geminigirl: (HIV)
My Friends Page is filled with the usual World AIDS Day posts (though there are a few people whose commentary on the day is notably absent.)

The theme is Stop AIDS-Keep the Promise. It's twenty five years and I'm feeling like there are so many failures. Sometimes I feel like we'll never get out from the stigma and challenge-getting care to the people who need it, coming up with prevention strategies that reach people who haven't already been touched. I feel failure today, instead of progress, when I read about how the rates of infection in the US among some people are rising.

I was talking today with people on IRC, about how some of us have defaulted to condom use, as a totally expected part of our sexual experiences-that, because of our age, it's always been normal for us to use condoms. And some of our fellow channel members pointed out that they had no trouble making that change. I've waxed poetic here before about how I'm not sure how I would have handled the uncertainty and the change. Not knowing, I can only imagine the fear that came with that.

For interesting reading today...this article from the Washington Blade talks about the face of AIDS-who does the issue belong to, and how does the face of AIDS affect funding? On a similar note, The Huffington Post provides this article which includes the disturbing statement, "Let's be real, any gay man over 21 that contracts HIV in 2006 deserves it." (Do read the article...it makes some interesting points, even with that disturbing comment.) A little commentary on the name from someone born after the first cases were reported is here . And in keeping with the theme of accountability...check out this one about the responsibility of the media. And last, but not least, one about the impact of abstinence requirements in global AIDS relief efforts.
geminigirl: (Queer Duck On The Town)
We spent last weekend taking advantage of the tax free back to school shopping...bought some clothes for both of us (clothing under $50 and school supplies under $10 were tax free.) Cayne looks really good in his new shirts, too.

We also did some furniture shopping. I'm still not sure what color to paint the living room...I could paint it the same color as the family room or the master bedroom, or something completely different. We tried to go to the paint store on Saturday but they closed earlier than I thought, so we'll have to try again. The colors seem to be blues and greens so far, but I'm just stumped on the living room.

Tonight we're going to a public meeting about the Wekiva Parkway, which is an extention of one of the highways near our new house, and will connect the north end of the 429 (which is about three miles from the house) with the north end of the 417, which is sort of the other end of the region. It has the potential to be really fantastic, but I'd like to know the proposed route, and be able to make a comment, if there's time available. It's not a hearing, so I'm not sure how they're going to handle public comment, in fact. We'll also stop at the new house to pick up some things I have there for my sister in law, and measure the space in the front hall for a table, and in the family room so we can look for a sofa.

This weekend, we're going to begin scouring antique stores for a telephone table, like the one my Mom has in her kitchen. We need a nice small table for the foyer, and that would work. I've seen some cute new ones, but I'd like to see what the antique stores have to offer too. (Does anyone know if it's appropriate to haggle over the price, like you would at a flea market or yard sale, or is it expected that you'll pay the price as marked?_

Hrm. I think I've posted all my news links for today.

Tomorrow is the follow up ultrasound-first one since April. I don't think I'll get answers tomorrow-I have a follow up next week, but if you could spend a moment thinking good, healthy ovaries it's okay to try and get pregnant again thoughts or prayers (as you choose) I'd appreciate it. Driving the car with a full bladder to get the ultrasound=No Fun. And I can't just go early and drink my water in the waiting room, since I've got the first appointment after lunch.

Friday, I have a meeting the local ASO that I'm dreading. Because last month, the meeting went on for many, many hours, with nothing getting done. It also failed to start anywhere on time, because people had been given three different start times, plus, no one had bothered to arrange coverage or cancel HIV testing, so peope kept leaving the meeting for significant amounts of time, which meant we kept having to rehash what we had done. And I won't get started at the incredibly unprofessional behavior of one of the department heads and the exectutive director, who spent quite a bit of time reaming out one of the other employees in front of me, for a serious error in judgement that did require addressing, but it should never have been done in front of me, at the end of the meeting.

Cayne's trying to get an appointment with a sleep specialist, too. I'm feeling mostly relieved. It will be nice to be able to share a bed with him again. I miss a warm body. All of my fear and concern and communication though, not what pushed him over the edge. Realizing he fell asleep at work...that pushed him over the edge. We're waiting for them to call him back. It's interesting to read the "bed partner questionaire" though.

And that's the news from Lake Woebegone.
geminigirl: (HIV)
I've been meeting with a local ASO about doing some work with them; it may be paid or not, but it's certain to be interesting. In meeting with them, one of the programs I'm likely to work with is outreach to incarcerated women.

Personally, I find the idea of working with adults a bit overwhelming; I don't know how to talk to grown ups about HIV prevention for themselves...I know how to talk to parents about why it's important to make sure their children are educated about HIV. But, back to the title of the post...

I asked what the major reasons for incarceration were...and was told, exactly what I expected to hear. But the language the person I was speaking with was different from what I'd call it.

So I ask you the following question:

(and please, just one label, the most likely you would use)

[Poll #731531]
geminigirl: (HIV)
(The title is a quote from [livejournal.com profile] ruralrob-more on that in the second paragraph of my post...)

First of all, I'm mystified that there's nothing I can find going on in or around Orlando to honor today. I was on the phone with someone at the GLB community center (They've left out the T part, not me...) last night who couldn't find anything, and seemed vaguely surprised about it as well. I'll give them a call later today and ask "what's up?"-looks like this little activist has found some things to do.

Second, I think people need to go read [livejournal.com profile] ruralrob's post "Shame, Philadelphia, Redemption" honoring World AIDS Day. Rob is a fantastic person to begin with, eloquent, creative, and a wonderful story teller, and a fantastic photographer. I think he expressed a sentiment in his post that I didn't come close to in mine....

It's sometimes hard being an AIDS activist, but along the way one learns to both celebrate and mourn well. On December 1, World AIDS Day, I hope you understand why we do both."

I read Rob's post and feel completely inadequate.

I wrote elsewhere about women and HIV for today, so you may have seen this part posted elsewhere, though I've editorialized a bit more on the bottom in my own journal...

Here's what I wrote:

For World AIDS Day 2005…

In 2005, twenty-five years into the AIDS Pandemic women are still very much affected by HIV and AIDS. Globally, half of the people infected with HIV are women, but women are disproportionately affected with care-giving responsibilities for family members, whether or not they’re infected.

Some of the major issues relating to women and HIV… )

What can you do?

  • Know your own HIV status. If you’re engaging in any kind of risky behavior, get tested regularly, and consider ways to reduce your risk.

  • Take responsibility for your own sexual health-get regular check ups, encourage friends and partners to do the same. Make good decisions about using contraception, about reducing your risk of unwanted consequences of sexual behavior and about what you want.

  • Learn to say no and mean it. Make clear, well thought out decisions about what you want, how far you’re willing to go and what risks you’re willing to take. And most importantly, communicate your boundaries clearly to your partner, before you get too hot to do that. The number one advocate for your sexual health is you.

  • Know what resources are available in your community for HIV information-prevention, treatment, testing, and support them in whatever ways you can. Supporting those organizations can mean giving time or money, or it can mean making sure to point people who need their resources at the places that provide them.
    Support initiatives, projects and programs that try to provide accurate, honest information and services about sexuality and sexual health.

  • Love yourself. Recognizing your own value as a person does a great deal in helping people make healthy choices and reduce risky behavior.


  • Remember that HIV and AIDS aren’t a one day thing…they’re an everyday thing. Despite advances in treatment, HIV still has no cure. It takes the efforts of all of us to stay safe and healthy, to prevent the spread of HIV further, to support the efforts to find cures, to ensure access to treatment and services for everyone who needs it.

    Find out more about HIV and educate yourself. Check out some of these websites for more information:
    Know HIV
    HIV InSite
    The Body
    United Nations AIDS Information
    The American Medical Student Association Global AIDS Pandemic Timeline

    I think the most important message in this is self-worth...it really does make a difference in the kinds of choices many people make. I also know that today makes me feel helpless an inadequate. I feel like there's so much more work for me to do, and that I'll never do enough.

    Still, I hope I can figure out how to do my part...
    geminigirl: (HIV)
    *sigh*

    New multi-drug class resistant strain of HIV.

    Resistant to three out of four classes of HIV drugs.

    I really need to get back to work.

    [livejournal.com profile] pozlife-links, anywhere? You usually find better ones than I do.

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