HIV, AIDS, Safe Sex, Etc.

Anonymous's picture

Hey everyone!

I wanted to put up this forum post just as an opportunity for anyone to ask me questions about HIV/AIDS. I've been living with the virus for nearly eleven years now and have amassed quite a bit of info about it, and what I don't already know, I know how to find out. So if anyone wants to know anything - about the virus itself, preventing it, living with it - whatever is on your mind, I would be more than happy to answer your questions. If you're not comfortable asking such questions in an open forum, then go ahead and private me. I will most likely answer your questions on the forum for everyone's benefit, but I won't say who asked the question. If you have an idea for a topic you'd like me to post about, I'm happy to hear those also.

I think most of you know by now that whatever your questions might be, you're going to get honest answers from me, not a lecture or any other preachy bullshit.

I look forward to any help I might be able to give you.

Hugs,
Patrick

Floral Arrangements and Love Secrets's picture

Hey Pat!

im pretty young, and i was qwondering if you knew and percentages or anything on how many gay men have AIDS? whats the best way to prevent besides abstinence?

patnelsonchilds's picture

I don't keep track of

I don't keep track of statistics really. The thing is many men, gay and otherwise, have the virus and don't know it. That's one reason I say assume everyone has it and take precautions accordingly.

THE REST OF THIS POST CONTAINS EXPLICIT REFERENCES. IF YOU'RE OFFENDED, WELL, I DID WARN YOU.

Besides abstinence, the best way to avoid HIV (as well as most other STDs) is to use a condom every time you have anal sex (or vaginal if you're having boy/girl sex).

If you make the choice not to use them for oral sex (my personal choice, since the taste of even the flavored ones makes me ill) don't let anyone cum in your mouth or vice versa. A couple of other tips to keep oral sex without condoms as safe as possible are 1.) do not brush your teeth right before having oral sex. 2.) don't eat anything like potato chips right before having oral sex. The reason for this is that either of those things can produce small cuts and abrasions inside your mouth through which the virus can more easily get into your bloodstream. I would also advise rinsing your mouth right afterwards with listerine or some other germ-killing mouthwash. Of course, it would be much safer to use condoms during all types of sex, but for most people, that just isn't all that realistic. If, however, you don't mind the flavor of latex, then by all means glove that bad boy before you pop it in your mouth.

Now expanding a bit on the above tips:

1.) Always keep your partner's bodily fluids well away from any open cuts or scratches anywhere on your own body. Saliva isn't dangerous, but semen is. The quickest way for it to infect you is through the bloodstream, so keep semen far away from any and all injuries.

2.) Anal sex is the easiest way to get infected (besides through blood transfusions). That is because the lining inside your butt is very delicate and can tear easily, allowing semen to come in contact with the bloodstream. Always were a condom. ALWAYS! Pulling out is not an effective way to prevent the transmission HIV for two reasons a). the virus lives in precum too, and b). sometimes in the heat of the moment, the "pulling out" part doesn't happen. Plus, there are a half dozen other STDs you can get just from unprotected contact (with or without an orgasm involved).

3.) The best way to keep broken condom accidents from leading to HIV is a). take little breaks during sex to check the condom to see that it hasn't broken, and b). pretend you're making a porno flick and pull out just before you cum (or have boyfriend do it if he's driving). Then you can have some fun splashing in it and there won't be any danger of it winding up inside you because the condom broke at the last second. Just remember the warning in tip 1 about open cuts or scratches.

Do you see the pattern forming here? The virus spreads through blood and semen. It has been detected in saliva and other body fluids but there has yet to be a verifiable case of transmission via any of those other fluids. So go out and have fun. Just learn to make condoms a part of foreplay and always be careful about where the love goo is going.

Any other questions?

_________________________________
Please visit my Myspace Profile and add me as a friend.
_________________________________

- Pat Nelson Childs
"bringing strong gay characters to Sci-Fi & Fantasy"

Uncertain's picture

stats

think in the US it's about 2% of the population. Other countries vary greatly.

Azul's picture

Currently about .6% of the

Currently about .6% of the population in the United States is HIV positive.
Botswana is roughly 38%.

If you want all the stats go visit the UNAIDS website.

scandalboy's picture

its funny, i had been on

its funny, i had been on here for a year, and there was no info about HIv/AIDS here, as there should be. i asked jeff, and he said there wasn't, nut i'm so glad people are talking about it, and discussing it. thank you pat for offering to share your knowledge.

patnelsonchilds's picture

No problemo, Amigo. I'm here

No problemo, Amigo. I'm here to help you, so don't be afraid to ask if there's anything you want to know.

_________________________________
Please visit my Myspace Profile and add me as a friend.
_________________________________

- Pat Nelson Childs
"bringing strong gay characters to Sci-Fi & Fantasy"

my three wheeler rox's picture

Have you read..

And The Band Played On..? If so, was it any good?

Ride hard or stay home.

Do they react that way because of who we are or because of your personality?
"I like to think it's me."

patnelsonchilds's picture

Nope never read it. It's

Nope never read it. It's kind of a classic though.

_________________________________
Please visit my Myspace Profile and add me as a friend.
_________________________________

- Pat Nelson Childs
"bringing strong gay characters to Sci-Fi & Fantasy"

wilma wonka's picture

there was a movie made of

there was a movie made of And the Band Played On. We watched it in health class. It was really good. It was depressing but still good.

raining men's picture

Duncan

Not for me, but post on Duncan's journal, he's having a scare

And good idea for a forum topic by the way

"Sexual intercourse began in nineteen sixty-three (which was rather too late for me)"

kartovla's picture

what about for girls? i

what about for girls? i mean, its almost like theres this false sense of security that if there isnt a penis involved, there isnt a problem (or as much of one)... but im assuming thats a load of crap. so (i guess this isnt your area of expertise, but...) what about transmission and prevention and such with lesbian sex?
(come to think of it, i actually am really suprised that this is the first big posting about HIV/AIDS on this site...that ive seen at least. glad its here)
"the opposite of war isnt peace, its CREATION!"

utter_insanity's picture

Clickety-click

I was curious about this, too, and so I went on ask.com and found this forum where some women tell about how to have safe lesbian sex:

http://dykes.tribe.net/thread/69ae5729-6637-4f99-878b-307e3966348a


"Women in rubber will ALWAYS be flirting with me!" --Maureen in the musical RENT

andyouwillknowmebythesoundofmyname's picture

thanks!

Thanks for that site!
I couldn't get any good info from wikipedia, and a google search turned up way more than I was looking for.

I decided to take a peek in the closet.
What a suprise to find myself hiding inside!

-Ruby-'s picture

girl-to-girl STI's

From what I've read, almost all of the people in America who have HIV/AIDS got infected by a male (thru vaginal/anal sex), or thru intravenous drug usage. These are the two most high-risk activities for the transmission of HIV because the virus is most highly concentrated in semen and blood. In order for it to infect someone it must get into their bloodstream, and male penetration of a male or female is most likely to cause microscopic cuts which the HIV+ semen could get into. Sharing needles for IV drugs is blood-to-blood.
However, research shows that it is possible for a woman to transmit HIV to another woman. It's just that the medical community in America hasn't conducted any detailed studies on HIV thru lesbian sex, and there are hardly any documented cases of it. Since many gay/bi women who contract the virus state other risk factors such as having had sex with men and/or IV drugs, we really don't know how many of the gay/bi women in fact got the disease from a woman or something else.
HIV could be transmitted in vaginal secretions. Its in a lower concentration than blood/semen but it could still be there. Risks for girl-on-girl sex are: tiny cuts on your hands/fingers, cuts in your mouth, shaving nicks around your pussy, penetration that makes microscopic cuts inside your pussy, anything involving blood. I even read an article where this girl was making love to her girlfriend and when she pulled out her fingers and realized the gf just started her period- menstrual blood could contain HIV too. You can never be too careful. Just like guys can use condoms, girls can use barriers- for oral sex "Glyde" dams/saran wrap, or wear rubber gloves for penetration. Girls can also get from girls: HPV (human papilloma virus), Hepatitis A/B/C, herpes, and all that other great stuff. The reality is that most girls that sleep with girls never use any protection or even know that they are at risk. So many girls are ignorant, also all the media attention is on STI'S/AIDS pertaining to gay men/ heterosexual sex. People need to educate themselves and there needs to be more awareness for STI's/HIV/AIDS among ALL sexual orientations in schools. Kids need to learn so the next generation will be healthier.

patnelsonchilds's picture

Thanks guys. Sorry I don't

Thanks guys.

Sorry I don't know much about girl to girl transmission of STDs. I know that HIV transmission is rare among lesbians, but it is still possible, and one must still be careful of other STDs. I'm glad we have some well-informed women here on Oasis that can come to my rescue here and provide some information. :)
_________________________________
Please visit my Myspace Profile and add me as a friend.
_________________________________

- Pat Nelson Childs
"bringing strong gay characters to Sci-Fi & Fantasy"

Duncan's picture

It's ok, I've seen "And the

It's ok, I've seen "And the Band Goes On." But I'm going to watch it again today.

Guys are pretty confusing, and apparently drooling over them doesn't really break the ice...

Campfire's picture

I've always wondered how you

I've always wondered how you deal with being infected. Firstly, and sorry to get personal but hey, you brought it upon yourself, how do you maintain a normal sex life and are negative people out of bounds for you? If not, do you tell people you're positive and let them decide or do you not say anything and just insist on a condom? Do you have like, HIV+ groups where HIV people can meet up?

Secondly, how do you psychologically cope with having HIV? Do you just push it to the back of your mind. I mean it's bad, but it's not like having cancer, after doing some very light reading it would seem with the help of HAART treatment it's possible to avoid AIDs for several decades, particularly as an adult. How did you react when you first new you had the infection, and how long did it take you to get over it?

In response to the first question by the way (re: statistics), there's a good map at the Wikipedia article on HIV here which gives percentages on the distribution of HIV in different countries.

"If we were to wake up some morning and find that everyone was the same race, creed and color, we would find some other cause for prejudice by noon."
- George Aiken

patnelsonchilds's picture

Well, stupid and insensitive

Well, stupid and insensitive comment about bringing it on myself aside, I personally tell everyone AND insist on a condom. Others don't tell, which I believe is immoral. A person has the right to know that there is a risk, albeit small, to engaging in safe sex with someone who is HIV+. As to people who engage in unsafe sex without telling, that to me is beyond immoral, it is evil. I understand that many people fear rejection, and that fear is well-founded, but it is no excuse for endangering others.

I have no problem dating HIV- people. I know lots of couples who are +/- and I 've never known any situation where one has passed it to the other. Others I know will only date other poz people. I was like that for awhile, but decided that since the virus has been at undetectable levels in my system for years thanks to medication, the chance of me infecting a lover if minimal, so long as we are careful.

As to living with it, it is just like any long-term illness. You can either give up or go on. I choose to go on. I have many HIV+ friends all over the world who I keep in touch with via a couple of poz chat rooms. I also have dozens of negative friends, including all of you, some of whom I hope will learn from my experience and learn to love themselves enough to always take the proper precautions against HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases..

_________________________________
Please visit my Myspace Profile and add me as a friend.
_________________________________

- Pat Nelson Childs
"bringing strong gay characters to Sci-Fi & Fantasy"

Campfire's picture

Whoah, to clarify

Just to clarify I was not suggesting you brought HIV upon yourself. That would be a stupid and nasty thing to say, neither of which I consider myself to be. I was saying, in the nicest way possible, that you brought the bluntness and personal nature of my question upon yourself by posting an article about your own HIV status and encouraging questions, which I assumed you had no problem with.

Sorry for any offense caused.

Edit: Looking back I can see quite clearly how my poorly constructed sentence could have been perceived. Alas, such is the nature of text based communication!

"If we were to wake up some morning and find that everyone was the same race, creed and color, we would find some other cause for prejudice by noon."
- George Aiken

patnelsonchilds's picture

Sorry guy. I did indeed

Sorry guy. I did indeed misinterpret you. Please forgive me.

You are quite correct. I do invite personal questions because I think they help to make both me and HIV more real to people, which is my objective, so no problems at all there.

_________________________________
Please visit my Myspace Profile and add me as a friend.
_________________________________

- Pat Nelson Childs
"bringing strong gay characters to Sci-Fi & Fantasy"

milly the fairy's picture

Going back to the "bringing

Going back to the "bringing it on oneself" comment. Obviously in the comment above, it meant bringing questions on yourself by being so honest, but you thought that the commenter meant that you were at fault for catching the disease. Is that a common reaction? How do you deal with that?

Also, how old were you when you were infected? Do you think one's reaction depends on age? Ie, do you find under 25s more tolerant? Or less tolerant? Or no different from other age groups?

Azul's picture

Strangely....

Because HIV tests aren't 100% +, there are false negatives or false positives. In psychological studies, people that found out that instead of being HIV+, they were HIV- weren't over joyed or ecstatic, they were in fact depressed. This is because people begin to define themselves around HIV+ (along with the other facets of their lives, I mean who really defines themselves by one thing besides the feminists?) and it becomes deeper then the fact that a couple of your CD4+ T-Lymphocyte cells have been introduced into the lysogenic cycle of the HIV-1 or HIV-2 viral strains.

underdarkness's picture

Have you ever been turned

Have you ever been turned down by a partner because of your + status?

- One Nation, Under Darkness, with liberty and justice for white, heterosexual, rich, Christian men

patnelsonchilds's picture

Well not by a sexual

Well not by a sexual partner, but I have had quite a few people stop talking to me once they found out I was HIV+ - and these were people I only knew online! I guess they figured they could somhow catch it via their keyboard. :)

As far as partners go, I never let things get to the point of sex before I tell someone, so it's unlikely I'll ever get rejected that late in the game. But there are plenty of people out there who consider me unworthy of their friendship because of my HIV status. It's just something one just has to learn to live with and toughen up about. I've reached the point where I can tell myself it's their loss - and actually believe it. lol.

_________________________________
Please visit my Myspace Profile and add me as a friend.
_________________________________

- Pat Nelson Childs
"bringing strong gay characters to Sci-Fi & Fantasy"

Floral Arrangements and Love Secrets's picture

THXX

Thanks for the tips Pat! i'll try to use a condom next time (damn..)