Transcripts from #TheInSite


Conference: HIV and Youth
The following transcript was recorded on

17th October, 1997

with Aaron Burdah of Health Initiative For Youth

©1997-2018 Electric Eggplant

LilyCCC: ***************************************

LilyCCC: Welcome the TheInSite!

LilyCCC: Our Topic: "HIV and Youth"

LilyCCC: Out Guest: Aaron Burdah.

LilyCCC: Health Initiative For Youth

LilyCCC: Welcome Aaron !!!

LilyCCC: ****************************************

LilyCCC: Hello there! We are talking about HIV and Youth,

LilyCCC: with our guest, Aaron Burdah!

LilyCCC: If you have a question or comment for Aaron,

LilyCCC: please type in a ? and we will add you to the question

LilyCCC: list. We will get to everyone in order so please be

LilyCCC: patient! Again! Welcome!

LilyCCC: ****************************************

LilyCCC: Aaron..Welcome! Thanks for being here!

LilyCCC: you have any opening remarks? Thank you for having me!

LilyCCC: Our pleasure and honor, Aaron!

CCComet: Nice to have you here Aaron. Important subject.

Aaron: To get started. I am 25 years old, HIV positive, and living in San Francisco. I have been HIV positive for about 2 years, and currently work at an agency, primarily with other positive HIV youth.

minivanner: I am sorry Aaron

sweetie13: sorry Aaron

MILITARY: Why is everyone feeling sorry? You don't know how he got it?

Aaron: I am ready for any questions about HIV, how I got it and what I'm doing with it.

minivanner: does it matter Military?

LilyCCC: did you find out you have HIV?

Aaron: Lily, I went in for a routine HIV test. I was expecting a negative result but it came back positive.

LilyCCC: Aaron..what a shock. How did you cope at first?

CHEVLLE: protect yourself, that is the key!!!!!!

MILITARY: MiniVanner- To me it does, High risk behavior does not need to be rewarded with Sympathy

Aaron: Well, Lily, I immediately got into support groups and talked to my family and friends about it. As well I went to a private counselor.

minivanner: I was wondering if your family and friends have been supportive

Aaron: Mini... yeah!

navy: I just totally don't think people should be getting it on unprotected

minivanner: great! :-)

LilyCCC: Wonderful Aaron!!

Aaron: They all have surprised me and have been overwhelmingly loving and supportive and a great resource of information.

LilyCCC: Aaron, you are very blessed.

Aaron: I am.. Lily, I feel very blessed. A lot of the people I now work with, the clients that we serve, are not as lucky, and they have to turn to their peers and friends for the support they are missing from their families.

sweetie13: Okay, what exactly is HIV positive?

Aaron: Sweetie, HIV is Human Immuno Deficiency Virus, and it's the virus that CAN lead to AIDS.

navy: Cut the sympathy crap you're parents had to have been pissed. I would if my kid had unsafe sex.

LilyCCC: Military, you are up now.

MILITARY: How long will T cells hold out before you have Full blown AIDS (general, not you personally)

Aaron: Military, a T cell count of 200 or less constitutes AIDS according to US Govt. A normal healthy person has 800-1200 T cells.

MILITARY: How far along are you?

UnfrozenCa: couldn't you vaccinate blood samples with HIV1 then inject the sample back into people

Melodia: Do you consider God In your LIfe as a solution?

Aaron: Melodia are you asking if I am religious?

Melodia: no Aaron but I'm wondering how you cope with everything- nothing religious

Aaron: Melodia... I cope by trying to live as normal a life as possible. By laughing with my friends and surrounding myself with people who are educated and who have an open mind to HIV and AIDs.

Melodia: Thank you Aaron

CCComet: Great attitude Aaron!!

MILITARY: At what point of the T cell count do lesions begin to surface?

BERRAQUERA: good topic. ever heard of harm reduction?

Aaron: Military- some people never get lesions, and some people with very high T cell count get lesions, so there is no direct answer to that.

minivanner: If this is an indication of the type of reaction that HIV and AIDS patients live with, how do you counsel these people to feel positive? And isn't that a factor in longevity?

BERRAQUERA: Harm reduction is a center in NYC that distributes needles to addicts and teaches them how to clean used ones

LilyCCC: Ok berra, thanks! :)

Aaron: Mini, basically we get HIV patients immediately into peer support so that they can know that they are not alone, and try and get them as informed as possible regarding treatment options so they can make informed choices.

Saul: before I ask my question, I should say that this doesn't actually pertain to HIV, but a different disease that was just as deadly.

Saul: But here goes-

Saul: is it still possible for someone to get leprosy?

Aaron: Saul, I don't know about leprosy

minivanner: it is possible

Aaron: I know that it still is an epidemic in some areas so the world. You should search the internet for that kind of information!

Saul: really????? I thought it got exterminated or something

LilyCCC: Saul, we are here to talk about HIV...

Aaron: Saul, even Princess Diana was trying to expose their struggle to the world.

LilyCCC: Aaron, what age range do you deal with? All youths?

Aaron: 13 - 25 year old, Lily. Mostly San Francisco Bay area youth.

LilyCCC: Aaron, do you offer support for families too?

Aaron: Lily, our agency does not, but there are many services for families affected by AIDs and Health Initiatives for Youth puts out a resource guide. you can reach me at [email protected] Next question?

Wraas: Burdah, with the girl that recently volunteered to undergo that new treatment for AIDS, what do you think about all the vivisection that has taken place in AIDS research?

Rainygirl: Aaron, we have had problems down here with people accepting HIV positive people, and even barring them from schools. Any ideas about how best to combat this kind of attitudes?

magger: Before we were married, we had sex. seems since then we have stopped. He says it can get worse for me?

Aaron: one of the best services we offer here at Health Initiatives is a speakers bureau, made up of young people with HIV. They go out to schools and talk about their own lives and what it's like

Rainygirl: ok Aaron, so its really an education process

Aaron: to live with HIV and AIDS. I think that helps to show how HIV is not the "gay" disease, but it's a human disease and we all have to work together to fight it.

informed: OK Aaron maybe you should have kept your penis in your pants and not ran around and got this disease. I personally feel you don't deserve the sympathy I rather think your parents deserve the sympathy. Did you get aids from sex? I would really like to know because people who make themselves into heroes from having HIV don't really deserve acknowledgment. SAFE SEX IS BEST!!!!!!!!!

Rainygirl: Aaron, I totally agree with you. I have friends with HIV, and I hate the attitudes that seem to exist around here

LilyCCC: Indeed Aaron! Something we all must come to feel!

Aaron: Another thing we do here... is put out a magazine.. called REALITY that is by and for HIV positive youth.

Rainygirl: Aaron, thanks. Good answer.

Aaron: Rainygirl, if you want some copies of the magazine (they're free) email me at [email protected]

minivanner: I work with "Little House of Innocence". First of all have you heard of it?

Rainygirl: thanks Aaron

Aaron: No, Mini... I've never heard of it.

minivanner: AIDS babies and toddlers, they need care. We have trouble finding volunteers, people are frightened. How could you explain that there is no reason for this fear?

Aaron: Good question, minivanner

minivanner: I find it a battle

Aaron: Everybody fears the unknown, and I think the more exposure non-HIV positive people get to positive people the quicker the fear is erased

LilyCCC: mini...I didn't know you worked with HIV babies..

minivanner: Yes I do Lily

Aaron: I suggest, Mini, if you can start a speakers bureau or public forum for HIV positive people to talk to show that they are human beings like everyone else then that would help a lot!

minivanner: I would be interested in finding out more about that. I think it could help

magger: Why won't they let people with HIV adopt babies with aids?

Aaron: Green, I notice that young women as a group have the highest number of new HIV cases, because most of them are using the pill and not condoms!

Rainygirl: that is scary Aaron

Aaron: BAD IDEA!

green: uh oh!

LilyCCC: Wow Aaron..still???

tink_bell: In what other ways can I help people with HIV besides volunteering at a clinic? because I volunteered before but I didn't really get assigned to actually helping

Aaron: Magger, they DO let people with HIV adopt- at least in the US.

green: Thanks Aaron

Aaron: Tink... where are you?

tink_bell: Santa Cruz why?

Aaron: Cool! Nearby!

Aaron: Tink.... if you give me your email address, I can give you some places in Santa Cruz that would love to have your help!

LilyCCC: mini...go for it!

magger: Aaron, sorry, we have tried in Oregon and they said they need both healthy parents

minivanner: Is there an age that is most prevalent now for contracting of HIV?

tink_bell: Aaron..

Aaron: Yes, Tink?

LilyCCC: Green, go for it!

green: Aaron: Does the information you glean out of working the center reach policy-makers in any way?

tink_bell: So you will help me..or send information on how I can help?

magger: Okay Aaron, here's my e-mail would like to talk to you on [email protected]

minivanner: Great question green!

LilyCCC: green...excellent question!

green: Are these centers linked?

Aaron: Yes, green, we advocate on a local and national level at Health initiatives for Youth.

minivanner: Are you on a large regimen of medications? Is this as costly as they say in the media for adults?

tink_bell: Should I even though i'm only with one partner use a condom at all times even if he's been tested?

Aaron: Tink.. I need your email address to send you information.

tink_bell: he's only with me too

XXplorer: Aaron- incidence of HIV in teens increasing or decreasing???

Aaron: Mini... yes I am on AZT, 3TC, and Viramune. And these are about $1000/month, but I luckily have insurance through work.

minivanner: wow

tink_bell: my question wasn't answered..

magger: My husband takes 42 pills a day, he's only alive because we have medical insurance. what about people who don't, what do they do?

XXplorer: My question is incidence with teens up or down?

Aaron: Because young people think that it's not going to happen to them.

XXplorer: by whose reports?

Aaron: XX, my source is the trends in clinics the clients that we're serving.. and I think that the US govt. is starting to realize this as well.

XXplorer: Thanks Aaron

LilyCCC: is my understand that the fastest growing segment of the HIV population is that true..are we still failing to educate well enough?

Aaron: Lily, I think so. Our group deals with education- not so much prevention but care.

Lisa^: Aaron what measures do you think can be taken if any to help lower the incidence ?

Aaron: Lisa.... personally. I don't know if there are any I hate to sound pessimistic

Lisa^ listens to Aaron

Unfortunately, the last few minutes of this log do not appear to have been recorded

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