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Wednesday, 22 August, 2001

Dear Carolena,
I'm writing to thank you for your message sent via aidsmap (which is now accessible once more, following an uncomfortable interruption for some days). We're very pleased that you're planning to link to us and I'll certainly include your site when I next get to review some of the international links on aidsmap, though this may not be for a month or two. Having looked at your site and read some of the stories, I was most impressed by the way that you have used the web to enable people to connect with the human experience of living with HIV and AIDS. Am looking forwards to visiting Australia for the ICAAP conference in Melbourne in October
. Have you been in touch with the conference organisers, e.g. for a link from their website?
Best wishes,
Julian Meldrum,
International Editor,

Hello Julian,
Thank you for taking the time to visit the site and your comments. Perhaps we will meet in Melbourne, my home town, and hopefully l will make it to the conference.

Fri Aug 31, 2001
location: oregon

I just have a question on pets.I know of the risks I take with my cat, but what about ferrets?Do you know of a website that could help.

I'm with you on not knowing the answer but l've had a bit of a surf on the internet and l'll post these links to you and l'm sure that (although they do not mention ferrets), will have the answers.
This is a standard pet tip: Sometimes animals and soil can carry germs that can make you sick. You don't need to give your pets away or give up gardening . There are things you can do to decrease your exposure to germs such as trying to avoid exposure to cat stool or bird droppings. For example, if there is not someone else who can change the kitty litter, you should wear gloves and a mask to cover your mouth and nose so you don't touch or breathe-in any of the soiled kitty litter. Careful handwashing after handling pets or changing the kitty litter is always important.
This is one site link which may be able to answer your question:

This is from their FAQ page. Q:I've had pets all my life and never had any problems. Why should I be worried now that I am infected with HIV?
A: Pets can carry zoonotic infections, that is, infections that are shared by people and pets. Because your resistance is low, you are more susceptible to these diseases now. But the good news is that you can minimize your risk by working with your veterinarian to test, medicate, and care appropriately for your pet.

I've just found something about ferrets from the paws site. www.pawssf.org
They have a brochure you can download called 'Safe Pet Guidelines', l have grabbed the following section from it but you should visit the site to see all the guidelines.
About Ferrets Zoonoses transmitted by pet ferrets are quite rare. Intestinal parasites are common in young ferrets and can potentially be spread to people. PAWS does not recommend that people at risk come in contact with an immature ferret. Ferrets are also susceptible to human influenza and can easily pass it back to humans. Following the guidelines in this brochure will help to reduce your risk of acquiring any infections your ferret may have.
Well, l hope this helps you. Thanks for visiting the site, perhaps you would like to add a story sometime.
Carolena Helderman
project manager HIV/AIDS Positive Stories

Wed Sep 5, 2001
location: London

hi there!!i just wanted some of you people to check this site out...i don't know if they are saying the truth but it is a company developing a potential 'cure' for aids.the address is: www.immunoscience.com they appeared very convincing...can u reply on my email!!thanx!

Thanks Mohamed for sending this information to the HIV/AIDS site, l'm always sceptical at sites or people who proclaim a cure. Usually it is a company trying to sell a product and usually it is a product that is dealing with opportunistic infections.
I have no medical training nor have any expertise in virology so l'm probably at the same level of understanding as yourself. I did have a look at the web site and l agree that their work sounds promising but l'd like to point out that it is of course still a trial and the site has not been updated for over a year, so it is not really giving any information on the results of their trials. Many countries are doing trials at the moment and l must admit that l do not keep myself up to date or informed about these. Although there is hope and it is encouraging l reflect of history and look at the Polio vaccine trials. Scientists may think that they are developing a successful vaccine only to find that it is not the case, so it does take a lot of time and testing. Also looking at the sites other product, HIV home testing kits which use saliva.
Again, without knowledge l will not comment on their accuracy but my first concern (and the reason that the US had not approved the product), there is no form of counciling or Dr on hand to advise you.
Anyhow Mohadmed, these are just my comments and l will post your message on the web site.
Carolena Helderman
project manager HIV/AIDS Positive Stories

Mon Sep 24, 2001
location: Nigeria

Informative,educative, & interesting
Tue Sep 25, 2001
location: Mississippi

I first want to thank you for a wonderfull site. I know it takes time and work to keep it up and running so well. Secondly i would like to ask if i could use some of your stories in a web site that i have created. I belong to a chat group on Paltalk.com and one of the chat rooms is called Men and Women Living With HIV Discussion and Music Lounge. We are a group of people from all walks of life that are there to help answer questions that others may have about HIV/AIDS. In the process of being with this group I decided to creat a web site for it. One of the sections of the website is a Tell your story section. I would like to put a few of the stories from here in there to give people an understanding of what kind of things they can talk about in their stories. Basically example stories, but i wont tell them that. I would of course put a link to your site in there as well if that is ok with you. Please let me know if it is alright to use a few of the stories and I appreciate any advice you can give too. Once again THANKS.

Tue Sep 25, 2001
location: India

Hi madam,
I am a management student and presently i am doing a research on the AIDS situation in Mumbai and its impact on Business. Would you be kind enough to let me know where can i get my article from.

I'm sorry for not responding to your email...l hadn't known how to answer it until now.
I have just been to the 'Sixth International Congress on AIDS in ASIA and the PASCIFIC (ICCAP for short.)
In regards to your research into AIDS 'situation in Mumbai and its impact on Business', l know that there were papers given on this subject and these can be searched for on the conference web site. The web site address is www.icaap.conf.au ~2002 message - site is no longer online
I hope (and l'm sure), this will be of help to your research.
Carolena Helderman
project manager
HIV/AIDS Positive Stories

Fri Oct 5, 2001
location: Orange County, California

I am currently a part-time college Student located @ Santa Ana College. I am planning on tansferring t opossibly UCI, Medical Colege, still needing to findout more though. I am currently an AIDS/HIV crewsador. I went on the 2,000-2001 AIDS 5k Walkathon and also I an wanting to do as much infomation as I am able to regarding this AIDS crisis. My hopes are that we will find a cure, before we are succeful at distroying innocent people. So any information will be of information now. And THANK YOU VERY MUCH ;o}

Mon Oct 8, 2001

We have secured some funding to provide schools with some free resources to use as part of a World AIDs Day initiative this year. Would you know of any reading books, suitable for inclusion in a secondary school library, that would relay personal experiences of HIV and AIDs to young people. If yes, could you please let me know along with any ordering details. If no, could you suggest anyone else to approach for this information. Many thanks.

Sorry for the delay in answering your question.
I'm not that uptodate with what is being published as just keeping up with this site is enough. It's great news though that your school is going to invest into some books. Of course l can state the obvious and look at Amazon as l have, over time, seen books advertised there.
The reason for my delay is that l wanted to point you to a page on the other web site that l co-ordinate for Positive Women Victoria in Australia.
A group of five women have just written a book of personal stories about being HIV positive. The book is called Blood Ties and it can be ordered thru the publisher.
I'll give you the address for the Positive Women web site and there is a link from there (a picture of the book).
I hope that this will help and l think that 'Blood Ties' is exactly the sort of book you are looking for.
All the best,
Carolena Helderman
project manager
HIV/AIDS Positive Stories

Tue Oct 9, 2001
location: South Africa

To whom it may concern, I work for Save the children in South Africa. We have just compiled a directory of organisations working with children affected or infected by HIV//AIDS in South Africa. I am writing to inquire about the possibility to create links with you site. I look forward to your response on this

My name is Carolena and l co-ordinate the 'HIV/AIDS Stories' Web site and l really appreciate your contact.
I have just attended the ICAAP Conference in Melbourne and spent a lot of time collecting information from NGO's etc. so that l can build a better directory section for the Asian region. I have started doing this and then looked at the lack of information l have on Africa....this is why l am so pleased to get your email.
If you could give me any information to add to the African Directory it would be of great help. Have a look at the current directory - http://www.hivaids.webcentral.com.au/text/dir2.html
I'm also more than happy to create links, do you have a web site, l'm not sure??
I hope to hear further information from you,
Carolena Helderman
project manager
HIV/AIDS Positive Stories

Tue Oct 9, 2001
location: Singapore

Hi, 5 Months back I met thai girl and I Used condom. 5 days back I met doctor and I got HIV -ve results, the doctor says every thing is fine. But Now I am suffering with my psychological feelings. Am I at safe side??. Please give me reply.

Of course there are psychological results to getting a test result, more so when the result is positive. In your case your result is luckily negative and your doctor has shown no further concern especially as you have done the right thing and used a condom which is the right thing to do to avoid HIV.
If you are still concerned, l can only suggest that you learn more about HIV and this will make you feel safer now, and in the future.
There is a page on my web site which answers the common questions and also links to other web sites which give detailed information.
Also, here is the web address of the Malaysian AIDS council and perhaps they have local links on their site where you can find out more information from your country. There may be counciling services or phone lines.
I hope this helps and will give you peace of mind.
Carolena Helderman
project manager
HIV/AIDS Positive Stories

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