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Sun Feb 17, 2002
location: Europe

This is to the 17 year old Philippine boy!!! :::read story:::
Hey..
Oh dear, I just read your story, and it could have been me writing that.
I went to Spain two years ago, and foolish enough I had unprotected sex with a man there. He seemed to be a "good" man..but as they say, you never know.
It wasn´t good, it didn´t leave me with a good feeling..
Ok, that wasn´t enough..half a year later I went to Greece, and had sex with a man there..that is notorious for being a womanizer. It was protected..or supposed to be, but the condom broke..he didn´t "go all the way with me"..but probably enough anyway.
When I came home I went to test myself for STD´s like Chlamydia and so on..and those were all negative..so in a stupid way I thought that well..if they didn´t have that, then they can´t have HIV...stupid..
However..now, wherever I turn I see ads or articles about HIV and Aids..and I am scared to death. I can´t eat and I can´t sleep. I am in good shape..at least I feel great and so on..but I am soooo scared.
I don´t know what to do..the thing is that I haven´t had the courage to test myself..but today I called the clinic and asked about it but they didn´t know anything..told me to call back next week or so...
Now, that I see the signs everywhere I am absolutely sure that I am HIV + and I swear, that will absolutely crush me..I don´t know how I could ever cope with that. Then again I have a feeling that I am ok...anyway, it is driving me crazy..
I do think that since you tested negative for so many times, you don´t have anything to worry about...but I understand how you feel..
I really pray to God everyday that I will live a long and healthy life, and that I will test negative for HIV when I do get the courage to test myself.
Take good care of yourself, because from now on I will NEVER EVER have unprotected sex again..I have learned my lesson..and I just hope I was lucky and got away this time...

Mon Feb 18, 2002
location: San Juan Capistrano, CA

I just wanted to let you know that you're AEGiS "Site of the Month". There will be a rotating link on our home page http://www.aegis.org for the next 30 days. The link will appear every 4th to 5th hit on the page.
Best wishes,
Mary Elizabeth

Mon Feb 25, 2002
location: Perth, Australia

I think there should be more personalized info, from the victims
of hiv and aids.
And this site should be easier to find. luv ya


Thanks for your feedback but what sort of personalised information do you think there should be on the web site. If you read the feedback section and some stories, it is very personal.
I don't mind any opinions about the site, it just helps to get an idea of what visitors are needing.
I also wish that the site was easier to find, there are so many web sites/pages on HIV/AIDS that it's very hard to rank well in search engines. This site does well in some but really badly in others.
Thanks ,
Carolena Helderman
project manager
HIV/AIDS Positive Stories


Wed Feb 27, 2002
location: Chicago, USA

Actually, i am just searching for the definition of sero-converted - could you help me? and do you have a quotable reference for the definition?
thank you!!!!!
why i need it: i am writing a paper on the stupidity of the florida legislature for their ridiculous homosexual adoption provision
thanks


Hi ,
did a bit of research for you as l don't have that info on my site...hope it helps.
found this at http://www.thebody.com/hivnews/aidscare/dec97/pullout.html
Serostatus: A generic term that refers to the presence/absence of antibodies in the blood. Often, the term refers to HIV antibodies.
try also searching seroconversion at these sites:
www.thebody.com
www.avert.org
www.aegis.com
Regards,
Carolena Helderman
project manager
HIV/AIDS Positive Stories

I am doing research at the moment and stumbled across a glossary of terms:
Seroconversion - The point at which the immune system produces antibodies to an antigen. With HIV infection, this usually happens two to twelve weeks after infection.
: from the booklet 'no matter where you live or work you need to know about HIV and AIDS' published by Positive Action.date of publication unknown.
Good-luck with the paper and by the way, what is the homosexual adoption provision?
Regards,
Carolena Helderman
project manager
HIV/AIDS Positive Stories

Hi Carolena:
Thanks do much for the information - it is much appreciated. The homosexual
adoption provision is a piece of Florida legislation that flat out says that
homosexuals are not allowed to adopt children, regardless if they are
qualified in every other way. It is the only state with such a restictive
(and I might add, blatantly homophobic) provision.
Thanks again


Thu Feb 28, 2002
location: MD

I find out that I had HIV a month ago. I was so scared because I did not what to say to my family and friends .Then a month later they told me there was a mistake and my real test came out negative. I was very relive and happy.

Thu Feb 28, 2002
location: Guyana

Please assist me with materials if you can I am very depressed, both me and my husband has the virus and we are having a hard time since our nation is ignorant. Huniliation and labeling is our offer from many. I need to know what i can do the lymphnode by my groin is swollen and I am in severe pain PLEASE HELP ME

thanks for your email, l don't have anything l can send you and this site does not provide any medical advice. I can suggest a few good sites to look at which can offer medical advice and support. Try http://www.thebody.com
i will look into finding out more what services are available in your country and if l find out anything, l will forward the information to you.
Regards,
Carolena Helderman
project manager
HIV/AIDS Positive Stories


Tue Mar 5, 2002
location: London

i have recently started a relationship with another woman, and would like to know the risks between two women.
my longterm relationship is with my fiance, a man, but we always always use condoms, which is not really possible with another woman.
what are the risk for me to play with her?
thank you for your help and support.

This site does not give out medical advice or give expert advice but l have done some quick research for you and found the following useful links which should answer all your questions.
http://www.avert.org/howcan.htm
This page lists all the ways that hiv can be transmitted.
http://www.avert.org/orlsx.htm
This page gives good information about oral sex and how to practice safe oral sex.
http://www.thebody.com/whatis/lesbians.html
Here are a list of links to articles relating to lesbians and HIV.
If you find that you need to talk to someone to get further information, there is a directory list for the London area.
http://www.hivaids.webcentral.com.au/text/dir.html
I think these sites will answer all your questions and thanks for visiting the 'Positive Stories' web site.
Regards,
Carolena Helderman
project manager
HIV/AIDS Positive Stories


Tue Mar 5, 2002
location: Fiji

Hi.
i am doing an assignment on HIV/AIDS.
HIV/AIDS victims need care and understanding from society, not stigma and discrimination?
Comment on this statement.i have jotted down some points but i know it will not be up to 1000 words unless you help me with it.
thank you and waiting for comments.

Well your chances are pretty slim of getting me to finish your assignment but l can lead you to a booklet with lot's of quotes which will be just what you are after.
This is what the booklet is about:
Wherever people living with HIV and AIDS have spoken out in public they have given the epidemic a human face.  The result is most often an increase in understanding of the epidemic among the audience and the energizing of effective responses.  Too often, the stigma and the fear of discrimination and rejection has kept people from speaking out.  In Asia – Pacific increasing numbers of people living with HIV and AIDS are willing to speak publicly yet, they feel that they do not have the needed speaking skills and are uncertain about how to organize speaking engagements and about how to prepare.
You can download the booklet PDF file onto your computer. It can be found on this website: http://www.hivasiapacific.apdip.net/advoc.htm
The 'training module' is quicker to download as it is an edited version.
Good-luck!
Regards,
Carolena Helderman
project manager
HIV/AIDS Positive Stories


Wed Mar 6, 2002
location: Victoria, Australia

Hi im positive and have been since 1996
but i like lots of others just thought i was going to die.
i didnt grieve or take time to stop and get information i was resighned to death;
in the seven years that followed i lost everything family self esteem job car home and most importantly my self esteem drinking myself to death in july 2001 i decided enough is enough suicidle i wanted to die came to victoria and someone found me by the side of the road diagnosed as wet brain syndrome i began a programme and turned my life around now im doing courses to share my exoerience strenths and hopes with others who are ostrisized in their community.
I can't answer you personally, as you did not send your email address. But thank you for sharing your experience. I'd also point you towards Bradford's story which is inspiring and you may like to make contact with him.
Carolena
project manager
HIV/AIDS Positive Stories

Thu Mar 7, 2002

Hello Carolena: I would like to Thank YOu for putting my article "
Understanding HIV/AIDS" up on the site! I have received many wonderful
letters and have been able to connect with many individuals. Thanks for making
that possible!HUgs
Bradford

Hello Bradford,
No worries at all, it's a site that is driven by people. Without you adding a story, there would be an empty site.
You are one of the few though, that are happy to list your name and email address. Because of this, l'd like to ask you a few questions about the letters you've been getting.
You see, this web site is the project part of my 'Masters' and it is about to be completed. This does not mean that the web site will end, in fact l will probably try to get funding to keep it going and even improve it.
But for now, l am writing my paper and really putting the web site under the microscope.
So, l'd like to ask you about what sort of response you've been getting.
1/ how many?
2/ from what parts of the world?
3/ Male/female?
4/ generally, what sort of responses and has there been any negative?
I'd really appreciate it if you could give me some brief answers and if you're really up to it.......do you have any feedback on the website itself.
What do you like/dislike about it>??
Thanks,
Carolena
project manager
HIV/AIDS Positive Stories

HI Carolena:
I have been contacted by e-mail through the site, about 20 letters so far. From as
far away as Italy and many here in Canada. Several individuals working on a project
at the University of Windsor Nursing Students contacted me to participate and help
them write about HIV, asking me questions about my living with HIV/AIDS. The letters
have been varied ......both male and female. There has never been any negative
letters.
Some have asked for help or where to find it , but most have written to say that my
letter inspired them and gave them HOPE. One man wrote to me about his son.
I have also discussed and or passed on information on alternative/complimentary
therapies to those that wrote.
I was very happy to have found the site and very proud to have a letter up on the
site. Since I had no attachment to what would come from the letter being up on the
site, I have been wonderfully surprised each time a letter arrives from someone who
has read it. I think this web site provides a very important service. Obviously
individuals are looking for answers and looking for others with which they can
communicate.
I hope this helps you out, if there is anything elase I can do, feel free to contact
me anytime.
YOU are making a difference!
HUgs
Bradford

Well, l was a little blown away by the response you have had, 20 emails, that's fantastic.
I think that you are only the second person who has added their email address ( the other was a mother who was writing about her HIV+ son.) So l was really happy that you have had this response, l wish that more people felt secure enough to add their email and make contact with other people, that's another way l would have liked the web site to have been used. But l also understand that this web site is also a good way for people to express their fears, ask questions and remain anonymous.
I find that there is very little negative feedback sent to this site, so it doesn't surprise me that it's all been positive responses.
When people write to me to ask things, l have to forward them to other sites where they can find the expert opinions. As l'm not HIV+, l have not lived these experiences and mostly feel that l cannot give the advice nor am l medically qualified to give it out. But l'm now a 'darn good' Internet researcher and try my hardest to send people in the right direction.
Thanks for taking the time to let me know these things and thanks for the encouragement. If l am making a difference, then it's wonderful, but there is no ego involved in this project. I do appreciate hearing what it does mean to people, as it is strangely quite a solitary project to work on. l'm sitting in my apartment in Melbourne, Australia maintaining a site that can reach so many people.
Anyhow, I had better get back to writing my mini-thesis but thanks for helping out, do you mind if l put our correspondence in the 'feedback' section? Perhaps we will be encouraging other people to start communicating and adding their emails to the site.
All the best,
Carolena

Hi Carolena:
Certainly you may use any of our correspondence in the the Feedback. I think it is amazing too that you are in your apartment in Melbourne Australia and I am way over here in Vancouver, Canada and we have been brought together because
of your HIV/AIDS Positive Stories site. I am grateful to you for providing thisopportunity for me to have a letter on site and to be contacted by other's lookingfor someone to talk to or looking for help.
During these years living with HIV, I have tried to live moment by moment, living in the NOW! More important is the fact that I now know, that everything and everyone is connected. It is in our connectedness that I realize how important it is to Love one
another.
My life is about LOVE, loving myself, and everyone and everything. I have been involved in many aspects of emotional, physical, and spiritual healing. The results of being emotionally well have tremendously affected how I feel physically. Healing myself emotionally, made my physical illness easier to accept. I didn'tdetach myself from my illness, as much as think about it differently. I stoppedbeing afraid and decided to Show Up For Life! With the healthy things I have incorporated into my life, there have been many changes in how I think and what Iput into my body. The results speak for themselves. I am still alive and havelearned how to live a full life!
In the beginning I hid the fact that I was HIV+. People were afraid of loosing their home, job and even family and friends In the early years not much was known and people were terrified. I was in a relationship and my partner left because he was afraid and didn't want to watch me die. I moved from Kitchener/Waterloo to Hull, Quebec, so far from my family, friends and clients so no one would see me get sick or die. I lived in fear and did not make new friends. I had left family and friends so they would not be affected. So I didn't allow myself to make new friends.
When I told my family and a couple of close friends they were scared for me, knowing the medical implications and likelihood of illness and death. When I was dating, most ran as fast as they could when I told them I was HIV+. For many years I lived with the fear and kept my status a secret. After some 6 years I started to tell a couple of people but it wasn't until I was HIV+ 9 years, did I come out and tell people that I was HIV+. It was when I came out publicly, I realized there was more power in people knowing the truth, than there ever was in hiding. There may be those that cannot handle a situation, illness or death. But in letting others know what is going on, .there will always be those who will choose to be there for you! We often think we know what is best for others and what others can or cannot handle. It is not up to us to decide for others but to allow others to make their own choices.
All the people I was afraid of hurting or thought they would not be able to handle the situation........they were and are there for me today and have been since they first found out. Most even said they wish I had told them from the beginning. How can anyone help if we don't tell others what is going on in our lives or we need help?
The Abundance of life does not come from what one provides for oneself, but it is found in our connectedness. My life has been so filled with Abundance. If it were not for all the many people in my life I would not be here. Every need has been provided for by all the many people in my life. When I was alone and could not take care of myself, I struggled. Since letting others know what is going on there have been great numbers of people who supported me through these years in one way or another. I have abundance!
My life is about projecting positive....inward...and outward.....to all I see and touch. It is about giving Love. There is only one judgment if judgment be made. Has an individual received LOve or Lack of LOve? I want to contribute to giving LOve where there is lack and giving more love where there is Love already! By letting go of all the judgments and perceptions, this allows for everyone to be in our life and to have everyone regardless of age, race, colour, religion, career, income etc. This allows for a greater abundance than that of judgment and discrimination. Now I can have everyone in my life, and do!
Now I have YOU!
HUgs
Bradford

     
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