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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:So I got my regular HIV test results back today. I started a topic like this a while back, but HOP seems to be having trouble finding it.

Anyway, whenever I get HIV tested, I like to take it as an opportunity to remind everyone else to get tested, too. Unless you're a virgin or you've been in a committed monogamous relationship for over six months with negative HIV tests already, then YOU NEED TO GET TESTED.

I don't care if you use condoms (well yes I do; you should...every single time) you still need to get tested. Every six months...every three if you have a lot of sexual partners.

In the U.S. check out www.hivtest.org. In other countries, do a web search.

But I can say that, as of today, I know MY status! Do you know yours?

(And you needn't tell us what it is...that's your business. Just whether you know it.)

Be safe, everyone. hug


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Mr Majestik
SILVER Member since Mar 2004

Mr Majestik

coming to a country near you
Location: home of the tiney toothy bear,...

Total posts: 4693
Posted:hrm, thats odd how the last post disappeared.

i'm pretty sure theres like less than 10 known people in tasmania with HIV. about as many that have swineflu!


"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

jointly owned by Fire_Spinning_Angel and Blu_Valley

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Mr Majestik
SILVER Member since Mar 2004

Mr Majestik

coming to a country near you
Location: home of the tiney toothy bear,...

Total posts: 4693
Posted:also i think in australia they test for HIV for free when you donate blood... does it cost to have the test done in the US? or could you donate blood and get the test for free?

"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

jointly owned by Fire_Spinning_Angel and Blu_Valley

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:no I don't know my status... shrug

and I can't comprehend with the idea that I HAVE to get tested every 6 months... I'm now with my girlfriend for the past 1.5 years. No other sexual contact since my last test.

NO, I couldn't say for certain about her status either and YES I will get tested - next time I choose to change partner.

but that's only (for) myself, a decision I take for myself only.

Originally Posted By: DocUnless you're a virgin or you've been in a committed monogamous relationship for over six months with negative HIV tests already, then YOU NEED TO GET TESTED.

that would indicate that you have full faith in your partner, NEVER had an operation or any sort of blood exchange with anyone...

And why do I "NEED TO GET TESTED"? umm

Please explain... In case of an accident - I'd not carry my HIV test with me... In case of a drunken night with a lot of laughter and fun and all that - well, I'm quite confident about myself and don't get carried away... and if I would, I would use a condom... even if my partner would say: no worries mate and present her test to me...

I'm just not meddling around that much... errm not at all.

I see you're a doc, Doc - so apparently you need to give such advices. It's in your blood (so to speak)... maybe you are changing your sexual partners frequently or have affairs - that's your choice... and maybe this question arises quite frequently... that's completely fine... no judgement at all... not even an opinion, I feel we all should enjoy life as much as we want to...

hug <- we don't need to get tested, doing that wink


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:Firetom, you need to get tested because if you don't know that you're positive, you can go spread it around willy-nilly. We know that people who get tested regularly have less of a chance of contracting the disease because they also expose themselves to improved counseling and education and are thus more likely to use safer sex behaviors.

You've been in a relationship for 1.5 years? Are you using condoms? Do you know her status? If either answer is "no" then you are playing Russian Roulette with your life.

A simple visit to the doctor can clear that up.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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jarle
GOLD Member since Mar 2007

jarle

Lv15 Ranger
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 1489
Posted:Mr Majestic - I donate blood about 2-3 times a year, and each time I'm assured that they'll inform me if anything is different from what I've listed on my form. Wiki says that they test for Hep B, Hep C, HIV-1 and HTLV-1. Whoo!

Kupo!

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:Please, next time you respond to my post, bother to read it first, because I clearly gave indications to why I feel I don't NEED to get tested.

I'm not screwing around with anyone - and if I were, I would use condoms. If I'd be only using condoms (which I don't because I'm not in need) - I'd not need to get tested - or did I loose something along the line?

And if I did, please elaborate smile

Thanks for patience



the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Felex
SILVER Member since Jun 2009

Felex

Destroyer of worlds and ooo shiny.
Location: In my own head, United Kingdom

Total posts: 268
Posted:Donate blood ubbangel

It was annoying when I got my tattoo done and wasnt allowed to donate. devil


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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:btw good point Jarle.... when testing at all, usually people test for HIV but what about Hep?

and further down the list, why not scanning your genetic supplies for inheritable genetic disorders?

Don't get me wrong, I don't oppose testing yourself... only when Doc is saying: "you NEED to get yourself tested" - I feel as on the edge of a mandatory testing frenzy...

help not saying that you would support this, Mike - only saying that it triggers this thought hug


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:FireTom, you can focus on one word I choose to use, or you can focus on my main message, which is that if we want to stamp out this disease, people need to be proactive about getting tested and knowing their status.

Yes, you are being pedantic and I'm calling you on it.

Why not HepC? Good question. I got screened for that, too. Most people don't. I suppose part of the reason is because there isn't much you can do about it.

As for genetic screening, that's expensive and technically difficult. When indicated by a positive family history, those screens can be done.

But I frankly am rather shocked at your resistance to my idea that all sexually active adults should be responsible for their own health by getting regular HIV testing. And I'm further shocked by it because it seems that your objection is solely to be difficult.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:Usually you're one of those who choose their words carefully, so I'm (too) calling you on it. Sorry to provoke that reaction in you, Doc - but that's what it is then.

You are using the word "NEED" - you mean it or you don't mean it the way you use it? I mean, you're native English speaking (in contrast to myself)... if you don't mean it the way you use it, please excuse that I called you on it.

You fail to explain to me, why I "NEED" to get tested, if my sexual behavior is not any that makes me prone to get infected and that I told you: "Next time I change my partner, I will get tested." Also you fail to elaborate 'why you are using a belt along with suspenders': as in "using condoms with every sexual contact you may have AND getting tested every 3 months".

I was asking whether these tests within 3 months of infection would show me any result, sorry can't find any statement to this either. How about wrongfully tested "positive"?

Not sure how high the ratio of successfully treated cases of AIDS are in relation of those of hepatitis, maybe you can help me out here? Any successful cures to HIV? So why NOT testing about Hep as well? Why is HIV written with capital H and hepatitis not?

But maybe we're not as far away from mandatory HIV tests as you may think. Just received reports from UAE that those, tested positive with HIV 'vanish' and get detained... only to live in pityable conditions.

There is a strong stigma on it, wouldn't you agree?

I'm asking questions, you're the expert and I don't ask these questions to put you down or anything, but you're brushing them away. All this said: who's "difficult" here? wink

As for my part I'm in no way saying that "sexually active adults" (whyever all other age groups now are exhempted) should NOT be responsible for their health. I am not sure how much of your position in this subject derives from being a doctor and part of a group that has been under some... 'blame game' for the spreading of HIV (which is ridiculous). The only reason why gay men carry this stigma is because of frequently changing partners and practices that makes them more prone to infection. I'm almost certain that the infection rate with heterosexual contacts is much higher.

To sum it up: I still fail to understand why me, as an sexually active adult, needs to get screened every 3 months - if I'm living in a committed relationship and had no other sexual contacts for over a year now. Yes, I can't say about the status of my GF, but that's okay with me and in case I choose to change my partner, I will get tested.

There is nothing wrong with being "sexually active" and also nothing with "frequently changing your partner", only if you sweat over it, you should consider a change. Personally I hold nothing (repeat 'nothing') against you, in the contrary I look at you as one of THE most adorable HoPers for your style and appearance, only if you expect people to just "lalala" on the subject then you put it in "chitchat", not in "discussion" (involved topics and debates, remember?)

wink


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 2830
Posted:I think it might be a good time to remind people that HIV is transmitted through direct contact of a mucous membrane or the bloodstream with bodily fluids. So, transmission could occur in a number of ways as well as having unprotected sex. These could include things like drug use (IV), contact sports where blood is shed, having a tattoo, a needlestick or sharps injury or even from visiting a countries where there are large numbers of people who have HIV.



If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:Thanks for the remainder, Stone, yes - I got an injection from my dentist and yes I do contact improvisation dance - yet without any injury, that's about it.

But are you saying that people get infected from stepping into a piece of wood or receiving a cut from their motorbiky or a thorn or merely from "visiting a countries where there are large numbers of people who have HIV"?

And further would you say that even though I do live in a committed relationship I NEED to get myself (and next to pressurize my partner to get herself) tested (every 3 months)?

Is this how you live your life? I'm just curious of the concepts other people have approaching 'life', no booby trap.


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 2830
Posted:Fire Tom, it wasnt my intention to single you out, or have a go at you. Though, after reading you comments it did occur to me that people may be forgetting that HIV could be transmitted in a number of ways. Nothing more, nothing less.


cheers smile


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:so i misinterpreted, you're not saying that one can get infected

Originally Posted By: Stone(...)or even from visiting a countries where there are large numbers of people who have HIV.

because there still is a lot of misinformation about the spreading of HIV... for example the CHAT survey study in Switzerland concluded that the grand majority of those newly infected (and questioned) *knew* that their partner had HIV... 49 percent had it from their committed sexual partner...

Stone: *you* get tested every 3 months?


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 2830
Posted:Fire Tom, its up to you if you get tested. Thats you decision. No one is twisting your arm.

Honestly, I dont know why you are undermining the good doc. He is only reminding people, in his way, thats its good idea to get tested regularly. There is nothing unusual about that. We have all sorts of ads on the telly reminding us to get tested for colon cancer, cervical cancer, breast cancer etc.

The info was from a summary of a flyer like this one HIV/AIDS and the questions they ask you when you give blood. Sure, your risk goes up when you visit places like Africa that have high HIV.

I was tested last time I gave blood, which was a couple of years ago. So, it's probably a good idea to get tested again soon.

Thanks for the reminder Doc.




If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:am asking questions why he thinks that everybody NEEDS to get tested every three months. so far not receiving any sufficient answer... not undermining at all, only asking. holding no grudges against Doc, not trying to be difficult - nothing like that.

the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:but let me take that link for a second:

Originally Posted By: government of Australia in VictoriaHow is HIV transmited?

Although you can get HIV from a single contact, the more frequently a person has contact with fluids containing the virus, the higher the chances of infection. Risk activities include:

* Unprotected (without a condom) anal sex. Men who have sex with men are presently at the greatest risk of HIV infection.

that's rubbish and inflammatory.

Originally Posted By: GHoV While HIV infection among heterosexuals who do not use drugs is still low in Victoria, people are at an increased risk if their partners include:
o men who have sex with men;
o current or former injecting drug users; or
o people who have come from countries where there are large numbers of people who have HIV.
* Sharing needles, syringes and other injecting equipment during injecting drug use.
The virus spreads very easily through shared needles, and even casual or one-time users may get HIV. It makes no difference which drug is being injected.
* Unprotected sex or sharing injecting drug use equipment in regions where there are higher rates of HIV infection. Sub-Saharan Africa remains the most affected region in the world. Growing epidemics are underway in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. However, in 2006 the vast majority of the 39.5 million people living with HIV across the globe were unaware of their status.
* Having had a blood transfusion or receiving other blood products in countries that do not screen for HIV.

That's even more rubbish. According to a 2005 study, blood transfusion by far outweighs any other way of infection IN the US...

So maybe I can add this:

the Swiss CHAT survey study (questioning people who were positively tested for HIV within one year) concluded that

49% of all new infections received the infection from their committed sexual pertner.
- 38 % were infected by a known but not committed partner

the grand majority of newly infected persons knew about their partners being HIV positive prior to sexual contact.

- only 13% of heterosexuals got infected from "anonymous" sexual contacts

Amongst homosexuals the infections through a committed partner were playing a smaller part, "anonymous" sexual intercourse scored for 26% of all infections.

Now this might be valid for Switzerland only, you need to research into your local studies yourself.

the possibility to get infected by "french kissing" only occurs if there are bleeding wounds, for example injuries of the gums are present. the HIV concentration in tears, sweat and saliva is insufficient for an infection accoring to present research.

same applies to HIV infection via insect bites or sneezing etc is highly unlikely...

Maybe that helped a bit, because sometimes I find govenmental informations a bit "politically biased" and inaccurate, which is why i tried to ask the expert - unfortunately to no avail so far.

it is NOT that one would get HIV merely from visiting countries with a high HIV rate. i would like to emphasize on that.

your government wants you to stay home and pay your taxes.

if Doc chooses to get screened every 3 months, that's his choice. if he, in his profession as a physicist, recommends everybody to get themself screened every 3 months, then it simply raises questions in me, and especially when he complains about me questioning this without him backing it up with sound arguments.

however it's good to know your status and to use a condom

smile


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:and maybe it will explain what i mean when i state that this paranoia, fear mongering, putting deep distrust in life and the very mechanics of the universe into (y)our heart(s) by everydays mass media, tellie ads: "check this out" - "you are still alive?" - "well, how much longer" first "birdflu" next "swineflu" it's "pandemic" so "get a life insurance" to "support your government by staying at home" service "it's safest to just rub it off behind your tellie screen" but "if you are up for real adventure, tune into discovery channel" or "go for your local cars dealer"...

(btw - it's not as much of a rant as it might seem)

nobody twisting your mind either... wink


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 2830
Posted:Originally Posted By: Fire Tomhowever it's good to know your status and to use a condom.

Agreed, then Fire Tom.


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:Originally Posted By: FireTomam asking questions why he thinks that everybody NEEDS to get tested every three months. so far not receiving any sufficient answer...

And you won't get it. Nitpicking on the semantics of a single word is obnoxious. It undermines the true message of awareness and changes the entire tone of the thread from a positive message of awareness and action to negative squibbling.

So I choose not to participate further in interacting with you in this thread, Tom. That behavior does nothing to help anyone.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 2830
Posted:suggest you re-think your comments here Fire Tom.

EDITED_BY: Stone (1245451088)


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 2830
Posted:Good for you Fire Tom.

If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:Thanks Stone for making me review my comments and as I'm still not happy with them, so I deleted my post and put it differently.

Here it goes:

Mike, it's not relevant whether I got you wrong or I'm a nitpicker. I prefer an open discussion and accurate information when it comes to such a sensitive topic. You're coming in like a butterfly (nice btw) and throw another question and/or statement at us and then you get out... without bothering. That's fine, your choice - but

If you'd be really committed to help eradicating HIV, then you wouldn't resent.

It's not about going past PG, it's about countering misleading (governmental) informations and provide accurate ones and (bottom line) that is what I asked for.

If your aproach is one of raising awareness, would it not it be more productive to properly educate people on the propabilities of infection? Would it not be more helpful to inform people about HOW to avoid infection in the first place?

What I draw from the flyer that Stone linked to is that, even information pamphlets are sprinkled with (politically) biased informations, serving no other purpose than their own. This by spending tax money to guise discrimination and irritating people.

What difference could *you* make, when going past your grudges and supplying us with expert knowledge... I'd say "a tremendous one".

Your IP (to me) felt like: "guys, have an active sex life but when you get tested positive, get off the dating lists" (or wear a badge) - it most certainly has not been your intention, it only "felt like" (to me).

I do not have access to more recent studies, the one of the US from back in 1990 shows that


* 9.000 estimated infections (per 10,000 exposures to an infected source) are due to blood transfusion...

and the CHAT-study revealed that

* 49% of all new infections received the infection from their committed sexual partner of which the vast majority KNEW that their partners had been infected.

For me the shoking part is that people *choose* to have unprotected sex against better knowledge. Or they are just malinformed. Which is why I feel there is much more need for education and prevention rather than trying to fix it later.

Mike, your comment was meant .... well however it was meant, doesn't matter... fact is that it is irrelevant whether you are

~ are a virgin
~ live in a committed relationship
~ never had a blood transfusion
~ you never used or shared syringes
~ you always use condoms

Further it is tremendously misleading when stating

Originally Posted By: DocWhy not [test for] HepC? Good question. I got screened for that, too. Most people don't. I suppose part of the reason is because there isn't much you can do about it.

Because there is no known vaccine or cure for either HIV and hepatitis C... (Currently) the only thing you can do once infected, is to pray (to whomever) and to leave the gene-pool... Because

~ another major way of infection is by giving birth!

As I feel it, the only awareness that will protect us, is open and honest communication with our partner(s) and not to fall for every blingbling occasion. It might be the most difficult thing to do - depending on the environment - yet there are myriads of possibilities to still enjoy an active sex life and NOT to make yourself a "victim of circumstances".

If you're uncertain of your status and can't or don't want to afford getting tested, one good way to find out is to donate blood (ONLY in countries where a free test is mandatory along with it. Obviously donating blood in a case where you're uncertain of your status and where you wouldn't get tested, is quite ... well more than "not helping it at all")

However, this way you get three benefits:

~ you help the medical system to have more blood for operations (especially good if you have a rare blood type)
~ you know your status and can face your partner straightforward AND
~ (often) they give you some $$$

Isn't this wonderful?

But if you're scared to get your name on a list, you may opt to pay some money for a test which is kept anonymous (and it is rather little, compared to what it achieves)...

[according to the lab statement in my last test] "A negative test does NOT exclude an HIV infection.

i.e. 1) within 3 months after infection
2) with genetically conditioned "non" or "low responders" or
3) in case HIV activity declines prior to the outbreak of clinical symptoms [at the time of testing]

EDITED_BY: FireTom (1251543105)
EDIT_REASON: more comprehensive information


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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