‘This is what it’s really like to live with HIV’

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 10, 2015 9:39 PM GMT
    “Actually, I’ve had an HIV negative boyfriend for the last two years, and we don’t use condoms, with the blessing of my doctor.

    “We still talk about HIV in such a basic way: it can kill you, wear a condom. But we don’t talk about the new revolutions: that people who are on treatment are no longer infectious, or that an HIV positive father can have sex with an HIV negative woman, who will remain negative and have an HIV negative baby.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/active/mens-health/11524948/This-is-what-its-really-like-to-live-with-HIV.html

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 11, 2015 8:14 AM GMT
    Yeah, totally about the shaming and nothing to do with:

    "The number of young men being diagnosed with HIV has doubled in ten years; the number of new diagnoses among gay and bisexual men has reached a record high, according to the most recent data."

    With undetectable viral load you might not be infectious but transmission rates are going up rather than down. Public policy on HIV is failing.
  • NursePractiti...

    Posts: 232

    Apr 11, 2015 8:45 AM GMT
    I have dated two people who were HIV positive and would do so again. We played safe, no one had any issues. They of course always worried someone would find out their status. I never said anything to anyone since it was their wish. I learned as a very young and newly out gay man that limiting myself to only negative partners could rob me of being happy with a man who would love me. I vowed not to let that stand in my way.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 11, 2015 1:44 PM GMT
    grofte saidYeah, totally about the shaming and nothing to do with:

    "The number of young men being diagnosed with HIV has doubled in ten years; the number of new diagnoses among gay and bisexual men has reached a record high, according to the most recent data."

    With undetectable viral load you might not be infectious but transmission rates are going up rather than down. Public policy on HIV is failing.



    1+1 does not equal 3.

    UVL is not causing the rise of infections. 13-24 YO are getting infected because they aren't being safe AND the POZ ones aren't getting tested or on treatment.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 11, 2015 3:50 PM GMT
    grofte saidYeah, totally about the shaming and nothing to do with:

    "The number of young men being diagnosed with HIV has doubled in ten years; the number of new diagnoses among gay and bisexual men has reached a record high, according to the most recent data."

    With undetectable viral load you might not be infectious but transmission rates are going up rather than down. Public policy on HIV is failing.

    It's more about people knowing that HIV isn't going to kill you anymore. I don't know what is worse, shaming people into having sex with condom or educating them that HIV isn't going to kill them anymore, and hence let's have bb sex. It seems providing better medication and sex education is doing the opposite of what it was supposed to do, as evident from the statistics.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 11, 2015 8:06 PM GMT
    __morphic__ said
    grofte saidYeah, totally about the shaming and nothing to do with:

    "The number of young men being diagnosed with HIV has doubled in ten years; the number of new diagnoses among gay and bisexual men has reached a record high, according to the most recent data."

    With undetectable viral load you might not be infectious but transmission rates are going up rather than down. Public policy on HIV is failing.


    It's more about people knowing that HIV isn't going to kill you anymore. I don't know what is worse, shaming people into having sex with condom or educating them that HIV isn't going to kill them anymore, and hence let's have bb sex. It seems providing better medication and sex education is doing the opposite of what it was supposed to do, as evident from the statistics.


    There is some truth to that.

    It's been called "condom fatigue".

    Some people actually think it's over. But I don't think sex ed is better....not in the least. It's virtually non-existent. Amazingly with the internet and daily updates from the CDC and others, people believe what they want to believe.

    People WILL have BB sex. They did all through the 80s and 90s.....using all sorts of irrational ways to rationalize their "safety".
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 11, 2015 8:09 PM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidHIV infection rates haven't doubled because people don't fear death or health compromise related to HIV. Infection rates have increased because sexually active men are not getting treated for HIV. Most who spread the virus don't know that they have HIV. Their HIV viral loads can be in the six figure digits or even in the millions. A person with a viral load in the millions is highly infectious.

    Only a third of the US population living with HIV is undetectable. If we could provide medication to everyone living with HIV and if everyone could become undetectable we would see a dramatic decrease in HIV infection rates across the board. It really comes down to this, plain and simple.


    100% with ya on that!

    But because we are POZ the RJs won't believe anything we say! We are all out to get them with our fantastical stories of prevention.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 11, 2015 9:17 PM GMT
    It is working in San Francisco and other informed areas. That's why I'm so adamant about everyone knowing about TasP. But from all the negativity I receive here on RJ it points out the uphill battle it is to get people informed.



    PBS: How San Francisco plans to ‘get to zero’ new infections of HIV

    In San Francisco there are relatively few new HIV infections — 359 in 2013 and overwhelmingly found in gay men. It’s a number that has been falling over the past eight years. But new infections haven’t gone away.

    Today, public health officials, doctors, and activists are increasing their efforts to bring that number all the way down to zero.

    DIANE HAVLIR: We are talking about ending the HIV epidemic.


    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/san-francisco-plans-get-zero-new-infections-hiv/
  • oldfart

    Posts: 328

    Apr 12, 2015 7:05 AM GMT
    34 years we have been facing this epidemic. 650,000 have died in the US alone. 30,000 NEW diagnoses were made last year.

    That's tragic. It's also stupid.

    You might ask those of us who have actually avoided it how did so - we're not a bunch of nuns.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 12, 2015 9:54 AM GMT
    Look I don't believe in shaming people for *any* reason.

    But it seems like officials all over the Western world have gone "Well, people aren't dropping dead left and right any more. No reason to talk to kids about sex until well after they become sexually active. And even then it is kinda gross."
    And that's when we end up with a situation where there's more information to the public about not worrying about HIV than there is about not getting it in the first damn place!

    No, it's not a death sentence but it is life-long monitoring and treatment and pills. Costs money. Side effects. Medication interactions.


    1. Sexual health clinics should ask people to come in regularly just like a dentist will send you reminders to have your teeth checked.
    2. There needs to be compulsory warnings on baby oil, vaseline, and whatever else you circumcised lot masturbate with that they are NOT compatible with ordinary latex condoms.
    3. When you give away free condoms then they should come in multiple sizes. See www.theyfit.co.uk and www.mysize-condoms.com for proper condom sizing.
    4. Comprehensive sex ed. before kids become sexually active and while school is compulsory. So high school is too late on two counts. And it needs to include sexually transmitted diseases. The chlamydia rates among young heterosexuals tells me that this isn't just about HIV and homos. But when a 20-something gym bunny that tested neg a year ago is much more likely to infect them than a poz 40-something leather daddy in treatment then they need to know that.

    Probably more stuff.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 12, 2015 3:20 PM GMT
    Totally agree with the no-shaming stance, and also the points on guys with UVL being able to live lives without the fear of infecting their partners.

    HIV infection and management of it is still not a walk in the park, many medications still have side-effects in some patients, and the long-term effects of the newer medications are still unknown.

    Not to mention the expense of medications in some countries is phenomenal.

    A HIV neutral world is becoming more and more possible - only when the medications become widely available and affordable are we likely to see a decline in the rate of infection again..

    Peace
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 12, 2015 4:04 PM GMT
    I agree with no shaming, but I've also seen full blown AIDS in patients. I know its very uncommon these days, but seeing there suffering is enough to make me afraid to have sex with someone who has HIV. Yes, there is medication but unfortunately mistakes can still happen.

  • oldfart

    Posts: 328

    Apr 14, 2015 3:26 AM GMT
    Adam228 said ...seeing there suffering is enough to make me afraid to have sex with someone who has HIV....


    OK, but what if he *might* be pos, and he's really hot/sweet whatever? How do we deal with that? I mean sincerely, what's the practical thing to do?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 14, 2015 12:12 PM GMT
    Always wear a condom, regardless of your undetectable status, PrEP use, etc.

    OP, you claim that your doctor has given you the green light to engage in sexual intercourse without condoms. I say you're lying. If your doctor did, in fact, give you his "blessing," then he should lose his license to practice medicine.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 14, 2015 2:10 PM GMT
    oldfart said
    Adam228 said ...seeing there suffering is enough to make me afraid to have sex with someone who has HIV....

    OK, but what if he *might* be pos, and he's really hot/sweet whatever? How do we deal with that? I mean sincerely, what's the practical thing to do?

    A fundamental tenet of "safe sex" is to assume EVERYONE you meet is poz, as well as potentially having other STDs. And to take precautions accordingly. If someone feels insecure about doing that, the risk factor too great to accept, then they should not be having sex. And THAT'S the practical thing to do.

    The one exception to always practicing safe sex is when the EVERYONE has become a single SOMEONE. Someone who's been regularly tested negative for at least 6 months, along with yourself, and continue to test. And whom you trust to be 100% monogamous with you, as you are with him. Remember you're trusting this guy with your future health, maybe even your life.

    Because cheating guys who betray that trust are a major cause of HIV infection among couples. How my first partner came to die, due to his cheating former partner, and how my current husband's partner died. Though without infecting my future husband, he was man enough to quickly confess his poz status before he had spread it.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 14, 2015 2:40 PM GMT
    timmm55 said “Actually, I’ve had an HIV negative boyfriend for the last two years, and we don’t use condoms, with the blessing of my doctor.

    “We still talk about HIV in such a basic way: it can kill you, wear a condom. But we don’t talk about the new revolutions: that people who are on treatment are no longer infectious, or that an HIV positive father can have sex with an HIV negative woman, who will remain negative and have an HIV negative baby.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/active/mens-health/11524948/This-is-what-its-really-like-to-live-with-HIV.html

    The questions I continue to ask you, and you avoid answering, are these:

    1. How does one KNOW the other guy is on a treatment that's made him low-infection? (There's no such thing as "non-infectious" with HIV).

    Do you know because he tells you so? Have you spoken with his doctor? Is this the same degree of reliability as when a hook-up lies and tells you he's completely negative, when he's really positive? Or says he doesn't have some other STD?

    2. How does the guy himself know what his viral load is THIS MINUTE, when you're about to have sex together? Viral loads fluctuate. Did he just have a blood draw with a lab report a few hours earlier?

    3. As the US CDC state, blood viral loads are misleading. Because semen can retain dangerously higher levels of the virus, that a blood draw doesn't measure. And it's the semen that can infect a sex partner. So how does a blood test alone determine a low HIV infection probability?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 14, 2015 10:05 PM GMT
    First of all the CDC DOESN'T say blood viral loads are misleading.

    YOU added the misleading part. As usual.
    This is exactly what the CDC says:

    Q12. Can I transmit HIV if I have an undetectable viral load? expanded

    Yes, it is possible that you could still transmit HIV. However, having an undetectable viral load greatly lowers the chance of transmitting the virus to your sexual partners who are HIV-negative. Having an undetectable viral load is also good for your overall health.

    Viral load refers to the amount of HIV in the blood. An undetectable viral load is when the amount of HIV in the blood is so low that it can’t be measured. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) reduces viral load, ideally to an undetectable level, when taken consistently and correctly. If a person’s viral load goes down after starting ART, then the treatment is working. However, people with an undetectable viral load still have HIV in their body, which means there is a chance that they can transmit HIV through sex. An HIV-positive person can still potentially infect a partner even if they have an undetectable viral load, because of the reasons listed below.

    HIV may still be found in genital fluids (e.g., semen, vaginal fluids). The viral load test only measures virus in blood. Although ART also lowers viral load in genital fluids, HIV can sometimes be present in genital fluids even when it is undetectable in the blood.
    Your viral load may go up between tests. When this happens, you may be more likely to transmit HIV to sexual partners. Your viral load may go up without you knowing it because you may not feel any different.
    Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) increase viral load in genital fluids. This means that an HIV-positive person with an STD may be able to transmit HIV to sexual partners even if the blood viral load is undetectable.

    Researchers are studying how much you can lower your chances of transmitting HIV when your viral load is undetectable, and we should know more when these studies are complete.

    This is an older page, see below for a more recent perspective.
    ( IN EVERY TEST and STUDY there have been exactly ZERO cases of HIV transmissions when the partner is undetectable <50 copies for 6 + months.)

    If you are taking ART, follow your health care provider’s advice. Visit your health care provider regularly and always take your medicine as directed. This will give you the greatest chance of having an undetectable viral load. Taking other actions, like using a condom consistently and correctly, can lower your chances of transmitting HIV even more."

    Maybe you forgot this CDC press release Sept 2014

    "after diagnosis, helps people with HIV live longer and healthier lives, and it prevents the spread of HIV. Yet, only 1 in 4 of the 1.1 million Americans living with HIV have an undetectable viral load. This means the virus is at a level that provides maximum health benefits and reduces the risk of transmitting the virus to others.

    “Today, not only can HIV treatment save lives, it can help stop a national epidemic in its tracks,” said Jonathan Mermin, M.D., M.P.H., director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention. “Our goal is to help everyone with HIV know the tremendous health benefits treatment offers to them and the protection it provides to their partners.”

    In addition to the positive impact it can have on a person’s health and well-being, people who start and continue treatment are 96 percent less likely to transmit HIV to others. Treatment for health and prevention is a key element in CDC’s HIV prevention toolkit. "

    http://www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/newsroom/2014/HIV-Treatment-Works-press-release.html

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 14, 2015 10:50 PM GMT
    2. How does the guy himself know what his viral load is THIS MINUTE, when you're about to have sex together? Viral loads fluctuate. Did he just have a blood draw with a lab report a few hours earlier?

    Do the fluctuate? Yes. But not as significantly as you make it out. If that were true, as you say, where are the transmissions? Again ZERO in major studies around the world.

    "What do these findings mean for HIV transmission risk? While the results show that viral “shedding” can occur within a one-hour interval among men with undetectable blood viral load, “this timing should not be considered to place individuals at greater risk for HIV transmission than previously reported,” the authors state. They do conclude, however, that the nearly 20% proportion of men with detectable HIV RNA in semen despite stable undetectable blood viral load “should balance messages on the individual risk of HIV transmission through unprotected sex as an exclusive preventive strategy in serodifferent couples with procreation desires.”

    That said, no study to date has identified a seminal viral load “threshold” at which HIV transmission becomes likely. Questions clearly remain about the links between HIV viral load, viral load in semen, and risk for HIV transmission in the setting of antiretroviral treatment."

    http://betablog.org/rapid-changes-possible-in-semen-viral-load/

    Think of it like other drugs like Welbutrin, where you have to ramp up. With ART there are measurements of undetectable that can verify it's effectiveness. It has by then, reaching undetectable, built up in your system.

    If someone goes on a 'drug holiday' their Viral load will back up in a few months.

    Since you bring up STDs, they actually may NOT be a factor in HIV transmission.
    "The high level of sexually transmitted infections in the gay couples in particular challenged the 2008 “Swiss Statement,” which declared that those with a fully suppressed viral load did not transmit HIV but that the presence of STIs could increase the risk."
    http://www.aidsmeds.com/articles/undetectable_semen_1667_25447.shtml
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 14, 2015 11:01 PM GMT
    The questions I continue to ask you, and you avoid answering, are these:

    1. How does one KNOW the other guy is on a treatment that's made him low-infection? (There's no such thing as "non-infectious" with HIV).


    I have answered them may times! But there is new information daily, weekly, yearly.

    Maybe you missed the 2008 Swiss statement? (You do seem to ignore a lot of what I post). It says:
    "An HIV-infected person on antiretroviral therapy with completely suppressed viraemia (“effective ART”) is not sexually infectious, i.e. cannot transmit HIV through sexual contact.”

    Is that clear enough?

    Below is a recent column exchange:

    Don Rockwell Coffee · Top Commenter · Texas Tech University
    "Undetectable" is great.......if it truly is. But can I trust someone just telling me that .... no.

    John Allison · Top Commenter · Calgary, Alberta
    Don Rockwell Coffee

    If they've already given you the one piece of information that almost guarantees that you will reject them, why would they lie after that? If they were going to lie to get sex, they'd lie about their status. I'm not sure why people think the virus imparts a sociopathic tendency to lie.

    But if you need to feel more comfortable, ask some questions. Answers to them should let you guage how open the guy is, and honest about this health status.

    "How long have you been on antiretrovirals? How long have you been undetectable?" The answer you want for both is longer than six months.

    "How often do you get your viral load tested?" Every three or four months is the usual answer. Very occasionally, for someone who has been stable and undetectable for years, the answer might be every six months. (I've really only seen that in the UK and Australia)

    "Have you ever had any blips? (If yes - How high and when was your last blip?)" A blip is a rise in viral load above undetectable for one test period. Depending on the laboratory used, undetectable is 20, 40, or 50. Most blips are well below 200. (The Partner study, Opposites Attract, and the UK guide of HIV Positive health care workers all use 200 as their definition of undetectable) A viral load above 1,500 is generally considered the point where an transmission could occurred, but the UK is using a more conservative 1,000.

    The bigger question is, are you just as skeptical when someone tells you they are Negative, "Clean," or "Disease Free?" If not, why not? A lot of guys have never been tested (30% < 30 -- 20% >30+). Data that is beginning to emerge shows that, in general, only about 20% of guys per year are checking their HIV status.

    Reply · Like · Edited · April 12 at 3:31am

    [url]http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/still-refusing-date-hiv-guys-here%E2%80%99s-why-you-could-be-putting-your-health-risk080415[/url]
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 14, 2015 11:21 PM GMT
    credo saidAlways wear a condom, regardless of your undetectable status, PrEP use, etc.

    OP, you claim that your doctor has given you the green light to engage in sexual intercourse without condoms. I say you're lying. If your doctor did, in fact, give you his "blessing," then he should lose his license to practice medicine.



    It was a quote from a UK article. And yes, it is not uncommon for a Doctor to say it's OK, with restrictions.

    Maybe Dr. Montaner should lose his license too?

    "“So I’m perfectly comfortable to tell people that if you want to go forward and have, for example, unprotected sex while you are being protected by antiretroviral therapy, that is perfectly acceptable. On the other hand, you need to know that in the process of doing that, if there was a breakdown in adherence for example, you put yourself at risk. As long as you are willing and able to live with that kind of small risk, I’m perfectly happy to live with it.”





  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 14, 2015 11:25 PM GMT
    oldfart said
    Adam228 said ...seeing there suffering is enough to make me afraid to have sex with someone who has HIV....


    OK, but what if he *might* be pos, and he's really hot/sweet whatever? How do we deal with that? I mean sincerely, what's the practical thing to do?


    If you are like most of the guys on here, run away!

    That's OK! It's best even for the POZ guy. Trust me, the last thing we need is uneducated Neg people in our POZ lives. The criminalization alone should be enough for us POZ people to stay away too.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 15, 2015 10:03 AM GMT
    timmm55 said
    credo saidAlways wear a condom, regardless of your undetectable status, PrEP use, etc.

    OP, you claim that your doctor has given you the green light to engage in sexual intercourse without condoms. I say you're lying. If your doctor did, in fact, give you his "blessing," then he should lose his license to practice medicine.



    It was a quote from a UK article. And yes, it is not uncommon for a Doctor to say it's OK, with restrictions.

    Maybe Dr. Montaner should lose his license too?

    "“So I’m perfectly comfortable to tell people that if you want to go forward and have, for example, unprotected sex while you are being protected by antiretroviral therapy, that is perfectly acceptable. On the other hand, you need to know that in the process of doing that, if there was a breakdown in adherence for example, you put yourself at risk. As long as you are willing and able to live with that kind of small risk, I’m perfectly happy to live with it.”



    Montaner is not bound by AMA's standards of professional education, training, and conduct. He certainly doesn't follow them. Medical ethics don't seem to be his top priority.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 15, 2015 7:21 PM GMT
    credo said
    timmm55 said
    credo saidAlways wear a condom, regardless of your undetectable status, PrEP use, etc.

    OP, you claim that your doctor has given you the green light to engage in sexual intercourse without condoms. I say you're lying. If your doctor did, in fact, give you his "blessing," then he should lose his license to practice medicine.



    It was a quote from a UK article. And yes, it is not uncommon for a Doctor to say it's OK, with restrictions.

    Maybe Dr. Montaner should lose his license too?

    "“So I’m perfectly comfortable to tell people that if you want to go forward and have, for example, unprotected sex while you are being protected by antiretroviral therapy, that is perfectly acceptable. On the other hand, you need to know that in the process of doing that, if there was a breakdown in adherence for example, you put yourself at risk. As long as you are willing and able to live with that kind of small risk, I’m perfectly happy to live with it.”



    Montaner is not bound by AMA's standards of professional education, training, and conduct. He certainly doesn't follow them. Medical ethics don't seem to be his top priority.


    He's Canadian, of course he isn't "bound" by the AMA.

    Try Dr. Fauci.
    "The NIH researchers are working from a mathematical model suggesting that treating all persons infected with HIV with aggressive antiretroviral therapies has the potential to vastly reduce global disease rates—to one infection per 1,000 people by 2016. The model, says Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is based on the observation that, "When you follow couples—one who's infected, the other who's not—the probability of infection diminishes when the viral load is very low," as when drugs have been administered. So, the study intends to get infected individuals' viral loads down to levels where they cannot infect their sexual partners#8212;even in the absence of a condom. "The philosophy," Fauci says, "is if you test everybody, and treat everybody who has HIV, you could use treatment as prevention." "

    Or Dr. Joel. http://hivforum.tumblr.com/