I put this topic under GLBT relationships because I thought it relates more to queer life, but obviously plenty of heterosexual people get HIV too. Being involved in the local queer community I guess it was only a matter of time before I made a friend who was HIV+. He is around my age, from the same part of the world and was just diagnosed. He is also gay. I don't know him well but feel sad for him and also incredibly grateful for my own health. He worries that he won't ever be able to find partners or have sex again. I know that's not true but it's hard to find the words sometimes.
I wonder if any of you have had partners, friends, family who are HIV positive and would like to share any stories about that?
-------------------- "Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."
I have a friend, who I knew a couple years ago, with quite a high profile position in the local gay community who had a lot of issues when he came out as HIV+, hoping to educate that you can get HIV young and to shed light on it a little bit. He felt a lot of bullying from within the community and ignorant comments made about him, that took a bit of a toll on his mental health (not helped by the mental effects of the virus). I just find it really sad that if you already have to suffer a long term chronic illness that contracting it should have such a stigma.
I think increased fear in the mainstream gay community of contracting the disease has a big influence on people's reaction and it's hard to deal with and it can come out in the worst way, although as far as the broader queer community is concerned there is a lot of experience and understanding there and I feel like if I were to contract HIV at some point in my life that the people I'd be able to turn to for support would most likely be experienced and understanding queer folk.
I haven't heard about how he's doing now but my hope/guess is that it has got a lot better, as the social side of things often do when we learn to better deal with crap that people throw at us, and manage to find the supportive people in our lives.
Posts: 545 | From: Leeds UK | Registered: May 2011
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quote:Originally posted by Jacob at Scarleteen: I just find it really sad that if you already have to suffer a long term chronic illness that contracting it should have such a stigma.
Yes, I also find it so sad. One organisation which is quite big in NZ where I live is "Positive Women" and it certainly helped with my education around HIV. Some of their advocates shared stories around how they contracted the virus, including heterosexual women whose husbands had cheated and health care workers getting needlestick injuires. It really brought home the message that HIV is not a homosexual mens disease. One of their recent campaigns was around universal provision of the female condom, which is the only woman-initiated safer sex method which can protect against STIs AND pregnancy.
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