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Trail Riding etc with an HIV Infected Person

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  • #21
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Wild Filly:
    Do you know how difficult it is to tell someone? Whether it's an old or new friend, it is one of the most difficult things I have to face. Because at that moment that you tell someone that you are infected with HIV, you find out if they are truly your friend or not.
    It's a scary moment, some people can't handle it.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I think that would be so hard. My good childhood friend just used to suffer over telling people. It's a crappy way to find out who your friends really are, but in another sense, you find out who you can really depend on. Some people don't understand that you are a person, not just a disease. It's a subject that I remember well....


    • Original Poster

      Thank you M! Whenever I have to tell someone, I usually physically get sick. When I had to tell my Dad, I was vomiting for three days, nonstop and ended up in the hospital.
      You just never know how somone will react.
      i am so blessed...Martina McBride


      • #23
        This is a subject that hits very close to my own heart. A good friend of mine from the past is HIV+ and chose to keep his illness a secret from almost everyone because he was so afraid of the backlash that he might have to face if he revealed this issue to the public. We must remember that although we would all like to think we would say such an illness would not affect how we treated someone, sometimes real life is different. I KNOW how it effects me and I KNOW how I act and react about the situation. Been there, done that... I guess what I am trying to get around to saying is that no one should feel that MUST tell anoyone about their condition (IMHO). While it would be wonderful for the reality to be that HIV+ people would be treated totally equal, this simply is not the case. We aren't that many years removed from the Ryan White story and many others that were along the same lines. I feel you are doing an excellent thing if you are telling anyone and if you do prepare for the unlikely event that you are injured. Until that injury occurs and someone has the possibility of being exposed, I don't feel you should have to disclose your condition to anyone that you don't want to. JMHO guys!


        • #24
          Welcome to the BB, Wild Filly.

          My first gut reaction, before reading the choices thoroughly, was HELL NO! It's no one's business if you're just riding with them, for heaven's sake. But, then I read more and realized that perhaps that wasn't the best choice. I think you're being very responsible in having the kit w/ gloves and letting a few people know.

          When I first started running rescue with a very active volunteer rescue squad, we didn't wear gloves routinely. I even gave mouth-to-mouth because the person with the mask and O2 was taking too damn long to get in the house.

          As the years passed, we started disinfecting like crazy between calls and ALWAYS wore gloves. We did appreciate it when callers told us someone had an infectious disease of any kind, just so we could take even more precautions. If blood were evident, sometimes we used two pairs of gloves if we knew the person had an infectious disease. We didn't care if is was HIV or some other disorder. We did not treat the patients any differently, possibly because we WERE more educated than your normal person on the street. Also, we had a responsibility to other patients, thus we had to take care of ourselves.

          Sorry to have run on here. Anyway, bless you and keep you safe and ride on there, girl!
          \"Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion. It seizes a person whole and, once it has done so, he will have to accept that his life will be radically changed.\" -- Ralph Waldo E


          • #25
            Good answers! You can certainly ride with me any time - of course, you would have to come to Ireland to do it...

            I like the idea of carrying an emergency first aid kit with you on your trail rides - maybe you don't have to tell everyone you are hiv+, instead, point out the first aid kit, so everyone KNOWS it is there.

            A medical alert bracelet is a VERY good idea.

            Good luck, and welcome to the boards.
            co-author of 101 Jumping Exercises & The Rider's Fitness Program; Soon to come: Dead Ringer - a tale of equine mystery and intrique! Former Moderator!


            • Original Poster

              So far, everyone has been very supportive. I have told my better half (and that better half is negative by the way), my family and four friends.
              I just wish I could say something, when i dont show up for something because I'm sick they don't understand. When i can't keep up with everyone, they think I'm wimpy.
              If I tell people, they coddle me and always bring it up, i hate that.
              at least they care, i am lucky.
              i am so blessed...Martina McBride


              • #27
                As a nurse I have learned to treat everyone "as if they were HIV+". This is a standard phrase in my hospital to remind all to use protection where any bodily fluid is involved. This should be a mantra for all.

                Do you tell people you ride in the car with? (Also very dangerous!)

                I would tell my close friends at the barn. I do not feel it is necessary to tell everyone you ride with. Unfortunately stigma still surounds this disease.

                Stay well and kick on!


                • Original Poster

                  Seamus, what if I fell off, was out cold and bleeding. What if I hadn't told them? What if something happens?
                  i am so blessed...Martina McBride


                  • Original Poster

                    They might think, oh, she's married, she wouldn't have HIV or anything...there are some very uneducated people out there and don't know enough to protect themselves.
                    i am so blessed...Martina McBride


                    • #30
                      You could wear a medical armband like the eventers wear. If someone asks just tell them it contains personal medical information and you are just being cautious. That way you don't have to advertise to the world but the information would be there for someone who was treating you.

                      I wouldn't have a problem riding with you.


                      • #31
                        Welcome! This is a difficult subject, but I admire you for facing it head on and not trying to hide "until something happens". Personally, I would tell the trainer and stable manager in case of an accident at the stables. Riding out, I would make sure one person in the group knew, but other than that it's really no one's business.

                        Kick on and stay well. Jingles for you!


                        • #32
                          Hmm, this is an excellent topic!

                          I don't think it's any different than someone who has say, diabetes. Could you wear a med alert type of thing? Otherwise, no, it is no ones business but yours.

                          It's no different than walking down the street and helping someone in need. I worked in a hospital for a brief time and there the standard is universal precautions. I'd treat a stanger in the same way. Do what I reasonably could to protect myslef since I wouldn't know if the stranger had something infectious or not.

                          Welcome to the boards!


                          There is nothing so grand as to fly on the back of a horse!
                          ~* Be kind to one another *~


                          • #33
                            Perhaps you are right.

                            The last (and only) time this happened in my presence (having been on horseback for over 30 years!) I grabbed what was handy-icky, sweaty bandana - and wrapped a bloody wrist - no contact on my part.

                            But, a reminder - the virus is spread via bodily fluid to an open host - i.e. another cut, abraded skin (I know I spelled that wrong), cuts in the mouth. I am skipping how it is spread via sex and needles because we are talking about riding here.

                            That being said, the legitmate worry would be if you were -God forbid-to stop breathing and somebody were to do mouth-to-mouth resucutation. So few people, unfortunately, know CPR that it is more likely that a cell phone would be employed here to call 911.


                            • #34
                              Welcome to the boards. I am sure you will find that there will be no prejudice against you here. I voted for the "Tell one person..." choice, but I cannot imagine how difficult that may be for you in some situations, particularly since you are obviously very capable and not in need of any coddling except for those specific situations. I would recommend telling your coach (or someone else who is always at the barn) and at least one person whom you ride with regularly. If they are unable to accompany you on the ride, you will have to inform someone else. I'm sure you probably fear that it will turn into some sort of soap opera at your barn (this would bother me) and unfortunately I don't have any advice for that except that perhaps you shouldn't ride with loudmouths - then again, that goes for all of us. To echo Elgund2, I wouldn't have a problem joining you on a ride. You seem like a lovely person. Best of luck

                              Proud Member Of The Canadian Clique
                              Proud Member Of The Canadian Clique


                              • #35
                                As a trainer/barn manager, I would want to know any medical issues my students/boarders may have that I should be aware of.

                                I've taken quite a few Athletic Training courses for my major, and with pretty much any athletic activity, the chance of transmission is there. I know it is pretty darn unlikely, but God forbid something happened to you and you couldn't communicate.

                                A dear friend of mine is HIV+ and he too has a very difficult time telling people about it. It's completely understandable, as people are not always so rational and fear kicks in before common sense.

                                I recommend telling the person that you normally ride with, and a trainer/barn manager.


                                I would sooner fail than not be among the greatest
                                -- John Keats
                                I would sooner fail than not be among the greatest
                                -- John Keats


                                • Original Poster

                                  My riding buddy that knows says she has never seen anyone bleeding froma riding injury. That makes me feel a bit better but you never know.
                                  I just hope I can ride like cactuskate did, right up to the end.
                                  i am so blessed...Martina McBride


                                  • #37
                                    Personally, I'd want to know so I could have gloves or whatever with me personally. If you were on the ground bleeding, it'd be quicker to get the stuff I needed out of my saddle bags, especially if your horse decided to head back to the barn without you. The medical id braclet is a good idea, too, but if you're my friend and out of it on the ground, I probably wouldn't think to check for it.

                                    Other than that, I would have no problems riding with you. I wish you continued good health.
                                    "Dogs are man's best friend. Cats are man's adorable little serial killer." -- theoatmeal.com


                                    • #38
                                      Wow, Wild Filly. I can't imagine how hard it would be to tell people you are HIV postive.

                                      I don't think you should have to tell anyone other than your partner and I think your immediate family deserves to know. I am sure it was incredibly difficult to tell your parents. I am glad you are surrounded by a strong support group.
                                      To answer your question about who you should be required to tell.
                                      First of all, as you know, there are those who will react negatively. Although, that is their problem, you don't need the aggravation. I wouldn't tell.

                                      I do think a bracelet or medical card would be an excellent idea. Or if you mention your first aid kit to whoever you ride with you can put a note in there as well.

                                      I checked your profile and we are the same age. I wish you strength and courage....and lots of happy trails.

                                      - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
                                      Et vera incessu patuit dea. (Aenid I, 405)
                                      And her stride revealed she was a true goddess.
                                      ~I LOVE my mare.~

                                      As is our confidence, so is our capacity. ~W. Hazlitt

                                      Gift Hill Farm


                                      • Original Poster

                                        You guys are the BEST! This is the coolest board on the net! And the kindest people.
                                        Thank you for your kind words.
                                        i am so blessed...Martina McBride


                                        • #40
                                          I think I was the first to vote!

                                          Seamus said what I wanted to say. One should treat everyone as if they could have HIV. There are tons of people who don't even know they have it. Wild Filly, whether you tell people or not is up to you. I would never hold it against anyone if they didn't tell me.

                                          I have lost a few friends an many acquaintances to HIV. I pray for your good health; some do survive.
                                          The truth is rarely pure, and never simple. Oscar Wilde