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I'm Noticing Less Stigma Toward HIV+ By HIV- Men. Anyone Else?

  • MuchMoreThanM... Posts: 21432
    QUOTE Jan 21, 2012 9:37 PM GMT
    First of all, this is not a discussion about people practicing sex without condoms and not being concerned about their health. It's not about people becoming lackadaisical regarding (safer) sexual practices or lack thereof.

    This is simply an observation of mine. I am seeing a lot less onslaught toward people who have HIV. I notice it here especially and I am also noticing it a lot on manhunt.net. On manhunt, it seemed like hardly anyone would give me the time of day a few years ago. Now, so many people on that site who message me don't seem to mind.

    Back in the 1990's people didn't seem as harsh toward HIV+ people either. However, over time I noticed people were really vicious toward HIV+. It's odd to me. It seems almost cyclical. I don't see any recent threads here anymore with something alone the lines of, "If You're Neg Would You Date a Poz Guy?" And then the flame wars would begin!

    Anyone else notice this?

    FYI: I personally believe that sero-discordant couples can safely engage in sexual practices and be fine so long as they use protection.
  • Trepeat Posts: 546
    QUOTE Jan 21, 2012 10:51 PM GMT
    Hopefully, it`s because more and more people are becoming aware of the risk factors and importance of using protection, and are using their education to make informed decision regarding whether or not they want to engage in sexual activty with someone who`s pos, as opposed to blindly fearing it like the black death. Either way I`m glad to hear it, and hopefully it signifies not only greater tolerance, but also greater awareness and safe practices.
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Jan 21, 2012 11:22 PM GMT
    I don't have any basis to judge, but I really hope you're right.
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Jan 21, 2012 11:43 PM GMT
    It reminds me a bit of reaction towards cancer. In the past, people could barely say the word much less add their friend/relatives' name to the same sentence. I think back to St. Elmo's Fire when Claire's mother would whisper the word "cancer". Nowadays it's just so much different in people's attitudes and reactions towards it.

    I believe HIV has run the same or similar course, to some degree, at least within the gay community. When HIV first became an issue, it was shocking and was attached to a stigma. Now, it's realized how many HIV+ men there are that are able to live normal, productive lives, either with or without medication. And the efforts by many to fully educate on the risk factors has helped tremendously. Maybe someone like Magic Johnson helped the cause as well.

    Personally, I've never dated anyone who is HIV+. That's not necessarily a choice, it's just how things have happened. But I wouldn't be averse to it at all. I would not stop talking to someone just because I found out he was HIV+.

    Actually, two of my favorite people here on RJ are HIV+.

  • MuchMoreThanM... Posts: 21432
    QUOTE Jan 22, 2012 12:01 AM GMT
    EastCoastNAZ said I think back to St. Elmo's Fire when Claire's mother would whisper the word "cancer". Nowadays it's just so much different in people's attitudes and reactions towards it.


    You're right about this. I forgot all about that. Now the word cancer is such a household commonly used term.

    EastCoastNAZ saidWhen HIV first became an issue, it was shocking and was attached to a stigma.


    The use of "shaming" another person regarding HIV had gotten really out of control for awhile. I don't see it as much anymore, thankfully. I think it also has a lot do do with the nature as to how it is predominantly contracted. How many people had or have so much contempt for IV drug users who get the virus? From my observation it's those who contracted the virus by sexual means that took/take the brunt of the abuse.
  • Dbrad3693 Posts: 227
    QUOTE Jan 22, 2012 12:37 AM GMT
    I completely agreed and understand
    A very good friend of mine had a bf who was HIV positive while he was HIV neg. they loved each other very much, even after they broke up they r still good friends.
    I think it is great that people are realizing that HIV positive people are not bad or disgusting. They are just men/women who made a mistake in their lives. It is impossible to live out your life without having at least one regret.
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Jan 22, 2012 1:00 AM GMT
    I think because its due to education, more people coming out younger, having sex younger, friends or themselves catching something ... It's due more to passing of knowledge. Also people entering into magnetic relationships. I think people are seeing HIV more has a disease to be dealt with like cancer or something.
  • conservativej... Posts: 2214
    QUOTE Jan 22, 2012 1:02 AM GMT
    I honestly don't know, but I do have a question. Do you think one generation expresses stigma more than another? Keep in mind I was in my late twenties at the onset of the AIDS crisis, so I would tend not to stigmatize HIV positive men.
  • araphael Posts: 1148
    QUOTE Jan 22, 2012 1:55 AM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidFirst of all, this is not a discussion about people practicing sex without condoms and not being concerned about their health. It's not about people becoming lackadaisical regarding (safer) sexual practices or lack thereof.

    This is simply an observation of mine. I am seeing a lot less onslaught toward people who have HIV. I notice it here especially and I am also noticing it a lot on manhunt.net. On manhunt, it seemed like hardly anyone would give me the time of day a few years ago. Now, so many people on that site who message me don't seem to mind.

    Back in the 1990's people didn't seem as harsh toward HIV+ people either. However, over time I noticed people were really vicious toward HIV+. It's odd to me. It seems almost cyclical. I don't see any recent threads here anymore with something alone the lines of, "If You're Neg Would You Date a Poz Guy?" And then the flame wars would begin!

    Anyone else notice this?

    FYI: I personally believe that sero-discordant couples can safely engage in sexual practices and be fine so long as they use protection.


    It may simply be a matter of better education of people actually. To be a positive guy does not mean that you are no longer human. I agree with you, things have changed significantly.
  • MuchMoreThanM... Posts: 21432
    QUOTE Jan 22, 2012 1:58 AM GMT
    Age doesn't seem to matter. There have been young ones and guys older than me chastising gay men with HIV.

    I've had people on this website attack me by using my HIV as a weapon against me. It doesn't piss me off. In fact, it shows how little they can find in another person in order to attack him with. These people range from quite young, to my age and a bit older.
  • conservativej... Posts: 2214
    QUOTE Jan 22, 2012 2:07 AM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidAge doesn't seem to matter. There have been young ones and guys older than me chastising gay men with HIV.

    I've had people on this website attack me by using my HIV as a weapon against me. It doesn't piss me off. In fact, it shows how little they can find in another person in order to attack them with. These people range from quite young, to my age and a bit older.


    I gave up a long time ago on understanding some people. Take care man.
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Jan 22, 2012 2:15 AM GMT
    I think education has contributed a lot to this change, although it's an ongoing effort.

    Effective treatment options have also helped take away the rampant fear of HIV/AIDS. We don't see people dropping dead. I think with HIV being less threatening, HIV+ guys don't get irrationally demonized as much, which is great.
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Jan 22, 2012 2:22 AM GMT
    A agree completely. Things have certainly changed. I have to admit... that about 10 years ago I would never even think of dating a HIV positive guy. I thought it would be too complicated and that I would be worried about getting something but now I see so many hot, fun, healthy guys who I later learn are HIV positive. I simply don't fear HIV anymore. So I've dated a few HIV positive guys before and I'm sure I will again at some point and I,m still negative. In fact there's an RJ member I'd love to go on a date with or at least fuck.. and he's positive (should I ask him out? ...smile) ... so its no big deal to me anymore.

    The biggest thing for me was that my 2 closest friends revealed to me that they where positive and had been for years they just never told me. It was actually kinda funny because they didn't know that the other was positive so it just made us all closer. I respect them a great deal and I'd never betray their trust... their like my brothers. So personal experience had a lot to do with changing my attitude.

  • MikemikeMike Posts: 6351
    QUOTE Jan 23, 2012 9:37 AM GMT
    AND MuchMorethanMuscle we r glad you're here man!!
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Jan 27, 2012 3:00 AM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle said

    FYI: I personally believe that sero-discordant couples can safely engage in sexual practices and be fine so long as they use protection.


    This always makes me laugh.

    Why would anyone be afraid of having safe(r) sex with someone who is HIV+? To me the logic behind this fear is fallacious. What's the point of safe(r) sex if you do not have trust in condoms? Why use condoms at all? You either trust in the effectiveness of condoms or you don’t, and any STDs your partner may have should be irrelevant.
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Jan 28, 2012 2:42 PM GMT
    conscienti1984 said
    MuchMoreThanMuscle said

    FYI: I personally believe that sero-discordant couples can safely engage in sexual practices and be fine so long as they use protection.


    This always makes me laugh.

    Why would anyone be afraid of having safe(r) sex with someone who is HIV+? To me the logic behind this fear is fallacious. What's the point of safe(r) sex if you do not have trust in condoms? Why use condoms at all? You either trust in the effectiveness of condoms or you don’t, and any STDs your partner may have should be irrelevant.


    +100

    And in the uk, doctors say you have more risk from diabetes now than HIV due to medical advances
  • rnch Posts: 10905
    QUOTE Jan 28, 2012 7:25 PM GMT
    [quote][cite]MuchMoreThanMuscle said:... I personally believe that sero-discordant couples can safely engage in sexual practices and be fine so long as they use protection. [/quote]

    I Quite Agree.




    icon_idea.gif
  • TheCelticFury Posts: 304
    QUOTE Jan 28, 2012 7:41 PM GMT
    The generation now is growing up with out HIV being a death sentence and not attending funerals one a month like my older friends did when they were a few years older then me.

    There is also more education out there about the virus and how it can be treated and easily prevented. People don't fear something they understand. Here in America that is the viewpoint but in other parts of the world it is still a leading cause of death (well not the virus but what I does, etc).

    Also the cases have not been properly documented but there have been people who were HIV+ that are now HIV- . Not a cure per say but we are working towards that as well.
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Jan 28, 2012 8:12 PM GMT
    Oh yes there is way less stigma today, than years gone by; but then I recall the horrors of the gay plauge era well, and all the stigma that was too follow; yes things are better today.
  • mtnjock Posts: 104
    QUOTE Jan 28, 2012 8:30 PM GMT
    I agree, at least in general. I think there are still pockets in the US where people are less educated and therefore still ignorant about HIV and the advances in treatment. I also believe it has mostly to do with how HIV+ people see themselves: before, poz guys were either embarrassed or afraid to admit that they were poz. I have seen many guys hide, then accept, and finally discuss their status and no longer be afraid to do so. The more people who are not ashamed to hide their status from society, the more society will accept and understand HIV.
  • cjs176 Posts: 737
    QUOTE Jan 28, 2012 8:37 PM GMT
    I do agree that there is less stigma toward people with HIV.However, when it comes to finding a relationship while having HIV, it is still very difficult. I have yet to find someone that will love me regardless of my HIV status. I just have to give it some time, I have not given up hope.
  • Upper_Cdn Posts: 4381
    QUOTE Jan 28, 2012 11:05 PM GMT
    Anecdotally, we have found here that HIV positive men in Atlantic Canada talk of a sense of extreme isolation and loneliness. I have heard a guy complain his status makes him undateable, but that could just be because he's a cranky old pessimist. icon_wink.gif. (he isn't really) icon_lol.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Jan 28, 2012 11:15 PM GMT
    I will say that I hope this positive trend leads to fewer guys lying about their status. The three acquaintances I've had who've seroconverted were all infected by guys who were not honest or upfront about their status--one of them actively lied about and continues to lie about it despite several guys he has infected since then.

    The cloud to the silver lining of guys being more accepting and understanding is that I get the impression, among young gay men, that they think HIV is no big deal--that it just means you need to take pills once in a while and you're fine. I think we still need to reach a point where people realize HIV is a real and deadly disease, just not quite the death sentence it was decades back.

    For what it's worth, though, I'm glad you're feeling more included. No one should be shamed or made to feel like less of a person because they made a mistake, or because someone made one for them.
  • jessetriguy Posts: 338
    QUOTE Jan 28, 2012 11:16 PM GMT
    I notice a change. For the first time I am being approached by negative guys and they are ok with my hiv status. Feels good! icon_biggrin.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Jan 28, 2012 11:19 PM GMT
    I am also noticing, as least on other sites, a LOT more people taking "Safe sex" off their profiles. Not sure if it's always been like that in bigger cities, as I have just moved to Orlando, but It amazes me when people contact me with no prior knowledge of me, or even care to inquire about my health status.

    Am I noticing this because I'm from a small po-dunk town of maybe 500 gay guys at most and just moving to a big gay city, or is this going with the trend that people are less concerned, or even don't care?