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Posts Tagged ‘hiv’

HIV: Cross-Infections

22 Mar

HIV-AIDSI’m pretty much an open book about my life (though there are some things that I prefer not to talk about, especially here on the Internet in an open forum). Friends find it surprising that I’m as open about my HIV status as I am. I’ll admit being open about my status on the Internet does give me “some” cause for concern occasionally (especially whereas future employment is concerned) but I think it’s incumbent upon all of us to do what we can to share with others, the lessons we have learned over the course of our lives to date.

I’ve made many mistakes; I’m no angel and certainly not perfect by any reach of the definition. However, I try to live my life as genuinely as possible (meaning simply that I try to be authentic and honest at all times). Sometimes fear gets in the way and I might permit the rare “white lie via omission” (provided, doing so doesn’t put anyone’s life at risk).

At any rate, I’m a member of a group of POZ members on a popular social networking site where a recent discussion resulted in comments about having unprotected sex with your partner, provided both parties are already HIV-positive. The suggestion was that there was no risk if both persons were already exposed to the virus. Speaking only for myself here and not being a trained medical profession, I had to take exception to the direction in which the conversation was going. All that I’ve been told, since being advised in 2001 of my own exposure, suggests that “cross-infection” is and remains a real concern for those living with HIV.


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Healthy Living: Coconut Oil

11 Feb

Related Links:

Coconut Oil Benefits: When Fat Is Good For You by Dr. Joseph Mercola

Coconut Oil: A Nutrient Powerhouse and Metabolism Booster from a team of experienced natural health and fitness researchers who have grown sick and tired of hearing bogus, over-inflated claims made by companies hocking the latest so called “miracle” solutions.

Coconut Oil Cures, Side Affects and Much More
I have to say, this page has a wealth of information as regards unexpected side effects and health information in general. The responses are provided by the “general community” (not necessarily trained medical staff). Consider that while figuring out what is going on with your own body and always confer with a doctor when necessary.

Do Coconut Oil and Coconut Water Provide Health Benefits?
By Katherine Hobson » Unconvinced, Katherine provides what we think may be an unbiased report on the hype surrounding the benefits of coconut oil and coconut water. You be the judge.

Google search results for “coconut oil benefits”

Mom recently sent a link featuring a video about coconut oil and the health benefits related to its use (and consumption). I’ll admit I was skeptical at first but I’m inclined to give it a try after doing some further research.

One site, Organic Facts, lists the following as only some of the benefits of said oil:

  • Hair care;
  • Skin care;
  • Stress relief;
  • Maintaining cholesterol levels;
  • Weight loss;
  • Increased immunity;
  • Proper digestion and metabolism;
  • Relief from kidney problems;
  • Heart diseases;
  • High blood pressure;
  • Diabetes;
  • HIV;
  • Cancer;
  • Dental care; and
  • Bone strength;

More information regarding the coconut and how it might help you in your own life may be attained from the “Coconut Research Center“. Honestly? I don’t know if this nut will be the miracle cure for what ails everybody (it’s doubtful, people react to various methodologies differently) but it might be worth taking a look at if you’re serious about improving your own quality of life.

I am.

Namaste and peace be with you,
Michael

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HIV and Online Disclosure

14 Jan

I discovered this video-interview from a link shared on Facebook (original article appears here on Manhunt Daily, a “gay blog for your daily dose of news, celebrities, music and hot guys. Manhunt style.”) The site is an offshoot of Manhunt, a reportedly popular social networking site for men who seek men.

(In my opinion, Manhunt is pretty much nothing more than a sex hookup site; something I’m not into myself but I’m not judging.)

At any rate, I can totally relate to some of what Rory is sharing in the video about his status and his experiences; both, on Manhunt and off. Rory was apparently featured as the site’s “Man of the Week” at some point in time and he’s HIV-Positive. In the interview, he talks about some of his experiences; how he’s been treated and some of the messages he has received because of his HIV status.


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Watching on helplessly

09 Jan

As a gay man who is HIV-positive (and a cancer survivor), I’m a member of several support groups. It isn’t always easy to maintain an upbeat and healthy attitude, especially when you’re single and live alone. I live alone by choice; single, not so much but no need to dwell on it. >^..^< It'll either happen for me one day or it won't… Until then, I get to run around the house nekkid (not a pretty sight) and I have control of the thermostat! What could be better (besides the obvious “somebody to cuddle up with at the end of a long day!”)

Hope

To get serious however, a fellow member of a group for HIV-positive persons posted about how difficult it is to keep a positive attitude while watching his best friend (who is also HIV-positive) wasting away. It really isn’t my place to repeat the entire comment here as it’s personal and was posted in a private group of which I’m a member — but I’ll share my response (below) for the benefit of others who might be reading and feeling similarly.

I was diagnosed 2 days after leaving an abusive ex. In the beginning, I availed myself of the Ryan White Act and was cared for at Parkland (the county hospital here in Dallas) but it was always such a hassle it seemed, having to take practically an entire day off for a one hour appointment. (You spend a lot of time just waiting in the county hospitals; that is my experience anyway.) When I was finally hired (I’d been working as a temp) full time and given health benefits at the company I’d been working at, I chose to stop going to Parkland. After all, I felt “fine” and my numbers were good. Basically, I just checked out and decided to stop focusing on my HIV status; it was a constant reminder of my ex, who had exposed me to the disease. In early 2006, my back began to hurt and the pain became so intense that nothing would alleviate it. I had a nagging feeling that I needed to find out where my counts were and figured that I would ask the doc for a referral to a back surgeon during the same visit. Bottom line, my numbers were not so good. My CD4 count was 297 and my viral load was 173,733 — and then my doc ordered CT scans because he suspected I might have Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (which I did). I underwent chemo for the cancer and my CD4 count dropped further (to 219) but today, I’m in remission, my CD4 count is (as of October, ’11) 795 and my viral load is undetectable. [Name removed], I’m not saying that your friend will have the same story as I did… I’m only saying that as difficult as it seems, don’t lose hope. I don’t know if you have a faith in God or some higher power or not, but if you do then simply pray that your friend’s journey is His will and that any pain or discomfort will be eased. We don’t know what the future holds (for any of us) but as persons who have been exposed to HIV I believe I can pretty much say we would all agree that Life is short and meant to be cherished. (Also, I STRONGLY believe life doesn’t end when our bodies cease to function. I am a faithful believer in reincarnation, the afterlife, etc. for a number of reasons very personal to me … so even if your friend’s story is cut short here on earth, he will continue to dwell in your heart and will be waiting for you in the afterlife.) Much love, many hugs…

Namaste,
Michael

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There are many things that make me the man that I am today…

07 Jan

I’ve decided to periodically throw entries out there that don’t have a “focus of one point” necessarily but are instead little snippets of things I’ve posted as comments on Facebook or other’s blogs. Why? Just so that others can get a little insight into what I’m thinking in that moment and who I am.

A friend posts a photo I’d created for his program with the following comment: “I feel like an idiot but .. I can’t for the life of me remember which one of my fabulous friends made this banner for me. If it was you please let me know so I can properly thank you !!”

POZ-I-AM Radio Show

First, I don’t need any thanks but here is my response:

ROFL! It was me, Robert, and you are very, very welcome. Thank you for all that you do in the effort to provide support for those of us living with HIV and as well, to help educate others on the disease. I almost don’t want to include the two in the comparison but I look at HIV the same way that I look at my being gay. Neither [alone] define who and what I am but both are a part of my life and in turn are factors in the “overall me that you see” —- just as my love of photography, writing (which includes poetry), my belief in a Higher Power and as well, in reincarnation and the power of meditation. Other factors, sadly, include being a bit grumpy in the mornings and expecting as much from others as I myself put into my work (thus I can be a bit too hard and judgmental sometimes) and I tend to curse like a sailor. ROFL! Of course, I’m also long-winded (cause after all, you ONLY asked who created the banner for you). LMAO! Love you, Robert! Keep up the great work!!!

Second Snippet

One of my cousins made the following comment on FB: “The other day I posted a devotional about letting life teach our kids lessons. It was so much easier reading it, copying and pasting it than it is watching it happen and dying inside. But oh how valuable a world of hard knocks can be.”


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HIV/AIDS Knowledge Resource

08 Oct

We are greater than AIDSHIV/AIDS is a much larger epidemic than the CDC first thought (30+ years ago). It affects those in all walks of life and the disease does not discriminate based on sexual orientation, gender or race. If an opportunity presents itself, HIV is all too happy to introduce itself into your life so be smart; play safe.

The “We Are Greater Than AIDS” website is a beautifully crafted site that addresses a very real problem. The site appears to target [mostly] the black community but then again, HIV does not care. HIV/AIDS is a real problem that presents a “real threat” to uninformed and careless persons, everywhere.

So educate yourself; don’t allow ignorance to prevent you from protecting yourself and from understanding the disease.

Don’t allow prejudice, based on the misinformed mindset that “it can’t happen to me” open a door that will change your life forever. Don’t overreact to those who have become exposed to the disease, because you yourself do not understand what does and does not represent a real risk.

Get real, get informed…

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Posted in Health