December #66 : The Viral Lowdown: Word Is Out For New HIVers

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Table of Contents

The Viral Lowdown: Can You Believe What She Says?

The Viral Lowdown: Say What

The Viral Lowdown: Word Is Out For New HIVers

The Viral Lowdown: Dishing Out the Denial

The Viral Lowdown: Pharma Flubs Phase IV

The Viral Lowdown: Lack of Leadership Leaves Latinos In Lethal Lurch

The Viral Lowdown: Mystery: Partially Positive

The Viral Lowdown: Prison Death Prompts Probe

The Viral Lowdown: African AIDS Under a TAC

The Viral Lowdown: All Dolled Up: Rx Abuse High Among Gay HIVers

THE VIRAL LOWDOWN: WORLD AIDS DAY 2000

The Viral Lowdown: If Not Now, When? If Not Us, Who?

The Viral Lowdown: News Flash: The Sky Isn't Falling!

The Viral Lowdown: HIVers in Hock to Homophobia

Tales of the (Safer Sex) City

Clean, Sober...and Medicated?

The Secret Plot to Destroy African Americans

Mailbox

The Art Of Living

Summit, Some More

Channel Surfing

Shout Out

Lights! Camera! Handcuffs?

Quick Picks

Life Is Sweet

Packing Meat, Just Barely

A Cell of One’s Own

Milestones

Doing AIDS Justice

Petal Pusher

Carry On, MP

Milk Got You?

Comfort Zone

Big Science Kicker

Herb Of The Month

Protease Progeny

It Takes Guts

Between A Recovery And A Hard Place



Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle

Shingles

Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV


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December 2000

The Viral Lowdown: Word Is Out For New HIVers

Gay Shocker: "What a shame"

Testing positive in 2000 is "better" than it used to be -- as in better treatments, better prognosis and, most poignantly, "you should have known better." If the medical picture is brighter, the moral one is not. Faced with responses that often range from complacency to rejection -- notably from gays -- of young HIVers new to the club are finding disclosure a more treacherous transaction than in the days of "We Are All Living With AIDS" t-shirts. And according to reports, they are coming out in smaller numbers, to fewer people or not at all. "Getting HIV now is more about drudgery than heroism," said Walt Odets, author of In the Shadow of the Epidemic: HIV Negative Gay Men and AIDS. He added that the much-hyped metamorphosis of AIDS into an easily manageable disease has bred ho-hum dismissal, if not utter indifference. "One patient told his sister that he had HIV, and she said, 'Well, you're just going to have to take care of yourself.' Then she proceeded to tell him about her new job."

Tony Valenzuela, 32, who came out with a bang as an HIV positive barebacker two years ago, said he understands why so many twentysomethings take a different tack. "There's a view that in the age of safe sex, if you test positive, you are irresponsible, even crazy," he said, adding that the more things like disclosing change, the more dissing HIVers' sex stays the same, "and that has never encouraged anyone positive to come out."

But if shame is the name of the game these days, critics say, the gay community should blame itself -- and its prevention culture -- rather than its young. According to Odets, HIV has become so central to "gayness" that some young men are drawn to it now as a destiny, if not as a cause. "Only the young men who can think around and through all this can avoid infection," he said.




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