allow for someone to "define" me by it. When we get a new or transient patient, the first thing my co-workers rush to find out is their HIV status. If you could be a fly on the wall and just hear some of the ignorant things they say-and these are healthcare workers! You would think that of all people, they would know better! I hope you find what you're searching for. It's not always easy to change careers, considering you're coming out of your comfort zone. Good luck, God Bless.

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sunflower
Grand Master

Reged: 08/31/06
Posts: 159
Loc: AK
Re: strange... new
      #228290 - 06/29/07 01:42 AM

Oh I just cracked up when I read you response! LOL I have thought the same thing, in fact when I got back the results this time I said, look, it takes 10 to 12 years to get cervical cancer, and we have the same results as 4 months ago and a year ago - let's wait awhile. Then I told her that while I really liked her the next time I was in stirrups I wanted to be on a horse or having kinky sex with a handsome man! hahahahah
Actually cervical cancer is an aids defining illness so I guess I can understand the concern. What is a Leep??? I have never heard of that. Is it similar to a colposcopy??
I didn't realize the risk was so low for the giver of oral sex on a female. I would have to use a dam anyway because it would make me anxious about exposure but at least I could share the low risk info with a partner.
Sadface - a dental dam is a thin piece of latex that you can put over your clit/vagina for oral sex. They can be flavored or not. You can find them in sex shops.
12yrspoz - are you on meds?? if so, what ones? I am on Atripla. My cd4 count has gone from 189 last summer to 457 in May. I am really pleased and I enjoy the wacky dreams for the most part.
Well, it is great to hear from everyone - let's keep this going!

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sadface
Legend

Reged: 02/15/06
Posts: 797
Re: strange... new
      #228293 - 06/29/07 07:57 AM

Thanks for the response on the dental dam, I was not quite sure. I thought the chances of getting HIV from oral was pretty slim to none, no? I just has my pap done as well, they checked for HPV with the new thin prep pap..very efficient. We all need to be aware of our bodies. We only have one life here and I want to enjoy each and every moment..
Love and prayers,
SF

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teardrop
Newbie

Reged: 03/14/07
Posts: 9
Re: strange... new
      #228307 - 06/29/07 09:42 PM

Hi...
I'll keep this short but I just wanted you to know that I feel exactly the same way as you do about telling anyone my status. I work in the healthcare field too as I think I mentioned already, and you're right...people are very cruel to people that are hiv+, and I would never want the people I work with to find out. I did tell my best friend that I trust with my life the same day I found out because I thought I was going to "flip out". She has never told anyone and I'll always cherish her for that. To this day, we don't talk about it anymore...she just knows and she'll be the only one that knows if I have anything to do with it.
I don't know if it's healthy or not to live this way, and the doctor that treats me for hiv is always trying to talk me in to perhaps getting involved in a hiv group session. I won't do it out of fear someone might recognize me. I don't even see a doctor in the same town that I live in. I know that you understand how I feel and I'm glad to see someone else that feels like I do. I would love to hear you tell me you got in Nursing School. I don't know if you have to disclose your status or not. I really wish you the very best and hope your dream can come true.
Take care Sweetie...you'll always have a friend in me if you need someone to talk to...!
Teardrop~

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Sparkle
Newbie

Reged: 07/02/07
Posts: 4
Loc: Southern Hemi
Re: strange...
      #228426 - 07/02/07 01:07 AM

Hi this is my first post & its great to hear from all these amazing women. I have never used a dental dam but plenty of condoms! I've been positive for 11 years & had the good fortune to meet the only man I have ever wanted to marry 8 years ago. He's positive too which kind of leaves hiv out of the way so we just have to deal with each other! Thing is he was very well trained with condoms & we didn't wanna cross-pollinate or get pregnant so we used them a lot, less so now - I'm 38 & for a while we did try to have a baby but nothing. We live in Australia & both hope to be very well for a very long time. Sometimes I get down but I think life is so short anyway, why be blue? Actually if I feel unwell its hard to be happy, but life is good right now so thank God for that!
Thankyou for starting this post, brave lady, you have touched our lives! Love yourself, Love life.

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