07 July 2009

Disclosure

I am struggling MAJORILY. After 5 years of blogging and speaking about my status to journalists, being on television, speaking to large groups I never imagined that I would struggle with disclosure. Let me explain. In Atlanta I have a very small but VERY close group of friends. They are very supportive and always there when I get sick. That being said a large percentage of them were gay. I only have two straight friends from all my time in Atlanta. It's not that I am opposed to them...the opportunity just never arose for me to interact or meet them really. However, now I am in Chicago, all of that has changed. I have a few gay friends and more straight friends. I met them through a part time job I got as a photographer. None of them have EVER given me any reason to feel "threatned" or frightened by telling them but one just never knows.

I started thinking about this issue about 6 weeks ago when a fellow photographer was working and a big photoboard tipped over and hit him in the head. He suffered a pretty nasty cut and was taken to the hospital. I was no where near the location of the accident but there was blood all over everything. I know that HIV doesn't live outside of the body for more than 15 seconds, but do they? In the past for instance whenever I have been at my Moms house and something happens where I am bleeding I of course am the one that freaks out (she stays calm) and will not allow anyone near me until I get the bleeding under control. My concern is if this of course happens while I am working I don't really have the luxury of secluding myself quickly. So do I tell my co-workers/friends that I am HIV positive? It's not like people would be jumping up and down in my blood and if I remember my OSHA correctly all accidents involving blood are treated the same way. There isn't any extra gear if it's the blood of someone who is positive.

Grrrrr this is sooooooo frustrating for me. After all of these years I never imagined that I would find myself struggling with disclosure! I will think on this further and will blog what I decide to do and how it goes.

Happy belated 4th! Hope everyone had a great holiday.

James

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't believe you need to worry about that. If there is a specific event with risk, you may want to disclose, but anyone with a blood spill can pass a number of infections. I'd be more concerned about Hep C infections, that can, I understand, be passed on with dried blood 2 weeks old... Or how about manicure/pedicure tools shared among many customers? Several folks I know bring their own instruments to these shops, rather than use the shops' tools. Don't sweat the "what-ifs". We may have HIV, but don't let HIV have you...
- Budd

Priya said...

Hi James, you are certainly a brave man to accept that you are HIV positive. I am not a HIV positive person but I can understand how it may feel to live with hiv. Most of the the people don't isolate themselves when they come to know about their HIV positive status. But I think its not their fault because even in this modern era HIV/AIDS is world's most looked down or I must say HATED disease. If people of so-called modern countries like USA can't realise the fact that HIV patients need to be treated like the patients suffering from other diseases. Then what better you can expect from the people of a conservative country like India (my country). It'll be fifty years before people start treating HIV/AIDS patients as equals.

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