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#267378 - 12/16/08 07:49 AM Suviving and being HIV positive
Danbuff Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 249
Loc: NY state
I hope this stays in the Gay/Bi/Trans heading because it is more than an HIV/AIDS issue.

PBS features a monthly program on GLBT issues called "In The Life" It is usually an excellent program for this community.

Because I am more than a survivor who is gay, I am also an AIDS survivor. My issues create a double dilemma. How do I share this information and when? This is entirely personal but a major struggle in addition to CSA. I know I am not alone. Being infected since 1985 and as CSA survivor.....I know my childhood sexual abuse has a direct role in my status.

As I write this, I am listening to an audio download of this months episode of In the Life. This particular episode will air on local PBS stations on different dates so you can check local listings. The gist of this episode talks about secrecy, risks, disclosure to a partner and growing denial about AIDS. They discuss and feature real people who have faced rejection and how or when to tell.

This episode could potentially help someone here in MS whether or not gay or infected. I will paste the link here to listen or watch the episode. I am unable to download the video portion. I hope the link will work. I subscribe to email alerts on episodes of In the Life.

Please do not view this as advice or take it to mean this is how to disclose CSA OR HIV/AIDS. It is simply another perspective which may or may not be useful in finding ways to better cope and share sensitive personal information. It also reminds the listener about the seriousness of HIV/AIDS infections which are on the rise in the gay community again.

http://www.inthelifetv.org/html/episodes/68.html

Thanks for reading this and be safe.
Dan



Edited by Danbuff (12/16/08 07:52 AM)
Edit Reason: To add the URL/ link

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#267381 - 12/16/08 08:41 AM Re: Suviving and being HIV positive [Re: Danbuff]
Sans Logos Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5791
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
dan, thanks for the enlightening post. it allowed me to download it to my itunes as a podcast.

i am guilty of not realizing the importance of this issue to the surviving gay brother who also happens to be suffering from the effects of this disease.

it also leads me to wonder if any research has been, or is being done regarding the connection of the two issues: being hiv positive and being a survivor.

does anyone know????

thanks,

ron

_________________________
  1. the past
  2. ReClaiming Now
  3. advocacy


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#267393 - 12/16/08 10:11 AM Re: Suviving and being HIV positive [Re: Sans Logos]
Danbuff Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 249
Loc: NY state
Ron,
I am glad the link worked. I am unsure there is research on the question but my therapist strongly makes the connection and I believe he is correct and other professionals would likely agree. This is especially true because;
1. Many CSA survivors act out sexually.
2. In my case which involved incest, I believed sexually acting out meant I was valued and even loved. These are tragic results and unfortunately not isolated.
3. Finally, according to the CDC as of Fall 2008, the data indicates 1 in 4 Americans are infected and don't know it. I do know a researcher involved in HIV issues who has told me he knows of research that indicates it is actually 1 in 3 are unknowingly infected.

I am not sexually active but want to be and yet afraid to be as I have not fully healed or healed enough to be at ease with sex because of abuse issues. CSA history and being positive or in my case having AIDS are both barriers to comfortable intimacy. I have fear of rejection. So the issue of when to disclose either or when it is a possibility to even be sexual minus intimacy are separate but interwoven issues. Yes this is complicated and adds to isolation, confusion and loneliness and sometimes anger.

The fact is this is big stuff for many and is tricky and seldom discussed as far as I can tell

I have pasted a news release from the CDC to support my statements.

Thanks for the response.
Dan

CDC understated number of new HIV infections in US
8/2/2008


ATLANTA - The number of Americans infected by the AIDS virus each year is much higher than the government has been estimating, U.S. health officials reported, acknowledging that their numbers have understated the level of the epidemic.

The country had roughly 56,300 new HIV infections in 2006 a dramatic increase from the 40,000 annual estimate used for the past dozen years. The new figure is due to a better blood test and new statistical methods, and not a worsening of the epidemic, officials said.
But it likely will refocus U.S. attention from the effect of AIDS overseas to what the disease is doing to this country, said public health researchers and officials.
"This is the biggest news for public health and HIV/AIDS that we've had in a while," said Julie Scofield, executive director of the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors.
Experts in the field, advocates and a former surgeon general called for more aggressive testing and other prevention efforts, noting that spending on preventing HIV has been flat for seven years.
The revised estimate by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the methodology behind it were to be presented Sunday, the opening day of the international AIDS conference in Mexico City.
Since AIDS surfaced in 1981, health officials have struggled to estimate how many people are infected each year. It can take a decade or more for an infection to cause symptoms and illness.
One expert likened the new estimate to adding a good speedometer to a car. Scientists had a good general idea of where the epidemic was going; this provides a better understanding of how fast it's moving right now.
"This puts a key part of the dashboard in place," said the expert, David Holtgrave of Johns Hopkins University.
Judging by the new calculations, officials believe annual HIV infections have been hovering around 55,000 for several years.
"This is the most reliable estimate we've had since the beginning of the epidemic," said Dr. Julie Gerberding, the CDC's director. She said other countries may adopt the agency's methodology.


_________________________
When you stumble, make it part of the dance.

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#267489 - 12/16/08 10:20 PM Re: Suviving and being HIV positive [Re: Danbuff]
TNuss Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 202
Loc: Del-A-Ware???
Dan it's been a while, but I think you need a BIG HUG {{{{{DAN}}}}}.

My friend know my thoughts are always with you.

Thank you for sharing, I'm sure it will be helpful to many us dealing with many different but similiar issues.

_________________________
All my best!!!

In harmony,
Troy
________________________________________________________
I hug myself daily until the day I find the embrace that completes me.

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#267493 - 12/16/08 11:20 PM Re: Suviving and being HIV positive [Re: TNuss]
Bewlayb1 Offline
Guest

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 241
Loc: NYC
Thank you for Danbuff. I admire your strength. I've written before about my friend who committed suicide after learning he may have been HIV positive. He had also been sexually abused on several occasions as a child. AIDS prevention is extremely important. And, it is also important for those infected to realize their lives aren't over.

Another friend of mine also recently revealed that he's HIV positive. He's young, twenty-nine, thirty. It's truly terrifying. I couldn't find the words to console him.

It's difficult for me to write about. Though I'm not HIV positive, I still feel the devastating effects of the disease. I miss my friend. The subject's painful, but I'm glad you addressed it here.


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#267520 - 12/17/08 08:30 AM Re: Suviving and being HIV positive [Re: Bewlayb1]
Danbuff Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 249
Loc: NY state
Bewlayb1,

I am sorry to hear about your friend who took his life after his diagnosis. I understand your feelings about not knowing how to console your other friend. Sometimes there are no words...people are in a place where they are inconsolable. To my thinking the best and only thing we can ever do is listen to what others say.
After all, we all want to be heard in a safe setting. I think you know that and I commend you for listening.

The good news is it is no longer a death sentence as it once was...but that also is part of the reason for new infections. The attitude seems to be "So what, I'll take the drugs" I won't comment further on that now because it would be a very long post.

This really needs to be part of the conversation within the community at large...not just the GLBT community. It is life changing.

Disclosing the issues of CSA survival and HIV are just enormous barriers to intimacy besides barriers to living a fuller life. I suspect I am like others who are survivors, I freeze, isolate and fear disclosure. But the HIV part holds more weight because failure to disclose is unfair to a potential partner who might be interested in me...but no one ever is unless it is an empty hookup. I avoid those but I also long for sexual activity which scares the heck out of me...and yet I want it because I am also a sexual being....but I am not ready. It is a heck of a place to be. I am not sexually active and I live on the fringes, in shadows with secrecy as I suspect many of us do....

I have briefly created profiles in gay chat rooms without much personal information except to indicate I seek friendship, one on one sex and long term relationship (LTR) The responses are usually sexual proposals which seems to be the only reason guys respond. The rare face to face meetings are pointless wastes of time. But then if you list sex as the reason you are on a gay site, there are plenty of replies. When I have changed the profile to just looking for sex....there are more responses. It says a lot about our culture

My guess is other gay survivors can relate to these experiences. I would like to see those discussions and posts. I ultimately return to MS because it feels safer and reminds me this is not just my struggle.

If I have strayed off point, it is because this stirs up a good deal of frustration...it is all connected to the outcomes of CSA. I hope I have made sense. I am grateful for this space and the support.

I have no answers and there is no cookie cutter approach to this. I really need to talk about this. I hope others who may be in my situation might comment. I may learn something. We all might learn something.

_________________________
When you stumble, make it part of the dance.

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#267521 - 12/17/08 08:33 AM Re: Suviving and being HIV positive [Re: TNuss]
Danbuff Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 249
Loc: NY state
Troy,
Thank you...it feels good to have your support and caring.

_________________________
When you stumble, make it part of the dance.

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#267607 - 12/17/08 11:23 PM Re: Suviving and being HIV positive [Re: Danbuff]
TNuss Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 202
Loc: Del-A-Ware???
Wise I could do more for you....

_________________________
All my best!!!

In harmony,
Troy
________________________________________________________
I hug myself daily until the day I find the embrace that completes me.

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