ADRIENNE'S HIV BLOG – Hivine's Weblog

HIVINE is written by HIV positive women but still with a sense of humour

Archive for November, 2010

Positive Panto

The Red Ribbon Cabaret, as ever, was highly enjoyable, but unfortunately there might not be one next year.

Oh yes there will – Oh no there won’t.

So we at Thrivine were thinking maybe we should do a Positive Panto with all the characters named after the HIV meds. For instance there would be a Prince Ritonovir, a Blackaddervir and an Indianavir Jones. A Princess Isentress, that’s one of the posh new expensive drugs with apparently very few side effects. I fancied that role but unfortunately my age ruled me out and I was cast as one of the ugly sisters, Trizivir with my cohurt Cath as Atazanavir (sorry Cath – she doesn’t know yet.)

I also tried for Lady Quinavir but someone else grabbed it first and it wasn’t a female.  It was also suggested that I be tobacavir (as opposed to abacavir) due to my reluctance to give the filthy habit up.

Abracadabravir of course would be the good fairy (of either sex) with his or her magic wand. Someone suggested Prince Thyroid – not sure where that came from (he was thinking about tights probably!)

Efavirenz sounded quite camp so there were quite a few takers for that – the same for Saquinavir, presumably because of the reference to sequins. AZT was the wicked witch.  Sustiva not surprisingly became Susdiva. The integrase inhibitors (fusion and entry inhibitors) were the two bouncers.

The most coveted role was for Maraviroc, another new drug on the scene which sounded quite swashbuckling, images of Johnny Depp and dashing green tights, but maybe we were we getting confused with Robin Hood. The much quoted line at this point was, “thirty miles from London and still no sign of dick.”  

Then a Cruella de tenofovir  was suggested, which conjured up lewd images of someone dressed in long fur coat leading a certain member (who shall remain nameless) disguised in a Dalmatian costume wearing a jewelled dog collar. As Chair I thought it was wise to draw a line on the proceedings at that particular point, but a Positive Panto is great idea is it not, so maybe next year the members of Thrivine will be treading the boards.

You’d better book your tickets now to avoid disappointment.

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Innit to Winnit!

I entered a short clip from the ‘Positive Picture’ a film we made at Thrivine our HIV support group in Blackburn (which was funded by the NHS Dragon’s Apprentice) to the PSA competition for WAD at the body.com on complete impulse, very late one night, never thinking for one minute that it would be shortlisted.

At the time it wasn’t so much about winning the prize but about spreading the message.

However, since it’s been shortlisted, I have to admit I wouldn’t mind winning as I could do a lot of message spreading with an i pad!

So if you haven’t voted for me already please do. There is a direct link on http://www.hivine.com 

I have never won anything in my entire life so it would be a first if I did – therefore I am now innit to winnit innit. 

HIV works in very mysterious ways.

The Real Blog!

I don’t know whether to be furious or flattered that a certain ‘rdwhitleyrg’ has been plagiarising my blogs, although why on earth would someone claim to be HIV positive and taking meds if they’re not, or wear a pinny or even herald from Blackburn, although from his translation its obvious he’s never heard a Lancashire accent in his life, or a Scottish one for that matter. However, because I found his take on my blog, ‘Two to Tango’ quite amusing, especially the strange lingo he uses, I am going to put up the original blog up in parts followed by senor whitleys transcription – on saying that I’m presuming he’s a man, but it could be a woman, in which case its even funnier!

Two to Tango – by Adrienne Seed

ME – Did anyone watch “Britain’s Got Talent” over the Easter weekend? If you did you will have been amazed, as I was, by that incredible group of male dancers, “Flawless”. I’ve never seen anything quite like it – at times it was almost like watching an old black and white movie the way they flickered from movement to movement, from frame to frame of their brilliantly choreographed dance routine. A bit like when we were kids drawings cartoons in a book and then flipping the pages to make them appear to move.

MALE OR FEMALE BLOG SNATCHER – Did anyone ticker “U.K.’ s Got Endowment ” over the Easter weekend? If you maked you will hold been astonished, like I was, by that unbelievable grouping of male terpsichorean, “Flawless ”. I ‘ve ne’er seen anything rather like it – from time to time it was nighly like watching an old black-and-white film the style they flittered from move to motion, from frame to frame of their brilliantly choreographed dance routine. A little like when we were tike drawings sketches in a book and so tossing the pages to do them seem to locomote.

ME – Some people, such as the younger generation for example, probably won’t have a clue what I’m on about with the wondrous graphics we have now in the days of wii – as opposed to yore. The royal wii – I wonder if Charles and Camilla have one. I can just imagine Charles playing ‘Rock Star’ and giving his Royal Variety performance of the Deep Purple classic, “Smoke on the water.”

bam bam bam, bam bam ba bam, ba ba bam, bam bam.

Wham bam thank you maam.

MALE OR FEMALE BLOG SNATCHER – Some people, such as the jr. contemporaries for instance, belike won’t hold a hint what I Get on some with the wonderful artworks we hold now in the years of wii – as opposed to yore. The royal wii – I inquire if Charles and Camilla hold one. I can but ideate Charles playing ‘Stone Star ‘ and giving his Royal Salmagundi performance of the Deep Purpleness classic, “ Smoke on the H2O. ”

Bam Bam Bam, Bam Bam barium Bam, barium barium Bam, Bam Bam.

Wham Bam thank you maam.

 

ME – Talking of performances and dance routines, I fear my days as a choreographer and dare I say it as an erstwhile flamenco dancer, are finally over. This is not an age related thing as some robust older people carry on dancing until they drop, Bruce Forthsyth for example. But sadly, dancing is yet another of life’s pleasures that HIV has cruelly deprived me of – that and not being able to sit in the sun, so I can’t get tangoed in either sense of the word.

MALE OR FEMALE BLOG SNATCHER – Talk about performances and dance routines, I fear my years as a choreographer and daring I tell it as an old flamenco terpsichorean, are eventually over. This is not an age thing as some robust older people transport along dancing until they drop, Bruce Forthsyth e.g.. But sadly, terpsichore is yet another of life ‘s pleasances that HIV holds cruelly stripped me of – that and not being able to sit in the Sun, so I can’t get tangoed in either sense of the word.

ME – Recently, I’ve been accompanying my best friend Willo to salsa dancing lessons. This is more for her benefit than mine, because as I can’t twirl around anymore, thanks to vertigo caused by the meds, I can only take part in the initial part of the session, which is more for old crocks and no hopers like me and where there is very little twirling involved. I suppose I should really try a gentler form of exercise with no twirling whatsoever, swimming for example, which is all up and own in straight lines, but I’m not keen on getting wet.

MALE OR FEMALE BLOG SNATCHER – Recently, I ‘ve been accompanying my best friend Willo to salsa saltation lessons. This is more for her benefit than mine, because as I ca n’t whirl around anymore, thanks to vertigo maked by the MEd, I can simply participate in the initial portion of the session, which is more for old soots and no hopers like me and where there is really small twirling regarded. I say I should really essay a gentler descriptor of workout with no twirling whatsoever, swimming for instance, which is all up and ain in consecutive lines, but I ‘m not lamented on getting moisture.

ME – There are other reasons why dancing is no longer an option for me; my wonky hip, my lack of bottom thanks to the dreaded lippo also caused by the HIV meds, which means unless I wear trousers my knickers have a tendency to fall down, like my pinny – not that I would ever wear a pinny to salsa. Although some of those longer pinnies that the more trendy Italian and Spanish waiters wear look quite cool, so maybe I should start a new trend – pinny dipping as opposed to skinny dipping.

MALE OR FEMALE BLOG SNATCHER – There are other grounds why dancing is no more an option for me; my skew-whiff hip, my deficiency of bottom thanks to the feared lippo besides done by the MEd, which intends unless I wear trousers my breecheses hold a disposition to fall, like my pinafore – not that I would ever wear a jumper to salsa. Although some of those longer jumpers that the more voguish Italian and Spanish servers wear look rather cool, so perhaps I should begin a new tendency – jumper dunk as opposed to skinny dipping.

(M or F has completely missed the play on words of pinny dipping and I’ve yet to see an Italian or a Spanish waiter in a long woolly jumper!)

ME – Oh, those happy days when I used to whirl around the stage doing my Carmen circle. The only association I have to Carmen these days is my reluctance to give up fags and if financial matters don’t improve, a very strong likelihood that I will end up working in a factory or hanging around in a bar like she did – although it would have to be Yates Wine Lodge on the once notorious Barbary Coast in Blackburn, rather than in Sevilla.

MALE OR FEMALE BLOG SNATCHER – Oh, those happy years when I applied to whirl the phase making my Carmen circle. The only association I need to Carmen these years is my reluctance to give upwards pansies and if fiscal things make n’t ameliorate, a really strong likeliness that I will finish up working in a manufactory or lurking in a taproom like she maked – although it would should be Yates Vino Lodge on the once infamous Barbary Seacoast in Blackburn, instead than in Seville.

(Obviously blog snatcher has never been to Blackburn or they would know we haven’t got a coast, the nearest one being Blackpool – and as for ‘upwards pansies’ cannot work out how that was derived unless they’re getting confused with fags and pansies as a slang word for gays.)

ME – Our salsa dancing teacher is a really cool African guy who was once a World Champion. He has evolved his own style and unique way of teaching where he talks us through the various salsa moves – “You take de girl to the door, you twirl de girl around then you trow de girl out, then you bring her back again.” Well, the poor guys who have to partner me, when it comes to the part where they have to throw me out the door – it’s a bit like a bouncer chucking out a drunk at closing time as I will more than likely, after an attempt at a double twirl, end up on the floor in a heap.

Willo gets twirled around like a veritable spinning top, but me; I can just about accomplish one pitiful twirl if I’m lucky without losing my balance.

“Sorry, I’m strictly a one twirl girl,” I have to constantly apologize as we swap partners.

MALE OR FEMALE BLOG SNATCHER – Our salsa dancing instructor is a rattlingly cool African hombre who was once a Macrocosm Champ. He holds germinated his ain manner and unequalled mode of pedagogy where he speaks us through the assorted salsa locomotes – “You take de miss to the door, you swirl de girl about so you trow de girl out, so you convey her back again. ”

Well, the piteous bozo who should partner me, when it comes to the component where they need to throw me out the door – it Holds a trifle like a chucker-out tossing out a drunkard at shutting clip as I will more likely, after an endeavour at a three-fold kink, finish up on the flooring in a mound.

Willo gets whirled about like a veritable teetotum, but me; I can simply roughly action one pathetic twist if I ‘m lucky without losing my balance.

“ Sorry, I ‘m strictly a one kink miss, ” I should constantly apologise as we trade mates.

(One kink miss? Whatever do they mean and as for poor Willo she has never been described as being teetotum before, the opposite in fact (sorry Willo only joking!)

Me – Salsa can be quite a vicious dance and some of the terms to describe the various movements say it all; Whiplash, the Hammerlock, the Arm Fan and the Broken Arm, the Challenge Position and the death defying Head Loop. You can end up getting tangled up in knots and strangling each other if you’re not careful.

MALE OR FEMALE BLOG SNATCHER – Salsa can be quite savage dance and some of the footings to draw the assorted movements tell it all; Whiplash, the Hammerlock, the Arm Fan and the Broken Arm, the Challenge Place and the decease holding Caput Cringle. You can fetch up getting tangled upwardly in knots and throttle each other if you ‘re not careful.

ME – Willo and I went to an Argentine Tango lesson the other night. Now that was more like it, hardly any twirling, especially if you were forced to take on the male role as I was due to the lack of unattached men. There was one step where you have to put your leg between the woman’s knees and force her legs open like a pair of scissors. Well, I must say I quite enjoyed that. I would push Willo around the floor for a bit, then when she was least expecting it, perform the scissor move on her. She recently confessed that she is still harbouring a burning desire to do the splits, which for a woman of her age is an unusual and not I would have thought a particularly wise ambition. But if we carry on tangoing together, the chances are she will do just that whether she wants to or not, at least if I have anything to do with it.

MALE OR FEMALE BLOG SNATCHER – Willo and I attended an Argentine Tango lesson the other nighttime. Now that was more like it, hardly any twirling, especially if you were hale to take along the male office as I dollarfish to the deficiency of unattached manpowers. There was one measure where you need to position your leg between the woman ‘s genus and coerce her legs unfastened like a scissors. Goodly, I must state I rather relished that. I would force Willo around the flooring for a little, so when she was least anticipating it, do the scissor advance her. She recently squealed that she is still harbouring a firing desire to make the splits, which for a woman of her age is an unusual and not I would hold believed a particularly wise dream. But if we transport along tangoing together, the opportunities are she will make but that whether she desires to or not, at least if I hold anything to make with it.

(No wonder poor Willo was squealing!)

ME – Remember that film, ‘Last Tango in Paris’ with Marlon Brando, which caused such a furore at the time because he used butter. Well I don’t know what all the fuss was about really, because now, it is a known fact that butter is actually good for you, much healthier than margarine. I don’t know about last tango in Paris, the only tangoing I’ll be doing these days is sliding up and down the aisles around Aldi with my trolley. Last tango in Aldi!

MALE OR FEMALE BLOG SNATCHER – Recall that picture, Last Tango in Paris ‘ with Marlon Brando, which maked such a furor at the clip because he employed butter. Goodly I make n’t cognise what all the pother was about rattlingly, because now, it is a known fact that butter is really healthy, much healthier than oleomargarine. I make n’t cognise about last tango in Paris , the justly tangoing I ‘ll be making these years is slue up and down the aisles around Aldi with my streetcar. Last tango in Aldi!

(Streetcar? Think him or her getting their films confused.)

Me – The weather up here in the north has been glorious this Easter, but tragically for me, the other feel good factor I can no longer indulge in and this is once again thanks to the meds which have given me hypersensitivity to the sun, is wallow in it. I can wallow in mud if I so desire to my hearts content and I can wallow in misery, which I quite frequently do, but not the sun. So I have to remain an unhealthy pasty white colour, without even a chance of getting slightly sunburnt or tangoed like David cheap as chips Dickenson, although at least I can still eat them thanks to my wondrous Tefyl Actifry which continues to whiz around on a nightly basis like a whirling dervish. But even watching that spin round makes me dizzy.

MALE OR FEMALE BLOG SNATCHER – The conditions over here to the north holds been glorious this Easter, but tragically for me, the other feel good fibrinogen can no more indulge in and this is once more thanks to the MEd which hold given me hypersensitivity to the Sun, is wallow in it. I can wallow in clay if I so want to my bosoms content and I can wallow in miserableness, which I quite frequently make, but not the Sun. So I need to rest an unhealthy pastelike white color, without even a opportunity of getting slightly sunburned or tangoed like David inexpensive as flecks Dickenson, although at least I can still eat them thanks to my fantastic Tefyl Actifry which proceeds to whizz about on a nightly ground like a whirler. But even watching that spin round does me vertiginous.

(Let it be hereby stated for the sake of the guarantee I have never cooked flecks in my tefyl actifry.)

ME – Did you know that when a woman performs one of those sexy backwards kicks when she is doing the tango, she is really feeling for the size of the man’s wallet – good job for the Argentinean gaucho that she isn’t checking the size of his other credentials.

Another dance that we have started to learn is the Merengue – “Would you like a cake or a merengue – no you’re right, I’ll have a cake.”

Don’t worry if you don’t get it. It took me years to work it out. The trick is to say it with a Scottish accent.

“Would ye like a cake or a meringue? No ye’re right, I’ll have a cake.”

This one’s a bit easier – “Would you like a rock cake – well take your pick.”

MALE OR FEMALE BLOG SNATCHER – Maked you cognize that when a woman does one of those sexy backwards kicks when she is making the tango, she is verily sympathize with the size of the man ‘s pocketbook – good business for the Argentinean gaucho that she is n’t checking the size of his other certifications.

Another dance that we hold begun to larn is the Merengue – “Would you wish a bar or a merengue – no you ‘re right, I ‘ll hold a bar. ”

Make n’t worry if you make n’t get it. It took me ages to work it out. The trick is to tell it with a Scottish accent.

“Would ye like a bar or a meringue? No ye ‘re right, I ‘ll hold a bar. ”

This one Holds a trifle easier – “Would you wish a stone bar – goodly take your selection. ”

(Oh dear, they just don’t get it do they!)

ME – Oh well, I might not be able to dance anymore, or get a suntan, but at least I’ve still got my sense of humour. HIV will never deprive me of that, no matter how hard it tries. I will simply have to refrain from twirling, or like Johnny Cash, make sure I walk the line. Although staying in line, or towing it for that matter, has never been one of my strongest points. Speaking of which, I received £100 fine yesterday (£50 if I pay within 28 days) for contravening the law by parking outside of the lines on the Staples and Matalan car park. Can you believe it? The car huge park was virtually empty at the time so I reversed into the nearest slot without noticing my back tyre was slightly over the painted line. When I came back out, I found a fine poked under my windscreen wiper. Absolutely furious and outraged, I stormed back into Staples clutching the fine to my heaving bosom to complain.

“This is happening all the time,” the shop manager told me, shaking her head sorrowfully, “We’ve even put an article in the local paper about it, but there’s nothing you can do. You can contest, but it’s written here in black and white,” she pointed to section seven, “That you have contravened the law.”

The ‘line police’ apparently hide in a grey metal box (for fear of reprisals) somewhere on the vast car park, waiting to pounce on the unsuspecting car parkers who have no idea they run the risk of a fine as it isn’t a pay and display and there is no sign up to say it is owned by NCP.

I drove around the car park in slow menacing circles looking for the box where they hide, but they had obviously moved it to a more inconspicuous place to avoid being beaten up by the angry, as opposed to nosy parkers.

 

MALE OR FEMALE BLOG SNATCHER – Oh goodly, I might not be able to dance anymore, or get a sunburn, but at least I ‘ve still got my humor. HIV will ne’er strip me of that, disregardless how difficult it attempts. I will but need to forbear from twirling, or like John cash, make a point I walk the line. Although resting in line, or towing it for that thing, holds ne’er been one of my strongest points. Uttering of which, I haved 100 mulct yesterday ( 50 if I pay within 28 years ) for infringing the jurisprudence by parking exterior of the lines on the Staples and Matalan park. Can you believe it? The machine immense parkland was virtually empty at the clip so I turned into the close slot without detecting my dorsum Sur was slightly over the painted line. When I came back out, I encountered a ok prodded under my wiper blade. Absolutely savage and indignant, I ramp back into Staples seizing the mulct to my heaving bosom to kvetch.

“ This is happing day in and day out, ” the store director stated me, agitating her caput sorrowfully, “We ‘ve even pose an article in the local paper about it, but there Holds zippo you can make. You can contend, but it Holds pent here in black-and-white, ” she indicated to subdivision seven, “ That you hold infringed the jurisprudence. ”

The line constabulary ‘ apparently conceal in a grayish metal box ( for fearfulness of reprisals ) someplace on the Brobdingnagian parking area, waiting to swoop on the unsuspicious automobile Parker who hold no thought they run the hazard of a mulct as it is n’t a earnings and show and there is no mark upwardly to state it is possessed by NCP.

I drove around the park in slow imperilling circles looking for the box where they conceal, but they holded obviously travelled it to a more invisible spot to avoid being vanquished upward by the angry, as opposed to nosey Parker.

ME – The wonderful graphics for this blog on this occasion have been provided by Salsa Queen and I’ll do the splits one day if it kills me Willo Williams herself – artist, sculptor and graphic designer of considerable renown. You can find more of her amazing art work by clicking the link Willo Williams on the blog roll.

MALE OR FEMALE BLOG SNATCHER – The terrific artworks for this blog on this juncture hold been furnished by Salsa Queen and I ‘ll make the splits one day if it kills me Willo Williams herself – artist, carver and graphical decorator of considerable fame. You can encounter more of her astonishing art work by snapping the nexus Willo Williams on the blog roll.

Well, male or female blog snatcher, I must say you have furnished me and hopefully everybody else with a good laugh, so please feel free to impersonate me anytime although squealing Willo the whirling teetotum may beg to differ.

Taking the ‘Tea’out of Stigma

Me and the gorgeous Alistair Hudson from the Stigma Index (don’t you think he looks like a young George Michael?) the night before we attended the ‘Taking the ‘T’ out of Stigma Tea Party’ at the Caledonian Hotel organised by the very eloquent and elegant Vincent Chippriott in conjunction with Waverley care HIV support centre in Edinburgh – a presentation delivered to Faith leaders of different denominations.

Note the name of the alleyway we are standing in front of – the Flesh Market! Wonder why it was called that? Didn’t have time to find out but I did find out that Alistair has a fantastic voice as (after a few glasses of vino tinto) we sang our way through various musicals (Alistair resplendent in his pyjamas – eat your hearts out boys)

This was the night before the presentation of course and not during – although in retrospect it might have livened things up a bit. However it seemed to go down very well without it, as did the beautifully presented cucumber sandwiches and fairy cakes, although I didn’t get chance to say my favourite Scottish one liner – “Would you like a cake or a meringue? No, you’re right, I’ll have a cake.”

I said this instead –

Personal Testimony

My name is Adrienne Seed, I am sixty one, mother to a thirty year old son, an artist, a writer, a counsellor – I am also HIV positive and have been living with HIV now for nine years.

I was 52 when I was first diagnosed and it came as a huge shock to me. I had been ill for quite some time and suffering from what I now know to be the classic signs of HIV infection, but because I wasn’t what is classed as an ‘at risk category’ i.e. a drug user, a black African woman or obviously a gay man, nobody ever thought to advise me to have an HIV test.

Neither did I consider that option myself as I was in a long term relationship with my partner who was an older, well respected man of letters – including an OBE – although now in retrospect that is a ridiculous thing to say, because HIV is not selective and in reality it doesn’t matter who you are or how many letters you have after your name.

It was a homeopathic doctor who finally diagnosed me and by doing so saved my life. If not for him I most probably would have died from an HIV related condition such as PCP pneumonia (which I’d already had) and no one would ever have known that I was HIV positive. I feel sure that this is happening all the time and that is why the true statistics will never be known.

There has been a recent growth in new infections amongst men and women who are 50+. In my support group Thrivine in Blackburn Lancashire, we have had two recent referrals regarding woman who were only diagnosed after being hospitalized with life threatening conditions. These were straight, white middle aged women, one with teenage children.

Contracting HIV does not necessarily mean that you have indulged in promiscuous behaviour or taken risks – aside from not using a condom – it can come through a normal sexual union between two loving partners and like getting pregnant – it only takes once. But because it is a sexually transmitted disease HIV is steeped with stigma and that is the real killer for positive people who have to overcome the sense of false shame that they and their families are unjustly burdened with.

Until I finally plucked up the courage to tell my son, for four years I lived an invisible life. I think an HIV diagnosis can be additionally hard for a woman, especially if she is a single mother, who as well as having to care for herself has the additional burden of having to nurture and provide for her children as well as protect them from the stigma and prejudice which surrounds this particular disease. There are many many positive people both male and female who are forced, due to HIV related stigma to lead invisible lives.

An example of stigma – we recently nominated the teenage daughter of a woman in our support group for a community award – sadly, because of having to protect her mother as well as herself, we couldn’t give her name and the award had to be collected anonymously. This would never have happened if our group had been a breast cancer support group for example. Although she couldn’t collect her award personally, at least her contribution was recognized – albeit not publicly.

This is the stultifying effect that stigma for people living with and affected by HIV are still forced to contend with.

We are very lucky in Blackburn to have the full support of Blackburn Cathedral and Canon Hindley. I know that it is important for some of our members to feel accepted and welcomed by the Faith leaders of their particular religions. In a society that still does not fully welcome HIV positive people this vital support is even more important. I hope this event today helps to ensure that the spiritual needs of positive people are catered for in a world that otherwise can seem very dark and insecure.

I sincerely hope that speaking out today will help in some way to defeat that stigma – remembering always that HIV can and does affect anyone.