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People living with HIV face widespread discrimination

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  1. I have to agree with Rob. I’ve been HIV+ for a few years but haven’t ever had a sick-day off work and my ‘condition’ doesn’t figure in my life at all, its a part of me but then so are my blue eyes and blond hair.

    The HIV bandwagon of ‘outreachers’, ‘community workers’ blah blah is utterly irelevent to the early 21st Century. of course we should promote safe sex and maximise information to all within society – gay, straight,black, white’ older and younger – but this should be a mainstream health and social services responsibility just like raising awareness of diabetes or cancers or obesity.

    Above all we should consign this ‘victimhood’ mentality to the dustbin of history – I’m sick of hearing about gay or black or whomsoever else feels aggrieved, described as victims. It just adds to the me-me-me chip on the shoulder bad attitude. We should all take responsibility for our actions, ensure justice to those who do experience unequal treatment by all means, but banish this aggrieved hard-done-for outlook pedalled by some wallow in their perceived ‘marginalised minority’ status. Of course there are a few people in our society that hate others of a different race or sexuality, but most Britons don’t really give a brass monkey what you are and are tired of those who winge on and on about imagined oppression.

    Get a grip, Get a life, forget what you are (gay, different colour etc) and live life on the basis of who you are and you’ll find open doors everywhere.

  2. Richard Gray 31 Jan 2009, 5:52pm

    Unfortunately, people’s response to HIV and it’s treatment vary widely. If you’re fortunate enough to be positive and the disease is caught early enough, there’s a much better chance that you’ll come through relatively unscathed. If however you were among those that got really sick, perhaps before treatment was properly available, then your outlook is probably rather less rosy. The treatment in many cases is not so well tolerated and various complications arise during treatment. I’m delighted for those that can lead normal lives in the face of HIV; but there’s a danger that the “I’m all right jack types” cause those who don’t bounce-back as well to be further discriminated against as ‘lazy’, ‘scroungers’ and so-on. For some HIV is a manageable inconvenience like, say, diabetes, but for many others it’s an altogether more troublesome matter.

  3. I am Rob, referred to in Thomas’s posting. I posted my comments to this story yesterday, but I am both dismayed and angered that Pink news has taken upon itself to discriminate against what may be perceived by some to be an unorthodox point of view and removed (i.e. censored) my comments. I find this approach to be sinister and an example of the “AIDS mafia” mindset that protects the interests of those who wield the most power over our community, whether that be commercial enterprises or bureaucratic charitable organisations who receive millions in public funding and have, in turn, become bloated and self-serving.

    I was merely questioning the basis of this news story, and asking why the several thousands of pounds that was no doubt spent to reach the “mind-blowing” conclusion that HIV “victims” are still discriminated against could not have been better spent on HIV prevention campaigns that empower gay men in general to respect the sexual health of themselves and those they partner with?

    In our world today, the major gay-run organisations in receipt of multi-millions in funding seem hell-bent in portraying us all as helpless victims, and are guilty of reinforcing this negative mindset by their near religious pandering to PC policies, not least the sexual health organisations who insist that all HIV-ers are victims rather than individuals who should take personal responsibility for the choices that led to their condition. The uncomfortable truth is that most gay men sero-converting today are doing so having taken calculated risks to indulge in unsafe sex; the real HIV victims are those who unwittingly contracted the virus in the early 1980s before the facts were known, and have mostly long since died.

    And let’s not forget the likes of Stonewall who scream “hate crime” at any remotely perceived anti-gay prejudice. A culture of victimhood has been encouraged in our political-correctness-gone-mad world which has forced us to look outside of ourselves for the roots of every ill that plagues what was once known as the “gay community”, and to instinctively blame our haters and aggressors in mainstream society for all our problems rather than to empower us to confront our self-created demons head-on. So we view ourselves as the oppressed and powerless victims of a perceived power structure and obsessively police every utterance and action in mainstream society for a sign of homophobia when, in truth, it is gay men themselves who are the most intolerant and homophobic members of society. When it comes to HIV discrimination, for example, you only have to check out profiles on gay hook-up sites to see how a form of HIV apartheid reigns supreme, while most straight people now accept HIV as a non-contagious condition – we are certainly light years ahead of the rabid anti-AIDS headlines that defined the dark days of the 1990s/early 1990s.

    So again, I ask, what purpose does this latest Sigma survey serve? Like its annual Gay men’s Sex Survey that costs thousands annually to conduct and produces reams of mostly meaningless statistics, it states the obvious while failing to offer practical and effective solutions serve. Are these surveys how Sigma justifies its funding? What an atrocious waste of money as gay men continue to be infected regardless in the face of non-effective action! Indeed, I suggested that this all-talk-and-no-action approach to sexual health is occurring because such organisations today are run by box-ticking academics and careerists rather than the kind of impassioned pioneers who fought so valiantly in the 1980s to push home the need for safer sex via frank and truthful messages around HIV and AIDS, which scared a generation into using condoms and which, by the early 1990s, saw rates of infection decline to their lowest level ever – a message that has long since been dispensed with as HIV went from being an illness to a multi-billion dollar business with the arrival of HAART in the mid-1990s.

    I was merely trying to point out that this “news” story shows how we have badly lost our way in our approach to combatting the spread of HIV, which continues to incapacitate and, yes, kill. We need less talk and meaningless surveys that enforce a “poor-me” victim mentality among HIV-positive gay men and more messages of empowerment that encourage negative gay men to respect the health of themselves and those they party with via frank, truthful campaigns around HIV, without fear of hurting the feelings of those with the virus who, like Thomas, are fed up with being portrayed as helpless victims. For stating all of this my posting was removed.

    WHY is such a message of empowerment seemingly too painful for those who monitor these boards and those they answer to to hear? In censoring such messages while blindly reprinting the non-empowering PC press releases that spew forth from the likes of THT, Sigma, Stonewall et al, Pink News is complicit in fueling the victimhood approach forced upon gays, keeping the community repressed and in chains. Hmm, best to play safe and stick to EastEnders and Coronation Street plot lines and the latest updates on Lindsay Lohan’s sexual antics, eh?

  4. Many people including gay men have acquired HIV, some though sexual contact, others through injections or medical procedures or from their mother. It’s not a “gay disease”. And losing your job or being asked to leave a flat or school because people find out you’re HIV+ve can happen to anyone. It’s important that good information is available to employers, landladies, schools and others about HIV and AIDS, not just about the difficulty of acquiring it, but also about how HIV+ve people can still lead healthy lives because of modern medicine. HIV+ve people also need advocates like unions for workplaces to help ensure that they don’t lose their jobs because of fear. The TUC can help with this.

  5. Great post, Rob, and right on the money. Political correctness is tearing the fabric of society apart, let alone destroying gay men’s health. Education, law and order…all have been decimated under New Labour’s zeal to make victims of us all, because a disempowered population will be easier to control as the screws of the EU police state it has been implementing since 1997 grow ever tighter. The Terence Higgins Trust and Stonewall, among others, follow PC guidelines and directives set out by Whitehall, and that is why their Chief Execs have been rewarded with MBEs. Let’s not be fooled that they were awarded for any other reason, least of all for serving the gay community.

  6. You don’t need a survey to understand discrimination against HIV. Just go and apply for life insurance. You’ll be turned down flat. Try getting a travel, work visa or green card to live in America and be HIV positive, again you’ll be denied. I spent 10 years in the US with my partner before being told to leave because of my status. So don’t tell me there is not misinformation and discrimination associated about this disease. Thomas you are fortunate not to have a life effected by such bigotry but it exists and it is real. To suggest otherwise is pure head in the sand mentality.

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