Most of HIV deals with gay men. Straight people with HIV probably feel left out with support, help, or somebody to talk to. My question for straight people is, how do you address things when people talk about HIV and how it's a gay disease, and how gays deserve it for being deviants. Or how do you address when people say, "it will never happen to me, I live a moral lifestyle."
@A myHIVteam Member for me not get in a "social media" argument with anyone, I'm going to give my "black educated straight HIV positive woman's" point of view based on what I've experienced. You did originally want to know how we straight ppl deal with the stigma right? I can't answer for a gay person because I'm not gay. Everyone should know that HIV/AIDS does NOT discriminate. It sees no age, color, gender, wealth nor sexual status. people on the outside looking in always have the same mind-set.If you are positive straight and a woman, you contracted the disease because you were once smoked crack and was giving a turn with anyone who wanted. And you probably have a thousand kids that you left addicted and positive in a trash bag. Someone telling you that is hard and hurtful to deal with but I deal with it. I'm none of those things. My uncle who died from AIDS in 2006, brutally raped me from the age of 9 til I turned 17. The boyfriend I dated in high school and college was sleeping with me and other men. I dated to other guys in college, one in which is my husband My strain came from my uncle.Ive never been out there sleeping with other ppl spreading the disease. I've only had sex with my husband .I had my daughter 2 yrs before I was diagnosed. She is 24 now and disease free. So you see I'm none of the those things that ignorant ppl think that am but they still have the same notion about me. I've havent been thru what a gay person has and vice versa. The person who angrily answered should realize that we don't share the same circumstances but we do share the same disease.
Well in all honesty I have found no problem what so ever conversing with any one once we get past the " Oh I'm so sorry " stage.
Now after I came out at my previous employer I for some reason became the " go to guy " when some one had found out that one of their family members had been diagnosed with hiv/aids so what else was I to do but help with any intel I had gathered on my own or thru the various magazines available and believe U me with 16 of us working the floor plus the back of the house staff and all 5 managers my days were usually filled with trying to answer questions about meds, side effects and any thing else hiv/aids related and in fact the few customers that I made privy to my health " condition " were overly eager to help in any way they could from nothing more than moral support ( a hug ) to advice on finding some sort of financial fix which made me one truly happy camper to know that my having decided to be open had caused so many to become self aware that people with hiv/aids are just like every one else in all walks of life :) .
@A myHIVteam Member that is the kinds of answers I was wondering about. I just think straight people have the stigma worse than gay people. Not only do they have the stigma but the judging and confusion to deal with because people are so ignorant.
For all of us their are phases we go through before we accept and have hope.
For me, I am bisexual, I was married. I had relationships with boys and girls in Middle school and high school. From 19 to 28 I had so much sex and many threesomes.
Being bisexual not only brings discomfort from straight, but LGBTQ also.
I have always lived my life openly, and raised in a small town. My peers accepted me in the sixth grade, because we were young and didn't know what we were doing, myself and the others didn't realise we were having sex until 8th grade biology and of course at that time same sex was not mentioned at all. For most of us, we know what gay was until college.
I went on after graduation discovering AIDS & HIV in the news, Ryan Whites life, Rolling Stone magazine which for years had an article on the disease every month, and that opened my eyes to Africa where babies born with HIV with being thrown in ditches to die and in adults the disease was mostly transferred through heterosexual sex.
I started volunteering and working with hiv patients through non- profits and sending aid to organisations that specifically helped the children in Africa, at one time raising $65,000.00 with a fundraiser I organised.
When I became HIV positive, it was almost a non-event. I had full support from my friends and my family. I continued reach and encourage college students to get tested. I would be speaker in one of their biology classes and no question was inappropriate, all questions were answered openly.
Now to your question. Anyone with HIV has no obligation to defend themselves when attacked with derogatory and bullying speech. Just walk away if someone you don't know or care about.
If it's friends or family, ask them if "we can take the conversation down a bit and discuss what HIV is, statistics if you know them, and why they are angry or fearful.
There is absolute power in knowledge, openness and strength in your truth.
Don't fear the conversation, be courageous and do it in charity for the others.
Actually I've NEVER had anyone make such a remark as gays deserve it. I guess because they know of my diversified group of friends. I'd bustificate their squash. I abhor those who are that hate filled. I have however witnessed gay men thinking my str8 friends are gay because they are infected.
I was and still am a huge supporter of gay men. Lesbians are the least likely to be infected. I do have many friends and a host of relatives in the gay community. I lost a nephew to AIDS.
I enjoy going to Pride celebrations even though I feel like a Baptist in a Catholic church during the entire day. I do have fun.. I only wish there was a celebration for Heterosexual HIV awareness. Once the general public sees such a celebration or an awareness day for Heterosexuals this whole stigma crap will dwindle.
Drug companies (my son in law is a supervisor drug rep) do NOT address Heterosexuals. If we ever ask for recognition from drug companies, CDC, WHO or ( the biggest )ASOs . Heterosexuals are accused of being homophobic which is NOT the case. It's very hurtful. We aren't allowed to ask for what you are asking from us. Thank you for bringing this subject to the floor.
Since you broached the subject, please know the Heterosexual community has long been an ambassador of the gay community. We attend functions far and wide that are totally void of references to the Heterosexual community. Even the medical community leaves us out while we support the gay community.
Many Heterosexuals are seen as gay when they talk of their DIAGNOSIS. Women are seen as soiled doves, men are seen as gay or bi.
Only when the gay and straight community come together with public occasions that do not have gay oriented themes discussing HIV/AIDS will the red necked knuckleheads realize this disease is everyone's.
A local health department NURSE told me the IV drug use epidemic would never lead to more HIV because that is for gays. Being the straight from the hip shooter that I am; I told her to stick to flu shots and to keep her panties up and her dress down because she's a prime candidate based on her lack of knowledge of HIV.
STR8 people with HIV protect gays. Protect and support us in return please.
So, let me ask this. When was the last time the support of HIV HETEROSEXUALS was recognized? When was the last time, during an event planning meeting, were the plight, interests, and needs of Heterosexuals discussed? What have gays offered Heterosexuals for being their ambassadors all these years? It's a fair question. Not in a mean tone. I harken back to the day a gay man referred to me as a fag hag for supporting my gay HIV friends. He had no clue I was infected. I was crushed. But I didn't stop supporting. I miss ALL my friends. 28 years is a long time.
I'm still here for you. Be there for us. Love and hugs.