How I got AIDS virus: who cares?

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Babs 5 years ago.

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  • #8920

    Richard
    Member

    I have been infected with HIV/AIDS for more than 16 years. The question that is asked most by people is, ‘How did you get the virus?’ What difference does it make? To me, it seems like the person asking is trying to find a way to discriminate against me because of how I got it. I have no idea how I got it, and if I did, I would not justify it with an answer. Doctors and other health care professionals have a reason for asking because they use the information to track how infections are spread, but the rest are not doctors, so why ask?

    User Detail :  

    Name : Richard, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Catholic, Age : 42, City : Ypsilanti, State : MI Country : United States, Occupation : Student, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Lower class, 
    #17966

    Elena25297
    Participant

    They probably think there’s going to be this big interesting story behind it. Like you spent a few years on the wrong side of the tracks. They could also be homophobic. Unfortunately, people still associate homosexuality with AIDS.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Elena25297, Gender : F, Race : White/Caucasian, City : Los Angeles, State : CA Country : United States, Occupation : Secretary, 
    #29874

    Dan27304
    Participant

    This might be a dumb answer, but I’ll give it a shot. I have a scar on my chin. People see it and ask me how I got it. I then grudgingly explain that my little brother threw something sharp at me when I was 16. I used to have stretch marks on my arms. People would see it and instantly ask, and I would have to grudgingly tell them that I had been overdoing it with weights (not a good idea to start at age 13). I just got over a bout with bronchitis, and everyone kept asking me how I got it. I grudgingly tell them that I have no idea, other than an anonymous bacterium managed to sneak into my system. I imagine to an extreme degree this is what is happening with your dilemma – although I agree it’s tasteless to inquire of such a thing, as it is a sensitive matter.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Dan27304, Gender : M, Race : Hispanic/Latino (may be any race), Religion : Pentecostal Christian, Age : 21, City : Los Angeles area, State : CA Country : United States, Occupation : Student, Social class : Lower middle class, 
    #47743

    Babs
    Participant

    Yes, of course some people ask you so they can get a jump start on discriminating against you. Others, however, ask because there is a great distrust in the method of transmission. I am a nursing home administrator at a facility that specilaizes in AIDS patients. I am not kidding when I tell you that educated, worldly people who work at the home sometimes believe it is not spread by sex or needles or blood, but that it is something injected into you by people who want to see you die. So I think some people want to hear about it so they can compare your story to one of theirs. Also, some folks continue to engage in high-risk behavior and will ask you so they can see if you have engaged in the same behavior and then consider their chances.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Babs, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Jewish, Age : 40, City : North, State : FL Country : United States, Occupation : Nursing home administrator, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #19345

    Justin-R
    Participant

    I do not know anyone infected with HIV/AIDS and have never been affected by the disease, but I do not agree with any form of discrimination against victims of this disease.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Justin-R, Gender : M, City : David City, State : NE Country : United States, 
    #42629

    Dawn25931
    Participant

    I don’t know what I would do if I ever got aids. That would really suck. I hope that some day they have a cure for aids and they can cure all these people that are sick.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Dawn25931, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Age : 17, City : David City, State : NE Country : United States, Education level : Less than High School Diploma, 
    #16711

    Christy
    Participant

    I would truthfully ask not because I wanted to discriminate but because I dont know anyone with HIV/AIDS and I would genuinely be curious.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Christy, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : american, Religion : Agnostic, Age : 22, City : jacksonville, State : FL Country : United States, Occupation : starving college student, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Lower middle class, 
    #40496

    Susan MD
    Member

    I believe it is out of fear. Not of you, but of their own risk of AIDS. They probably have the false belief that since they are middle class, non minority, straight, and non drug addicted they are safe from contracting HIV. Then they meet you…White, straight, educated, middle aged, Midwesterner and start thinking subconsciously ‘Wait that guy is like me…people like us don’t get HIV. How did he get it??? He’s got to be gay or something, because people like me don’t get AIDS.’ They are likely subconsciously looking to calm their fear about that one risky behavior they did once (or more than once) and subsequently justified their risk as low because they are straight and not drug addicted. I know that was my reaction when I met my first few straight white married HIV Patients. If you chose to respond you could quickly shut them down, by replying ‘I don’t know how I was exposed, but I am glad I decided to get tested.’ You may be surprised how often you will be asked how they can be tested too!!!

    User Detail :  

    Name : Susan MD, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Disability : Lupus, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Catholic, Age : 37, City : Chicago, State : IL Country : United States, Occupation : Physician, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
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