HIV Stigma

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 20, 2008 3:30 PM GMT
    The provincial government here in Ontario has created a website that I think EVERYONE should check out -- while the statistics and references don't necessarily apply to anyone outside of the province, the message is clear.

    http://www.hivstigma.com

    Click on the video intro, then read the various facilitators' accounts, and check out the links.

    Hopefully this will allow everyone to think about how they treat and/or talk about people with HIV from here on.
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    Oct 20, 2008 3:43 PM GMT
    Thanks for posting this. I have been disappointed in the response of some RJ members towards people with HIV. Knowing that someone is HIV seems to make them off limits, as opposed to someone who says they are HIV- but actually may not be. It seems irrational to me, but then again people at work often accusing me of being too rational.

    In the early 1990s one of the sexiest guys in Toronto asked me if I was HIV+ (I had a cold sore at the time). To my everlasting shame I reacted with a shocked "no". Later I realized he was probably HIV+ and was interested in me. I wished he would have come out said he was + because it would not have made any difference to me. After all I had always practiced safer sex. Not only did I find him attractive, but he was also a really nice guy (not that common a combination I am afraid).

    Ironically I probably got infected from a guy that likely did not know he had it, despite my cautious approach to sex.
  • auryn

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    Oct 20, 2008 5:14 PM GMT
    Good message but the intro video was tough to watch since the spokesman is so fricken HOT!!! I think I need to see it again and again and again until I get the message.icon_biggrin.gif
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    Oct 20, 2008 5:20 PM GMT
    when it comes to sex, i assume everyone is poz, i don trust anyone.
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    Oct 20, 2008 6:13 PM GMT
    Thanks Xanadude. That was a great ad and hopefully got the point across better than my occasional rants against the ignorant masses. It probably helps that he's cuter than I am and isn't calling people fucktards and douchnozzles like I usually do.icon_lol.gif
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    Oct 20, 2008 6:16 PM GMT
    Chaos444 saidwhen it comes to sex, i assume everyone is poz, i don trust anyone.


    But the big question is: if some says they ARE poz, does that change your attitude about having sex with them?
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    Oct 20, 2008 6:17 PM GMT
    RBY71 saidIt probably helps that he's cuter than I am and isn't calling people fucktards and douchnozzles like I usually do.icon_lol.gif


    "fucktards and douchnozzels"...wasn't that a Disney musical with Dick Van Dyke??? icon_lol.gif
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    Oct 20, 2008 6:31 PM GMT
    xanadude said
    RBY71 saidIt probably helps that he's cuter than I am and isn't calling people fucktards and douchnozzles like I usually do.icon_lol.gif


    "fucktards and douchnozzels"...wasn't that a Disney musical with Dick Van Dyke??? icon_lol.gif


    No, I think that was Assclowns and CumDumptsters.icon_smile.gif
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    Oct 20, 2008 6:48 PM GMT
    I don't understand HIV prejudice in the gay community. We of all people should know better. And it isn't like we must have sex with a poz guy we might meet, if the health risk is a concern to us, but just be friends with him.

    As it happens, I did meet and marry a poz guy, who told me right away about himself. He did in fact die of AIDS, and I remain negative.

    If I had any reservation now about marrying another man with HIV, it wouldn't be for my own health, but that he might die suddenly and too soon, leaving me to face that grief again. The shock of the last time still weighs on me. But, if I loved him as I loved my late partner, I suppose the decision would be easy again.

    I never keep track about which of my friends are HIV+. I'll hear about it but I'm always forgetting who is and who isn't, cause frankly I never think about it, and they themselves don't make an issue of it. People will tell me "well you know Jim has AIDS" and I'll say "right, I think I did hear that, but I'd forgotten," and they'll just stare at me like I'm a moron (not implausible).

    HIV/AIDS simply plays no part in my personal contacts, and how I treat people. I can't imagine being at a party and thinking "there's Mr. HIV, and other there's Mr. Full-blown AIDS." I like people too much, and especially gay people, to let that get in the way of forming friendships & relationships.
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    Oct 20, 2008 7:23 PM GMT
    Just the other day I did infection controle training with my work. A women in the class stated that people who died of HIV, should not be buried, but cremated.

    I was WTF. I did not attack her because I did not agree with her. I did point out but once they die so does the virus, and the ground is full of germs too, and let it be. But I was amazed.
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    Oct 20, 2008 7:50 PM GMT
    In other places like SF 70% of poz guys don't know they have HIV.

    but 25% of gay men in toronto have HIV? that doesn't seem logicalicon_confused.gif

    thanks for the link.
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    Oct 20, 2008 8:08 PM GMT

    If everybody were aware of this these numbers would be definetely lower .. it's so sad that people still looking for unsafe sex in spite of all the attempts to make people more aware of the risks ..
    icon_sad.gif
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    Oct 20, 2008 10:38 PM GMT
    xanadude, Good post. It really makes you think. Thanks for sharing and most of all for caring.
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    Oct 20, 2008 10:43 PM GMT
    One more thing. Because of the stigma I was afraid to admit it in my profile. But it is time to me straight up. It gets so tiring not being able to talk about it. I am positive and have been for 24 years. My partner is negative and we have been together for 20 years. Thanks for giving me the courage.
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    Oct 20, 2008 10:43 PM GMT
    metropolitan saidIn other places like SF 70% of poz guys don't know they have HIV.

    but 25% of gay men in toronto have HIV? that doesn't seem logicalicon_confused.gif

    thanks for the link.


    The numbers about how many gay guys in a particular are + but do not know about it is an estimate only. The San Fran # seems very high which means to me that HIV is quite prevalent, but the # of people getting tested is not as prevalent. The # of gay men in Toronto that are HIV+ is (I believe) the actual # of gay men who have tested + and been reported to the Ministry of Health.
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    Oct 21, 2008 1:35 AM GMT
    GeorgeE saidOne more thing. Because of the stigma I was afraid to admit it in my profile. But it is time to me straight up. It gets so tiring not being able to talk about it. I am positive and have been for 24 years. My partner is negative and we have been together for 20 years. Thanks for giving me the courage.


    24 years and been with your partner for 20. That's inspiration. You're an example that HIV is not a death sentence and that people can live happily and live [relatively] normal lives.


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    Oct 21, 2008 1:37 AM GMT
    SurrealLife said
    metropolitan saidIn other places like SF 70% of poz guys don't know they have HIV.

    but 25% of gay men in toronto have HIV? that doesn't seem logicalicon_confused.gif

    thanks for the link.


    The numbers about how many gay guys in a particular are + but do not know about it is an estimate only. The San Fran # seems very high which means to me that HIV is quite prevalent, but the # of people getting tested is not as prevalent. The # of gay men in Toronto that are HIV+ is (I believe) the actual # of gay men who have tested + and been reported to the Ministry of Health.


    It must be. Because I know tons of gay men (including myself) who don't have HIV. I think those estimates should be reconsidered.
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    Oct 21, 2008 2:32 AM GMT
    GeorgeE saidOne more thing. Because of the stigma I was afraid to admit it in my profile. But it is time to me straight up. It gets so tiring not being able to talk about it. I am positive and have been for 24 years. My partner is negative and we have been together for 20 years. Thanks for giving me the courage.


    Well you're very welcome -- but I can only take credit for posting the link. Any courage you have found you brought out of yourself. Take pride in that, and thank you for positioning yourself to become a postive positive role model.
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    Oct 21, 2008 6:09 AM GMT
    Recently at a bar I went to someone was passing out these cute little buttons with a + & - smiley face on them. The idea was to wear it to let people know that you're status-friendly.

    I thought that was a neat idea.

    Status-friendly means that someone who is positive can reveal their status to you and know that you won't judge them or go and tell others about them. They can trust you with that knowlege and know that you'll respect them.


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    Oct 21, 2008 9:00 AM GMT
    GeorgeE saidOne more thing. Because of the stigma I was afraid to admit it in my profile. But it is time to me straight up. It gets so tiring not being able to talk about it. I am positive and have been for 24 years. My partner is negative and we have been together for 20 years. Thanks for giving me the courage.


    Well congrats GeorgeE, 24 years and counting. I am now in my 14th year of knowing I have HIV. I actually have never been healthier strangely enough. Partially because I don't take my health for granted like I used to in my HIV- days and eat better as well as exercise more. As for almost 20 years with an HIV- guy, I hope to be there some day!
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    Oct 21, 2008 5:03 PM GMT
    Hey SurrealLife,
    I agree I am healthier and stronger then ever also. The day I found out I quit smoking 2 and 1/2 packs a day, drinking and drugs. I decided I am going to control this disease; it was not going to control me. I appreciate so much more in life now. It was a real eye opener for me. It is weird but it has made everything in my life better. You can have great safe sex. My partner and I have sex a couple times a week and it is great. I make sure he is tested every three months, weather he wants to or not. I know we will grow older and retire together.
  • Tyinstl

    Posts: 353

    Oct 23, 2008 8:43 PM GMT
    "Just like your next outfit for the Madonna concert, HIV stigma is something you have to think about."

    Haha wow, I feel stereotyped.
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    Oct 24, 2008 2:59 AM GMT
    Out of curiosity, I did a search of the RJ board to see how many profiles list themselves as HIV+.

    HIV+ profiles with photos: 612
    HIV+ profiles with no photos: 288

    That's 900 profiles with an HIV+ status.

    Now what's the total number of profiles on RJ? 144,407!

    Which means that less than one percent of this board admits to being HIV+.

    I would say that's some pretty clear evidence of stigma against HIV right here on this board.

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    Oct 24, 2008 3:25 PM GMT
    UptownNYC saidOut of curiosity, I did a search of the RJ board to see how many profiles list themselves as HIV+.

    HIV+ profiles with photos: 612
    HIV+ profiles with no photos: 288

    That's 900 profiles with an HIV+ status.

    Now what's the total number of profiles on RJ? 144,407!

    Which means that less than one percent of this board admits to being HIV+.

    I would say that's some pretty clear evidence of stigma against HIV right here on this board.



    Partially stigma, and partially not knowing what their status really is but going from what their last test was. I think it is safe to assume that the true number of RJ members who are HIV+ is much higher than 0.6%
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    Oct 24, 2008 5:30 PM GMT
    I can understand why some guys dont list there status on RJ. My partner is pos while I am neg. Yet we generally dont share this information with others, only a few close friends. This is due to some of the negative comments we have heard from a wider circle of friends.

    I wish people (neg) could see beyond the virus to see the person! that just might be the love of their life, if they would give the person a half a chance.