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“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

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#1
Apr 23, 2014
 
DEAR AMY: Several years ago I was diagnosed with HIV. At the time, my husband, who thankfully is not infected, and I decided that we would wait a year before telling anyone.

It has been four years now and I have yet to tell anyone. I have a conservative family and it took me a long time to even come out to them, and the thought of having to tell them is scary to me. Not only that but there is an embarrassment factor -- the fact that I did not take care of my body or take the proper precautions to prevent myself from becoming infected.

Is it my responsibility to tell the people in my life about this disease? Do they have a right to know? I worry about my family's reaction, and I also don't want them to treat me any differently.-- Getting Better

DEAR GETTING BETTER: I realize there is stigma attached to HIV, but it might help you to attain some clarity here if you could see this as a health concern that is chronic but manageable and ultimately concerns only you and any sexual partners.

So, imagine you have lupus. Would you disclose this to your parents? You might if you were having symptoms. Otherwise, maybe not. Disclosing a health condition is a very intimate act; before you do it you must trust that the person can receive the news and react in an appropriate way.

I shared your question with Kelly Ducheny, a psychologist and director of behavioral health at Howard Brown Health Center in Chicago. As a counselor who deals with individuals and couples wrestling with this issue, she has a ready answer: "It is completely every individual person's choice who they tell -- and how and when, or if they tell. You are under no obligation to disclose anything about your HIV status. Furthermore, there is not one option that is healthier than another.

"If you do decide to tell people, have a plan for how to disclose it and support standing by. Understand that there is a processing period when people receive this news and their initial reaction may not be their permanent reaction."

DEAR AMY: My brother-in-law comes over to our house on a regular basis (mostly to see my wife, who is his sister) but instead of sitting down, he just stands in the middle of the living room and holds a conversation while my wife and I are seated.

I sit in the dining room and wait for my wife to ask/tell him to "have a seat," but she does not.

Yesterday he stood there for over a half an hour -- and I just think it's rude and disrespectful, don't you think?-- Peeved

DEAR PEEVED: I agree. I can't believe your wife -- and/or you -- don't offer this poor man a seat. And a glass of ice tea. Your household's behavior definitely falls into the rude category. Your brother-in-law is not being rude. He is standing because he has not been invited to sit.

I can only assume that you and your wife don't actually want this man to get too comfy in your home, hence your (mutual) ungraciousness.

DEAR AMY: I enjoyed your answer to "Wife and Mom," who wrote about her husband's issue over their son's long hair. My second son started letting his hair grow in junior high. My wife and I wisely left him alone. When it reached his collar, the school sent a note home with him requesting us to enforce a dress code.

I replied, in writing, that they should be more interested in what was inside his head than outside, and the matter was dropped, reluctantly, by them.

Guess who became a hero to his son? By the time he graduated high school, his hair was almost to his waist. He went on to graduate college with honors and now he has a successful career, a good marriage and two great kids of his own!

And his hair is comfortably above his collar.-- Robert in Conn.

DEAR ROBERT: I have enjoyed reading dozens of responses to this question from fellow survivors of the hair wars.

“Checks and Balances”

Since: Apr 13

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#2
Apr 23, 2014
 

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LW1- while it's great that you have such a loving and supportive husband, you would probably benefit from counseling with someone who specializes in this subject. After 4 years, it would help to start accepting what is, rather than focusing on what happened in the past (which you can do nothing about now).

When you finally disclose your health status to your extended family, some of them will treat you differently. That happens no matter how you contracted your illness. Are you close enough that you trust your family to work through their own prejudices and concerns? Will this process bring more stress into a situation where you need to focus on your own health?

No one outside of you and your husband is owed any information on your medical history.

LW2- seriously? You are offended that someone only stays for 30 minutes and chooses to stand? I think that you are jealous of the relationship your BIL has with his sister (your wife) and are just looking for things to complain about. Either get to become friendlier with him or leave the room while he visits.

LW3- while I am all for personal expression, you chose to send your son to a school with a dress code. Instead of teaching him to pick his battles, you taught him that he is an entitled person who should always expect to get his own way.

Parents like you are why so many teachers can't be effective anymore.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

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#3
Apr 23, 2014
 

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1- AIDS and HIV are rampant in the homosexual community. Is that really something we should embrace as a society?

2- Maybe he has hemorrhoids. When I visit people, especially if it's been a long drive, I prefer to stand a while, thank you

3- Congratulations, you raised a rebel without a cause. All kids should be taught the rules don't apply to them

“Checks and Balances”

Since: Apr 13

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#4
Apr 23, 2014
 

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edogxxx wrote:
1- AIDS and HIV are rampant in the homosexual community. Is that really something we should embrace as a society?
I'm confused by the word "embrace". While HIV/AIDS is more prevalent among homosexual men, heterosexual men and women can and do contract it also. Should we not acknowledge that? Should we not treat it?

No one is celebrating the spread of this disease. Just as our society has moved beyond the stage where cancer was whispered or glossed over, we must be able to talk about HIV/AIDS in order to educate people and focus on research/treatment.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

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#5
Apr 23, 2014
 

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1 Yeah, you were a tramp and you lucked out. Get counseling.

2 I dont feel the need to be invited to sit in my family's home, I just grab a beer and park it.

3 Dress codes are 2suk

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

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#6
Apr 23, 2014
 

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ScarletandOlive wrote:
<quoted text>
I'm confused by the word "embrace". While HIV/AIDS is more prevalent among homosexual men, heterosexual men and women can and do contract it also. Should we not acknowledge that? Should we not treat it?
No one is celebrating the spread of this disease. Just as our society has moved beyond the stage where cancer was whispered or glossed over, we must be able to talk about HIV/AIDS in order to educate people and focus on research/treatment.
We embrace homosexuality, even though gays are three times more likely to molest children and HIV/AIDS is far more prevalent in their community. People want to close their eyes to the very serious problems and congratulate themselves on how progressive they've become

“On Deck”

Since: Aug 08

French Polynesia

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#7
Apr 23, 2014
 
L1. We treat people equally with universal precautions whether they have HIV or not.
So yeah, we know there are a number of people out there who do not disclose their known medical conditions.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

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#8
Apr 23, 2014
 

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1.I don't disclose every chronic medical condition to my family. It is no one's business except you, your husband's and your doctor's. It is not like you can pass it down genetically to your kids nor is there a risk of it running in the family like certain types of cancer or high cholesterol.

If your family is conservative they had to deal with your coming out being gay and then your decision to marry, if you are indeed gay. Telling them you are HIV positive will reinforce any negative stereotypes they had.

If you are straight, they will ask what your husband's status is and your sexual history will be suspect and probably reviled, assuming you picked it up sexually.I don't see any upside to it. If you picked it up by a needle stick they already figure you are positive and if you got it from tainted blood, etc they will want to know about your lawsuit

I don't see anything positive or any need here.

Were you anticipating grouching at Sunday dinner about the high cost of anti-virals these days or the trouble finding a good phlebotomist for the blood draws and who does your needle sticks Aunt Suzy?

By the way, you won't die of HIV nor will you die of AIDS. You will die from an opportunistic infection that all people can get, just at a higher incidence than the general public, so this is one diagnosis you can take with you to the grave if you want.

2.I don't recall going to a family member's house and waiting to be asked to sit down. In my mind's ear I can hear my sister saying something like, Just shove the stuff on the couch over but that's about it. However, even if a guy wants to stand ( hemorrhoids is a good one or a back problem) mist people stand near something and sort of lean on it, like a counter, etc. Someone standing in the middle of a room unsupported for half an hour is weird. I am thinking the English officers in Bridge Over the River Kwai.

LW does not like his BIL. No reason he can't say, Take a load off Charlie or , Sit down, willya?

“Licensed to Ill”

Since: Aug 08

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#9
Apr 23, 2014
 

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LW1: Since it is causing you this much anxiety, just donít share it, unless there is a need to.

LW2: Ask him if he wants to have a seat, but I donít see the big deal either way.

Toj

“Equality”

Since: Jul 12

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#10
Apr 23, 2014
 

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edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
We embrace homosexuality, even though gays are three times more likely to molest children and HIV/AIDS is far more prevalent in their community. People want to close their eyes to the very serious problems and congratulate themselves on how progressive they've become
Does everyone "embrace" hetrosexuality? Or is it that people know that hetrosexuality and homsexuality exists and does not vilify it? Is that embracing you are talking about? I don't "embrace" homosexuality. It's a descriptive name of a thing.

Where the hello do you get that gays are three times more likely to molest children?

Toj

“Equality”

Since: Jul 12

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#11
Apr 23, 2014
 
loose cannon wrote:
L1. We treat people equally with universal precautions whether they have HIV or not.
So yeah, we know there are a number of people out there who do not disclose their known medical conditions.
Some people could have it and don't know it. Same is true with Hepitatis C. People are walking around with it and have no clue. In the medical community you have to treat people with those facts in mind.

Toj

“Equality”

Since: Jul 12

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#12
Apr 23, 2014
 

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L1: I think Amy's answer was a good one.

L2: This LW is the friendly sort, huh?(Not.)

L3: Everyone is jumping on the LW -- the school may not have had the rule written down. In my HS there was no rule about hair. Going to HS in the 70s meant the whole long hair for boy thing explosion. No one cared and most parents handled it very well.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

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#13
Apr 23, 2014
 

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Toj wrote:
L1: I think Amy's answer was a good one.
L2: This LW is the friendly sort, huh?(Not.)
L3: Everyone is jumping on the LW -- the school may not have had the rule written down. In my HS there was no rule about hair. Going to HS in the 70s meant the whole long hair for boy thing explosion. No one cared and most parents handled it very well.
High school on 1963-64 when the Beatles arrived with their long (read collar length) hair, the reaction was as if civilization as we knew it was coming to an end.

Come to think of it, it did.

Toj

“Equality”

Since: Jul 12

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#14
Apr 23, 2014
 

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PEllen wrote:
<quoted text>
High school on 1963-64 when the Beatles arrived with their long (read collar length) hair, the reaction was as if civilization as we knew it was coming to an end.
Come to think of it, it did.
Oh, I remember. I watched the Beatles on Ed Sullivan Show. I got to stay up "late". It was a school night, I think. I believe I came along just at the time when the adults gave up fighting about hair. Come to think of it, I really don't remember the boys having issues at my grade school nor high school about the length of their hair. I went to a private grade school, too.

We were more focused on Cuba, the bomb, Viet Nam and the length of our dresses. Now THAT was a fight, I remember. There were VERY specific rules about how short a dress could be.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

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#15
Apr 23, 2014
 
Lw1: What pellen said. And what Toj said to dog
Lw2:what pellen said and what sub said.
Lw3: what everyone said

Since: Mar 09

West Palm Beach, FL

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#16
Apr 23, 2014
 

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L2: He's visiting his sister's home, not the Palace. He does not need to be invited to sit. Every single time. That's ridiculous, Amy. I agree with the LW that it's strange for him to stand in the middle of the room, but it's his prerogative, I guess.

L3: What S&O said.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

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#17
Apr 23, 2014
 

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LW1: Your hesitation in telling your family is your answer. They do not need to know.

LW2: This is only a problem in your mind. Next time, ask him specifically to sit and see what happens.

And I dislike Amy's snotty-ass answer. I don't think either of the parties is at fault here.

LW3: Since you're were so effective with your persuasive letter, perhaps you could write one for my daughter. You see, she has these yoga pants that she just loves...

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

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#18
Apr 23, 2014
 

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j_m_w wrote:
L2: He's visiting his sister's home, not the Palace. He does not need to be invited to sit. Every single time. That's ridiculous, Amy. I agree with the LW that it's strange for him to stand in the middle of the room, but it's his prerogative, I guess.
L3: What S&O said.
yes. Amy's a moron for thinking he'waiting for an invitation to sit. But so is lw for considering it rude. Odd, as p described? Perhaps. But perhaps he works a dirty job and does not want to dirty their furniture. Or maybe he's got an Armani suit and they have dog hair all over the furniture.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

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#19
Apr 23, 2014
 

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Toj wrote:
Where the hello do you get that gays are three times more likely to molest children?
It is a proven statistical fact. Everybody knows it but you, apparently.

And gay pride parades, push for gay marriage, suing people who disagree with their lifestyle... sounds like an "embrace" to me

“Checks and Balances”

Since: Apr 13

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#20
Apr 23, 2014
 

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Toj wrote:
L3: Everyone is jumping on the LW -- the school may not have had the rule written down. In my HS there was no rule about hair. Going to HS in the 70s meant the whole long hair for boy thing explosion. No one cared and most parents handled it very well.
The LW says that she school asked him to enforce a dress code. Telling him "your boy looks like a hippie, why do you allow that" (I'm imagining a possible convo) is a matter of opinion, not a dress code.

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