HIV Positive guys should be given a chance.......

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    Dec 03, 2008 6:53 AM GMT
    I have to say that as an HIV positive young man, I feel very discriminated against. So many guys are neg. for neg. only. Guess what?! I got HIV from a "neg." guy. Are you really sure you're neg.? A lot of guys don't even get tested regularly. At least I'm responsible about it and disclose it. On top of that, I feel that there are many people out there I could be perfect for, but they just can't get passed the status.

    I read a very interesting article in GQ recently (http://men.style.com/gq/features/full?id=content_7437&pageNum=1) about the current state of HIV research. One of the most amazing things I read was that it's been proven and found through studies that a person who tests "undetectable" with medications for at least 6 consecutive months has a greatly decreased chance of passing on the virus, and that a person that has tested "undetectable" on meds for 2 years or more consecutively couldn't even pass on the virus if they tried. It doesn't show up in blood or ejaculatory fluids at all.

    First of all, I think it's atrocious that the media hasn't at least informed people about this, but also that they haven't informed people that there is a method of preventing contraction of HIV if you tell a doctor of contact within the first 72 hours (you take HIV meds for a month, and it blocks the receptors of your white blood cells and keeps the virus from bonding with your DNA, effectively killing the virus).

    First, I'd like to know how you guys feel about the poz/neg dating thing, especially given that at least guys are being honest about it, and there is a greatly reduced possibility of contracting it if the guy is on meds, and also what you think about these study results?


    Addendum (12/4/0icon_cool.gif:
    Here's the point that I'm personally trying to make with this topic, taken from a thread I wrote down the line in this post...............I don't expect a negative guy to be comfortable with having intercourse with me. I'm not demanding it from anyone. I understand that you have to be comfortable with that idea in order for it to happen, and have to come to that on your own. That's why I disclose that information upfront, and allow the person to decide. What I'm asking is simply for negative men to give it a closer look. Find out all the facts about HIV, how it is transmitted, how affective the medications are, and how you go about protecting yourself from contracting it. If you feel that you still can't wrap your head around the idea of being with a poz guy after you've done all that, then fine, there's really nothing more I could ask. But I only ask that you be fully informed before you make a decision, because as a very decent, good guy, I feel I should deserve the chance to go out with someone as much as the next guy. And the fact that I'm being honest about my status and candid about my experiences should speak to my character. Just don't rule out the idea completely without knowing full well what is involved, and how a poz/neg relationship could be made to work, and work well, especially with an honest, forthright guy such as myself.
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    Dec 03, 2008 8:05 AM GMT
    I might be the first that replies, and I will take the hits:

    I have been negative for 30 years, since the AIDS thing really started about 32 years ago. Maybe more, give or take. And I came out in SF when it was the epicenter of AIDS, in 1981 or so.

    I do not want to be HIV positive. If I met a guy that was HIV positive I would seriously consider being in a relationship with him. I just do not want to be HIV positive. It is no more discrimination than if he had bird flu, herpes, whatever. I would not kiss a guy that had bird flu, had any contagious disease. It is not about the person, at all, it is about the disease. It is not about judging the person, it is about my own health. I have a ton of friends that are HIV+, I have lost a ton of friends, to HIV and AIDS.. But would I make a decision to risk my own health? No, I would not.

    I would happily be single and celebate. I owe that to my family and friends not to put myself in a risky position.

    JW
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    Dec 03, 2008 8:08 AM GMT
    I don't think you can catch HIV by kissing. The comparison with bird flu is incorrect.

    By the level of your astounding ignorance Triggerman I really doubt you have any HIV+ friends. Do they know you treat them as if they have bird flu or herpes?
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    Dec 03, 2008 8:23 AM GMT
    Triggerman, I understand your response and you reasoning. But what do you say those people who simply look at the status and don't give it a second thought? I mean, you can be safe with someone, and never get it. Also, with medication, the virus is heavily suppressed (read the health article in the last issue of GQ as well as the world AIDS day article just published on this site), so combined with protection, the chances of you getting it are pretty much zero.

    I'm just saying that someone who is responsible about the virus, is open about their status, and who is willing to be committed to preventing a neg. partner from getting it, should be given the opportunity to date neg. guys right?

    I really think that an unwillingness to consider the possibility of dating someone of a different status is simply a lack of knowledge on the virus itself, how it works, how the meds work, and the state of HIV research today. As gay men, we should be keeping up on this subject, and should try to understand each other, rather than simply look the other way to those who have HIV, which happens a lot. I know, I've experienced it extensively.
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    Dec 03, 2008 8:46 AM GMT
    Twice already I've talked along these lines today.

    When Aids hit the media in the City I lived then. I was working for a gay bathhouse, it was very popular, and so was I. I could have six diffrent experience, in 12 hours, on any given day. free sex ruled. This was during a time when many got infected, and in the 70s.

    After I went back to the bush to live. A few years latter I meet a nice looking guy, and we had a sexual relationship for a few years, and man was it hot! I did talk to him about HIV, and Aids, and the things I seen, working for the gay community. I did ask him if he was HIV +. He led me to believe he was neg. So the sex got even hotter, and spontaneous, with no protection AT ALL!

    After I moved back to the City, and we lost contact. I ran into a gay guy from down home, and he informed me Don had Died of AIDS, and was surprised I looked so well and healthy. People knew he was pos, and about out relationship, and I know from conversations I had with other gay people down there, they knew something I did not, and made no attempt to worn me.

    But still to this day,after all my experiences, and I now know I had many encounters with HIV + people, when I worked for the gay community. Not once have I eve been told hay I'm a pos. Yet I am still HIV - ! !00%!

    Now if I met a HIV+ guy would I date him; maybe.

    Oh PS. When I sang with a gay chorus just a few years ago. A proposition was put to us, I'm sure it come from the USA. It was would we as a group, support the promotion, of putting the responsibility of the transmission of HIV, onto the Neg guys, and take the responsibility off the Posguys. This was rejected, and had a quick death.

    If it was not for AIDS. I'm sure my life would be very diffrent today! I may of never of given back my gay card, and I did that because of the young men I seen being given a slow and humiliating death, by people, who was not going to let some virus, deprive their dick of enjoyment! Oh I went to the police about the things I seen. But there was no laws in place at that time to do anything, and they also had no interest, until it was a female prostitute, who was pos, and putting str8 men's lives at risk. But then nothing was really done, until it was evident It was not just a gay plauge, heterosexuals were at equal risk too.

    But my true care comes out as a nurse, and they see this.
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    Dec 03, 2008 8:54 AM GMT
    redheadguy saidI don't think you can catch HIV by kissing. The comparison with bird flu is incorrect.

    By the level of your astounding ignorance Triggerman I really doubt you have any HIV+ friends. Do they know you treat them as if they have bird flu or herpes?


    Perhaps I'm wrong, but I'm guessing that what Triggerman wrote there was not meant to be taken quite so literally.

    I'm negative, and I'd have no problem with dating a positive guy. But anal sex is not an important activity to me. If it were, I might feel differently.

    It seems that a good many positive men are reluctant to date negative men.
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    Dec 03, 2008 9:10 AM GMT
    theatrengym: you're right on that statement - some poz guys are opposed to dating negative guys. For them, sexual freedom is what they're most concerned about. Others don't want to because they don't want to deal with the pressure of always being safe, not necessarily because they have to have sex without a condom, but because they hate feeling the pressure of having an accidental slip, or a condom break.

    There are a good many of us though that just don't get the opportunity, even though we want to. And that often comes from a lack of knowledge, which breeds fear in those individuals.

    And HIV really isn't like most other diseases. HIV is only infectious in certain situations, and surprisingly, many guys don't even know what those situations are. You CANNOT get it from kissing, you cannot get it from touching, using the same utensils, toilets, etc. The only way for someone to get it is to get the semen or blood of a highly infectious, untreated individual into a mucous membrane (i.e. anus, eye, nose) or an open wound.
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    Dec 03, 2008 9:10 AM GMT
    I don't mean to be a total jackass, but in my opinion anyone that is getting sick with HIV, is not protecting themself in this day and age. There is no excuse with all the information out there, including the internet. I worked in a bar right here in Omaha, somet of the people were HIV positive that I worked with. They did not protect themselves. In my opinion, they do not protect others they slept with after they found out their status.. One of my friends constantly was texted by one of these HIV+ employees to bareback, and when this sick guy was confronted about his HIV status his response was, "He didn't care, barebacking is fun. That is disgusting.

    Now, I know not every person with HIV is like that, but enough of them have been just like that even after they found out how HIV/AIDS was spread back in the 80's . That is why, IMHO why there is this discrimination with people are sick. Someone fit the stereotype.

    Because of that, I think you should be aware that some of us feel that way about those that are sick in this day and age, because of past history. btw, you are not indorectly discriminated against, you are directly discriminated against because of this history.

    I wouldn't have a problem being with someone who is sick, but on the other hand, I'd definitely be tougher on the sex thing. They would have to be the type of person that is worth the risk. Maybe you are. But from my experience here in Omaha, most are not. They don't care enough about themselves, let alone another person.
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    Dec 03, 2008 9:13 AM GMT
    RedHead Guy-

    Did you really read what I said? Do you really want to say that I, a 45yo guy, that come of age when AIDS really hit, in the epicenter of AIDS, in the SF Bay Area, does not understand AIDS?

    I know AIDS. I grew up here in SF. I saw most of my gay friends die. Before you came to SF, and because you are so young, you did not see it. I did. I lost friends left and right. Do not tell me that I do not know it. I was here. Where were you?

    I was talking about when it hit. I was there. In SF. You?

    And yes, I know how the disease is spread. I kiss and hug my HIV+ friends all the time. All the time.

    Would I have sex with them? Nope. I would not. Disease is disease. I know how it is spread. I prefer not to put myself in a compromising situation, HIV, Herpes, bird flu whatever.

    Please, I am dumb about AIDS. Huh? I grew up in the hotbed of AIDS. I knew about it when it was still an enigma. In 1981, idiot.

    JW

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    Dec 03, 2008 9:19 AM GMT
    Maverick: Not everyone is like that. I got HIV from someone I was seeing, someone who I discussed the subject of status with, someone who told me they were negative. I didn't get it from capricious bareback sex. And once I found out I was positive, I was always open with anyone I was even considering dating, much less sleeping with. And I feel I am a very good guy with a lot to offer - why can't I have the same chance as the next guy? So yes, some people are like that, but you absolutely cannot pigeon-hole every poz guy like that.

    One of the biggest issues here too is that guys are barebacking, and not getting tested, but claiming they're negative because A) they don't have the guts to get tested and deal with they're decisions, and B) they're afraid of the recrimination and discrimination they're going to get.
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    Dec 03, 2008 9:25 AM GMT
    Listen-

    I am not an idiot. I know how it works. I have no problem with anyone that is neg that wants to date a pos guy. I never said anything different. More power to you. Meds can knock down the virus, definitely. You all can date whoever you want. More power to you. If it does not bother you, go for it. I was only talking about myself. I was being honest about ME, not telling anyone else how to live their life. Do what you want to do. Date who you want to date. I have no interest in that.

    I was just being honest about ME. If you do not like that honesty, fine.
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    Dec 03, 2008 9:35 AM GMT
    Triggerman: I appreciate your opinion and your honesty. I hope that any of my own responses to this post have not made you feel as though your opinion was not welcome here, because it is. I posted the subject because I want to here the differing opinions. Of course, I'd be lying if I said I didn't hope to change a few opinions on the subject, mostly because I just want guys to give good quality positive guys like myself a chance.

    What do you say to someone like me, who is young, did not get HIV from complete disregard for they're own health, but partly due to the inactions of the person they were with? What do you say to a young guy like me, who finds it difficult to find people his own age to go out with, people who are willing to give him the chance?


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    Dec 03, 2008 9:40 AM GMT
    Jeezus, what idiots.

    Does anyone read what I actually wrote or would they prefer to read what some idiot thought I wrote. And then they reply based on what someone said I wrote, instead of reading what I ACTUALLY wrote? Read what I said. It is not so hard.

    I write things. I use words specifically. I think about what I write before I write it and I use words specifically. Words have meaning.

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    Dec 03, 2008 9:56 AM GMT
    coolb, whether I'm educated enough about aids or not I don't know. But I do know in more recent times it does scare me to even think what my life would be if I was positive.

    One thing is for certain is you are right, many people do not get tested regularly, they do not practice safely, at the end of the day ignorance is bliss but the consequences are worse off.

    I'm not sure I'm ready in my life to sleep with a HIV+ person even if it was safe, it just seems that the virus is spreading faster and faster each day. Would I give up sex because of it? I guess I wouldn't, but at the end of the day you can't always take someone's word that they are negative, before you take the next step both people should be tested.

    I'm not trying to dictate what is wrong or right but I guess it can sometimes be a matter of fighting your great feelings for a person for yours and future friends safety.

    I do get angry at people who are reckless and just go out and spread disease without a care or conscience; but I also sympathise with those that have become sick because they were a victim more. But to be a victim comes down to a very fine line of personal responsibility.


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    Dec 03, 2008 10:05 AM GMT
    Cool-

    "What do you say to someone like me, who is young, did not get HIV from complete disregard for they're own health, but partly due to the inactions of the person they were with? What do you say to a young guy like me, who finds it difficult to find people his own age to go out with, people who are willing to give him the chance?"

    I say, life sucks. You seem to be a good guy. But you either had unsafe sex with someone and you got infected with HIV. or I am not sure how you got it.

    But you got it. Sucks. But you did. I am sorry. BUT, we could end this stupid virus in a year. If everyone that has it decides right now that we will stop it, we can. Never have sex with anyone, anyone, ever, again. Harsh, yes, but it would stop the virus from spreading. Jack off, do whatever, but stop having sex with anyone. I know that is harsh, but it would stop the spread of HIV in one generation. Stop it cold turkey. I know that is harsh, but it would be dead. HIV passes from one to another during sex. Stop having sex. Ever. Make it your gift to your Gay brothers.
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    Dec 03, 2008 10:07 AM GMT
    Sydney: I hear ya for sure. And I definitely don't excuse myself of all blame. I realize it was my responsibility to be totally sure (i.e. getting tested together) of the guy's status before we went any further, and my decision to be as safe as possible until I was sure. It takes two to tango as it were. But what I'm trying to say is that all poz guys are not simply poz because they had reckless, unsafe sex. I did not sleep around with a bunch of guys and not use protection. It was one guy, and I was not necessarily "asking for it" as some people might be.

    And I'm trying to show that there are many poz guys who deserve consideration from neg. guys A) because they're honest, which is more than a lot of people, B) because they are healthy and on meds, and therefore have the dramatically reduced possibility of passing it on, especially with protection, and C) they are a good guy that would fit well with many neg. guys who otherwise just don't give them the time of day.

    Of course, some people will never be able to accept these reasonings, and I understand that, and I'm not mad at them for that, that's their preference and they're decision. Just hoping maybe a few minds will be opened to the idea, that's all.
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    Dec 03, 2008 10:10 AM GMT
    Cool-

    You do not scare me off from posting on here or anywhere else. I am never afraid to say what I think. I speak honestly, from my heart, and if you agree or disagree, it does not affect me one way or the other. I say what I say and I always will.
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    Dec 03, 2008 10:15 AM GMT
    coolb, I know what it is like to make one mistake that changes your life in some way or another and you know you learn from it.

    But like I said sometimes it can be difficult fighting those feelings for someone rather than actually thinking what could happen next.

    When we go out, party have a couple of drinks (and this isn't directed at you) we always take a risk of not thinking.

    Hey, I'll be your friend, I'll be your buddy. I guess it can come down to being scared of the fact that I might get too close to you and have to make a decision that means walking a fine line between positive and negative.

    I know this sounds ridiculous, but it is almost like dating 2 people: the person you know and the enemy within.


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    Dec 03, 2008 10:23 AM GMT
    No, I get it, I totally do. I understand what you're saying, and appreciate that view. And I really don't blame you for feeling that way. I probably would too if I was still negative. I just want to hear all the views, and hopefully have some people listen to mine as well icon_smile.gif
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    Dec 03, 2008 10:30 AM GMT
    This may seem corny, but my perspective of gay men with HIV changed quite a bit after watching Queer as Folk.

    I'm a virgin, but pretty sure I'm a bottom; Bottoms have a greater risk of contracting STDs right? Even with a condom--to me there is still a huge risk of having sex with a poz guy. Maybe not statistically (condom breaks are rare I believe), but it is a huge risk because my life could depend on a thin film of rubber.

    It must be noted that sex in general is kinda of risky--the bodily responses during sex are immense.

    Also, with the neg/neg/ couple--what is one has the virus and does not know? (as the OP said)? I guess in theory, since most positive peole don't know they are infected, neg/"neg" sex may be just as risky as someone who has sex with a positive guy.

    If I fell in love with a pos guy, it might take me time to get used to the idea of sex without thnking constantly about getting infected.

    It is fear. Fears are often irrational... but sometimes they act as a defense mechanism. Is this "fear" the former, latter, or a little bit of both.

    I do feel bad for positive people though--I 'm sure it is hard to find love.
  • Laurence

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    Dec 03, 2008 12:55 PM GMT
    As usual I am astounded by people's ignorance about these issues.

    Firstly I'm sorry you contracted HIV Cool, these things happen and it only takes one mistake, a condom splitting etc. Bad luck for you and and many others.

    However I don't think that some study about drugs and infection should make us all lower our guard. HIV and AIDS are still killing people and we should take precautions to protect ourselves and others.

    Precautions however does not mean keeping our HIV brothers and sisters at arms length. I have a great relationship with a guy, and don't know if he's Poz or not. I don't really care to be quite honest. I protect myself and him too and assume nothing.

    Let's be adult about these issues. Look after each other and in the case of Poz people, not limit ourselves from loving someone who might be the best thing that happened to us.

    Lozx
  • coolarmydude

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    Dec 03, 2008 12:57 PM GMT
    I wouldn't want to end a relationship with someone I love who has HIV, but it would scare me terribly every day to wonder if I could accidentally contract it. I don't think I could enjoy sex knowing that my engagement, however safe it is, is with the risk that I fear the most.
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    Dec 03, 2008 1:15 PM GMT
    I guess being HIV + it is easy for you to start such a topic asking why why why. I actually think this is a very selfish topic since, afterall, you are no longer at risk because you are positive. I would never knowingly engage in such a terrible decision as to having sex with someone that is HIV + and it has nothing to do with the person in whole but the disease. HIV knows no boundaries, limits, color, sexual orientation, or sex. It is a ruthless killer and I get to see what it does to people every now and then through the medical calls that we run. Don't expect people to put themselves in harms way simply because they "might could" love you. I know you may have had no control of contracting this disease but most likely you did. Don't expect others to disregard their health just to be with someone such as yourself.
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    Dec 03, 2008 2:03 PM GMT
    I wouldn't mind dating a guy that's positive as long as i know about it,I guess we'd just have to be careful and get tested on a regular basis.
    As far as the new developments are concerned, I think it's absolutely great but withholding the information might somehow be useful for people to keep on paying attention and playing safe
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 03, 2008 2:15 PM GMT
    coolb944 saidFirst, I'd like to know how you guys feel about the poz/neg dating thing, especially given that at least guys are being honest about it, and there is a greatly reduced possibility of contracting it if the guy is on meds, and also what you think about these study results?


    I met and married a poz guy. He told me from Day One he had HIV. I understood the risks, and accepted them, with the promise he always kept that we would only practice safe sex. I remain negative to this day.

    I'm glad to hear you repeat what needs to said again & again, because it's not well understood: there is a 3 to 6-month "black-out" period when an HIV-infected person will not test positive, following exposure. They can still infect others, but will not have yet produced the markers that HIV tests rely upon.

    They can show you the negative results of the HIV test they took yesterday, and still infect you. The test is a snapshot of HIV status PRIOR to 3 - 6 months ago; it tells you nothing about the most recent months. Therefore, with strangers, or a BF/partner whose faithfulness may be questionable, you must always assume they are poz, and only have safe sex with them, or no sex at all.

    I fight this problem every day, since HIV/AIDS is the principal cause for which I volunteer and donate money, and work at an HIV/AIDS agency in my spare time. Thank you for these important words.