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Posts Tagged ‘Disclosure’

Two Florida men are awaiting trial after having unprotected sex with a 16-year-old and not disclosing their HIV-positive status

Full story here: http://www.queerty.com/hiv-positive-men-jailed-for-not-revealing-status-to-16-year-old-grindr-hookup-20130228/#ixzz2MNbIiAiJ – See more at: http://www.queerty.com/hiv-positive-men-jailed-for-not-revealing-status-to-16-year-old-grindr-hookup-20130228/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Queerty%20Active&utm_campaign=Queerty%20Daily%20Newsletter#sthash.AOD9MQqy.dpuf
Read more at http://www.queerty.com/hiv-positive-men-jailed-for-not-revealing-status-to-16-year-old-grindr-hookup-20130228/#qdboH00i8SMW0Eyu.99

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The topic this Wednesday, February 27, 2013 is Disclosure.   We will use the survey from Poz Magazine as the framework to discuss this topic.  To read this article CLICK HERE

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The topic this Wednesday, July 25, 2012 is Dislosure.

The most difficult thing you may ever have to do is tell someone you have HIV.
Disclosing your HIV diagnosis is difficult but sometimes necessary.
Being HIV positive alone is very difficult.
Having support will help but the first thing you need to do is tell someone you are HIV positive.
This “how-to” will help with HIV disclosure making it as stress-free as possible.

Here’s How:

    1. Know why you want to tell the people you are telling. What do you want from them?
    2. Anticipate their reaction. What’s the best you can hope for? What’s the worst you will have to deal with?
    3. Learn as much as you can about HIV.
    4. Have articles or printed material to give to the person to help them understand.
    5. Get support. Talk it over with someone you trust and come up with a plan.
    6. Accept the reaction. You can’t control the fears and feelings of others.
    7. Be patient. It may take some time for those you tell to process the information.

To read full article CLICK HERE

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Are you Clean?

The Stupid Question:  “Are You Clean?”

Mark King from “My Fabulous Disease”

I took a shower this morning.  I am clean.  I might work out at the gym later, or maybe the trash bag will break on the way outside and I will scoop up coffee grounds and put them back into the bag.  I will then be dirty.  I will shower again.  And I will be clean.

Anyone who questions whether or not HIV stigma is on the rise need look no further than online profiles and hookup sites, in which “Are you clean?” is asked with infuriating regularity.  Or perhaps you have suffered the indignity of someone asking you “The Stupid Question” while negotiating a tryst.  The sheer ignorance boggles the mind.

Implying that I am somehow “dirty” because I am HIV positive may not be the intention of the person asking the question.  Perhaps they are sincerely trying to assess the level of risk they might be taking.  But it also implies that they may raise their level of risk-taking should you answer “Yes, I am clean.”  To place one’s trust in this answer, and to base your sexual behavior on it, is precisely how people become infected with HIV.

The person being asked may not have tested recently.  Or has been infected since the last test.  Or is lying because they’re afraid, or ashamed, or nervous, or don’t feel safe being honest because of ramifications about which you have no idea.  So it’s ultimately a fairly useless exercise.

Thus, the ignorance and danger of The Stupid Question.  And, because it is asked fairly exclusively by people who believe themselves to be HIV negative, it sets up an “Us vs. Them” mentality.  Positive vs. Negative.  Clean vs. Dirty.

“They don’t mean any harm,” you may be thinking.  Well, words have meaning, my friend.  The ignorance evident in The Stupid Question makes it no less offensive. While the intent may be harmless, is does do harm to people with HIV by increasing stigma and driving a further wedge between HIV positive and negative people.  Like it or not, it is an assessment of the sexual viability of someone, and by extension, their “worthiness” as a human being.

In my more hedonistic days — which admittedly were not exactly long ago in a galaxy far, far away — I was dumbstruck by the conversations I would have in gay public sex venues, even the most anonymous ones.  “Are you clean?” would come the question by the gentleman who was fully prepared to engage in unsafe sex should my answer please him.  “Really?” I would answer, “I mean, are you serious?  You’re going to take the word of someone in a dark room that you couldn’t pick out of a lineup?” I would then explain, spoken at times through a three-inch hole in the wall, that if this question was his sole criteria, then he really needed to leave this place and go directly to an HIV and STD testing center. Post haste.

Can we please remove this insulting, dangerous and unproductive question from our lexicon?

There is an alternative to The Stupid Question.  You can simply offer your HIV status and see if your partner does the same.  If he does not or you don’t like the answer, it is your right to decline having sex.  It is not your right to berate them for their response.  Whatever the case, if you are trying to remain negative then sex with someone you don’t know well should only include low-risk activities.  If the relationship progresses, you can offer to get tested together and be present for the test results of one another.  And that is the alternative to The Stupid Question.

An interesting social marketing campaign has been created by a new organization known as The Stigma Project, which aims to reduce stigma by calling out questions like “Are You Clean?”  I appreciate its mission “…to lower the HIV infection rate by defeating the stigma that strengthens it.”  If nothing else, it has instigated a dialogue by addressing some of the misconceptions and clumsy thinking that stigmatizes people with HIV.

The environment we have created with questions like this one has implications beyond mere social awkwardness.  It has bled into our criminal justice system.  Laws now on the books are being used against people with HIV who don’t disclose their status to sex partners – even when they engaged in safe sex, used a condom, and no transmission occurred.  The prosecutions are being conducted in a world in which disclosing your status – admitting you are “not clean” – has become increasingly difficult to do because of the very stigma generated by things like The Stupid Question.

To read more: CLICK HERE

 

 

 

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The topic this week is Disclosing your HIV Status. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Possible groups of people to disclose to:

Spouses, Partners, & Significant Others

Dating and Sexual Partners

Family: Siblings, Children, and Other Family Members

Friends

The Workplace: Coworkers, Employers

Medical & Other Healthcare Providers

And some General disclosure tips

 

You don’t have to tell everyone. The choice is yours about whom to tell. Be selective.
Be sure to consider the five “W’s” when thinking about disclosure: who, what, when, where and why. Who do you need to tell? What do you want to tell them about your HIV infection, and what are you expecting from the person you are disclosing your HIV status to? When should you tell them? Where is the best place to have this conversation? Why are you telling them?
Easy does it. In most situations, you can take your time to consider who to tell and how to tell them.
Consider whether there is a real purpose for you to tell this person or if you are simply feeling anxious and want to “dump” your feelings.
Telling people indiscriminately may affect your life in ways you haven’t considered.
Having feelings of uncertainty about disclosing is a very common reaction in this situation.
You have a virus. That doesn’t mean you’ve done anything wrong. You don’t have anything to apologize for simply because you are HIV positive.
Keep it simple. You don’t have to tell the story of your life.
Avoid isolating yourself about your status. If you are still not able to tell close friends, family members or other loved ones about your HIV status, allow yourself to draw upon the support and experience available to you, through organized groups in the HIV community. Consider the AIDSmeds.com community forums for example.
There’s no perfect roadmap for how to disclose. Trust your instinct, not your fears.
Whatever the response you receive in a specific situation, and even if it doesn’t go the way you’d hoped, you’re going to survive it and your life will go on.
Millions of others have dealt with this experience and have found their way through it. You will get through it too.
Choosing whom to tell or not tell is your personal decision. It’s your choice and your right

Read article from AIDSmeds.com;  CLICK HERE

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POZ Magazine has a disclosure survey that asks some interesting questions.

Survey says;

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The topic of the 10-12-2011 meeting was disclosure and we were presented with the challenge of coming up with 101 ways to disclose our status, to sex partners, friends, family or whomever we wanted to tell. The exercise was to illustrate that there is many ways to say the same thing and the spin we put on the information, has a lot to do with the reaction we’re going to get from the other person. We came up with 33 different ways of disclosing. After the meeting 12 of us went to Peter Pan and someone came up with an additional way. I added a few more ways.

35 people attended the meeting and 34 of us enjoyed it. The other person came in late, did not hear the rules, or the introduction explaining that we are a topic driven group. Obviously under the impression that the AIDS crisis was over and feeling that since he was personally past disclosure issues (why he went to an anonymous meeting is questionable), everyone else should also be past these issues, he stated that he wanted to play cards. Not staying long enough to reveal whether that meant Canasta, Strip Poker or Go Fish, he stormed out in Drama Queen fashion that would have made Bette Davis proud. Since performances for the 2010 Academy awards had to be made in 2010, he’s ineligible for this year’s awards, but we hope everyone will remember this performance for the 2011 awards.

This is a good reminder why we need the rules we have. So best of luck to him and I really do hope he finds a support group that provides him with the support he desires.

Thanks to Tom for bringing a home-made coconut cake and to Bill for documenting the ways to disclose:

1. I’m HIV positive
2. I go to an HIV support group
3. Do you want my poz load?
4. By the way, I’m positive
5. I’m positive
6. I have HIV
7. I’m HIV
8. Wait a minute, I gotta tell you something. I’m HIV positive
9. Thank God, I am too (in response)
10. I have some bad news……..
11. I go to a positively sober meeting
12. Disclosing your status on your website
13. Disclosing your status on your online profile
14. Is there a problem with me being HIV positive
15. I’m HIV positive. Are you going to have an issue with that?
16. I’m HIV+. Does that make a difference to you?
17. I’m Poz
18. My partner passed away from AIDS
19. I have AIDS
20. I only bareback
21. I only play raw
22. I have an HIV+ diagnosis
23. I tested positive in 1989
24. I’m healthy HIV+
25. Wear an HIV Positive T-Shirt
26. You really want to deal with something serious…………
27. Son: “Mom, Dad I have some good news and some bad news. I’m Gay.” Dad: “So what’s the good news?” Son” “That was the good news.”
28. I know you’ve never supported me before and I don’t expect your support now, but I’m HIV+
29. I only date other positive people.
30. We haven’t discussed our status yet.
31. I participate in an HIV+ treatment program
32. I’m enhanced
33. Wear a bio-hazard tattoo
34. I only don’t date negative people
35. I assume you’re positive and I think you should make the same assumption
36. Have you ever dated an HIV+ person before?
37. I have an undetectable viral load.
38. I got my HIV test lab work yesterday
39. I have to go pick up my HIV medications
40. I’ve been positive for 20 years

40 down, 61 to go. We can do this.

-Steve

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