Originally posted by
People who deliberately try to get HIV should be offered mental health treatment on the grounds that they are self-harming. They need to understand that having a chronic infection, even when treatments exist, is a BIG DEAL. If I were in a
People who deliberately try to get HIV should be offered mental health treatment on the grounds that they are self-harming. They need to understand that having a chronic infection, even when treatments exist, is a BIG DEAL. If I were in a relationship with an HIV+ person, I would insist on protective sex at all times, even if I considered the relationship permanent. Because having a chronic infection is a big deal. Having to take daily medications every day is a BIG DEAL.
I have fibromyalgia. One of the drugs I use for pain is causing me cardiac problems. Because of that, I have to change my drugs, so today, I'm curled up in bed in pain. What if you contract HIV only to discover that the medication you need to keep from getting ill is something your body has trouble tolerating? What if you get a disease later in life (which will happen to most of us) that also requires daily medication? Will those medications interfere with one another?
It's a truism that you don't know what you've got till it's gone. Health is something that is valuable and to be treasured.
I left this comment on the article:
I disagree. Bugchasing is self-injury. The injury may not show, but the fact that medication has to be taken regularly from then on is proof that it exists. Someone who cuts themselves will heal, but someone who deliberately gets HIV will have their body fighting to overcome that infection for the rest of their lives.
It's also immoral. I would never condone withholding healthcare from anyone, but it does put a strain on an overburdened healthcare system to have to treat people for years or decades for an infection they could have easily avoided.
I believe that bug-chasers should be treated for potential mental health problems, hopefully before they manage to infect themselves.
The author of the article responded to my comment, but I thought I would bring the discussion here now that this thread is up.
Hi, it's Fizzygato, the writer of the article. Again, ha
Insisting on having safe sex with someone who has HIV is a personal choice that I respect; anyone should have safe sex for whatever reason they want. However, I think that to treat it like "Someone who has HIV ESPECIALLY needs to have safe sex is a bit overboard." I mean, if you are on anti-retrovirals, in theory, your viral load should be low enough to the point that it is almost below detection and thus incredibly hard to pass on to someone else, especially if you are both on anti-retrovirals. So, I think it is possible to have "not safe sex" with someone who has HIV and still not worry too much about it. ("Not safe" being defined as barrier-less.)
I also agree that "having to take medications daily" can be a big deal. However, if they are coming from a place of privilege, where resources (i.e. money and medicine) is not that big of a deal, I don't think it's that big of a deal, either. I also know people who have missed a day without their meds and been fine. However, I know also people who have consistently missed meds, thus making the anti-retrovirals no longer work for them because the virus developed immunity during their "off" period.
I also agree with what you are saying. Some meds can have side effects. However, HIV meds are getting to the point that they now have much less side effects. For example, before, they used to make people sick often. (I think the NRTIs did, because that's also attacking yourself... I'm pretty sure.) But they've switched over now, and those are mostly only given to people in Africa now. (Blah blah, insert rant about nationalism and privilege.)
I have never heard of HIV meds not working with other meds. I can't imagine how they would interfere, as HIV meds are often designed specifically to target the virus and its parts, and nothing else. (i.e. it will target specific proteins that only that virus makes)
Again, you can consider it self-injury if you'd like, but I personally don't. After all, bugchasing is typically only used to define chasing HIV, not AIDS. You can have HIV but never show any of its symptoms (hence, not cause any "harm"/pain/etc to yourself) if you are on meds. Thus, it's not really harming you; it's just there inside of you.
I don't consider it immoral, personally.
I agree it can put a "burden on the health system," however again, I personally think that to put "blame" on people for being "burdens" on the health system is similar to "victim blaming." Both are really, "It's your fault this happened to you. Why do you deserve help?" Although, I acknowledge they're not the same thing, either. Phrasing it as "burden" just reminds me of such, though.
I appreciate your insightfulness toward my article, but there's a reason I wrote what I did and stick by it mostly