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Dave R.

HIV, Neuropathy and More: Avoiding Becoming a Nervous Wreck

The Other Side of Love, Part Two: Partner Abuse in LGBT Communities
June 13, 2013

You're afraid to leave and afraid to stay. You're afraid of other people's reactions if they find out. Your gay friends will look at you differently and assume that you're a walkover or weak with possible masochistic traits and unable to stand on your own two feet. They'll snort and claim they would never allow themselves to be in that position. Your family and the world at large will jump to conclusions. You can hear them saying it; they'd really never expected anything else from a same-sex relationship; they knew nothing good would come of it.

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The Other Side of Love, Part One: My Story of Same-Sex-Partner Abuse
June 2, 2013

That over one-third of LGBT people have been subjected to violence from an intimate partner is evidence of the brutality we can inflict upon one another, even those whom we claim to love.

-- David Phillips

The quote above from David Phillips, was a comment on an earlier post of mine. At the time I thought, "Damn, he's right. I should have mentioned that side of it in the article." Then a couple of days later it hit me that by saying that, he had inadvertently reopened a chapter of my life that I'd more or less successfully filed away.

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The Gay Scene: "The Biggest Suicide Cult in History"! Say What Now?
May 7, 2013

It's morning, I open my eyes
And everything's still the same
I turn to the guy who stayed last night
And ask him, "What's your name?"

-- "So Many Men, So Little Time," Miquel Brown, 1983

I must admit, when I read this title quote by the much-lauded British performance artist and TV personality David Hoyle, I thought it must be something from a late eighties politician, and one not exactly gay-friendly. In fact, the very gay David Hoyle said it in 2007, on the day before World AIDS Day ...

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Neuropathy: Facts and Fiction
May 3, 2013

Neuropathy is one of those diseases that affects millions of people (20 million in the USA alone) and between 30% and 40% of people living with HIV and yet if you ask 100 people on the street what it is, the vast majority of them won't have a clue what you're talking about. This article is based on some of the commonest questions from people new to the disease and is meant to establish some facts and clear up some misunderstandings, especially in relation to people with HIV.

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The Bitter Sweet Pain of Remembrance
March 11, 2013

As you get older things come back to you out of the blue. They do. Unannounced, unexpected and unwanted most of the time and usually in the quiet, more contemplative moments when you just want to switch off and not think of anything. When you're young, you're busy building up libraries of experiences and memories and filling your head and heart up with trivia and absorbed knowledge. When you're older, your memory banks are stuffed to the gills and although you may not be able to remember what you did yesterday, your childhood and later years will burst out of dusty memory files, in spontaneous clips of recollection and without apparent rhyme or reason.

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Opioid Dependency: What's It Got to Do With HIV?
February 1, 2013

So what is the 'real and present danger' to us as people living with HIV, its co-morbidities and any resulting extra health problems? If your pain does not respond well enough to analgesics and other drugs (anti-depressants, anti-convulsants and other drugs meant to interact with nerve signals to the brain), you may be advised to move onto opioids of one sort or another. This shouldn't alarm you too much, despite the content of Part One of this article.

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The Opioid Solution and HIV: From the Frying Pan Into the Fire
February 1, 2013

A nightmare for some and a godsend for others, some people become addicted to opioids because opioids have become their recreational drug of choice, while others become addicted because their pain symptoms are so severe that they have no choice. Either way, a problem has arisen which threatens social stability in whole communities, especially in North America, and makes authorities unsure which way to turn.

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Neuropathy and HIV: A Progress Report
January 10, 2013

With over 100 possible causes and over 100 possible forms, neuropathy is nerve damage that affects roughly 30% of people living with HIV. If you're really unlucky, you may also be diabetic, or have also been treated for cancer, or are a heavy drinker, in which case your chances of suffering from nerve damage unfortunately become exponentially greater.

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Battle Front Angels: HIV/AIDS Heroines of the '80s and '90s
November 15, 2012

Give or take a year or two and depending on your personal history, we've been living and dying with HIV and AIDS for 30 years. Every year on World AIDS Day, we remember those who fell. However, in this morally topsy-turvy world, we don't always remember those who picked up our men, wiped their arses and their tears and unselfishly gave help, humanity and dignity during what for many were last weeks and months. We damn well should because without the thousands across the world who gave their time when nobody else would, a lot fewer of us would be around to talk about it today.

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Crime and Punishment: The U.S. and Canadian Contexts of an International HIV Disclosure Dilemma
October 25, 2012

As far as the United States and Canada are concerned, the HIV criminalization cases there have been well documented; leading to various degrees of outrage from LGBT and HIV groups alike. Probably the best known is the homeless man who was given thirty five years for spitting at a police officer in 2008, with his saliva being declared a "deadly weapon." This in spite of the fact that nobody has ever proved that saliva is a medium for transmitting HIV and the fact that the officer didn't contract HIV. This case was highlighted in the same year by South African judge, Edwin Cameron, in a speech about criminal transmission at the international AIDS conference of 2008.

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HIV, Neuropathy and More: Avoiding Becoming a Nervous Wreck

Dave R.

Dave R.

English but living since 1986 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. HIV+ since 2004 and a neuropathy patient since 2007. I've seen quite a bit, done quite a bit and bought quite a few t-shirts if you know what I mean; but all that baggage makes me what I am today: a better person I believe, despite it all.

Arriving on, originally, was the end result of getting neuropathy as a side effect of the medication, or the virus, or both. I found it such a vague disease and discovered very little information that wasn't commercially tinged, or scientifically impenetrable, so I decided to create a daily Blog and a website where practical information, hints, tips and experiences for patients could be gathered together in one place.

However, I was also given the chance to write about other aspects of living with HIV and have now contributed more articles about those than about neuropathy. That said, neuropathy remains my 'core subject' although one which unfortunately dominates both my life and that of many other HIV-positive people.

I'm not a doctor or qualified medical expert, just someone with neuropathy and HIV who has spent the last few years researching the illness and trying to create information sources for people who want to know more.

I also have my own personal website and write for

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