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Trail Riding etc with an HIV Infected Person

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  • Welcome to the bb. I can understand your reluctance to let people know that you are HIV positive. I think it is your choice who you tell, and when you are comfortable doing so. That being said, I also believe that it is everyones responsability to educate themselves about the risk of bloodborn pathogens. As it has been said before, there are some other diseases that are far more contagious than HIV. If you are the type of person that stops to help people in need, then you should be responsable enough to know "how" to help (ie: get first aid and CPR education)so you are actually a help and not a hinderance. You should also know how to protect yourself and be prepared at all times to do so. I carry a first aid kit (a rather elaborate one since I was a FF for years) complete with gloves and goggles and non rebreather mask. My trail riding kit would have gloves and bandaging equipment. However, I am also the type of person that would be willing to risk my life to protect or save someone else. So if you did get hurt and I were without my gloves etc, I would not hesitate to help you. If you were concious, bleeding and told me you were HIV positive, I would still do what needed to be done. I think that everyone needs to make that decision about what risks they are willing to take to help someone else, because the truth is you never know what contagious disease someone may have.
    I think you have heard from many people who would welcome you HIV and all. I hope that one day you will be comfortable talking with those you know and see each day about HIV. Maybe you can get comfort and strength from those friends.
    Wish you all the best.
    I\'m not crazy. I\'m just a little unwell.


    • I am impressed with your bravery, Wild Filly. I wish you nothing but continued health and happiness.

      I agree that you should have some sort of medical file at the barn where you ride; heck, so should everyone. I am on medications that significantly affect how my body metabolizes other drugs (for example, I have trouble with some OTC analgesics, and must take smaller doses), so I try to let a couple other people at the barn know. While I am more than happy to tell someone about them and explain why I am on them, I still have some of my own fears about the drugs I am on. HIV is much more stigmatized than mental illness, but I still suggest to you that you use a written letter to explain to everyone you wish to tell, if anyone, in hopes that this might alleviate some of your discomfort. I found that typing or writing allowed me to say what I needed to say to an apparently inanimate object. I told myself that I could not control other's reactions, and could only hope for the best and educate them if needed.

      You are more than welcome to ride with me; eyes up, kick on!
      The plural of anecdote is not data.
      Eventing Yahoo In Training


      • Original Poster

        Thank you all for your support. I will find the courage one day to tell everyone. Until then, the ones who know now are all I need. You guys are just the best! I'd like to share my email if anyone wants to email me, I can be reached at stayin_alive_2000@yahoo.com.


        I'm thirsty anyway, so bring on the rain...JoDee Messina
        i am so blessed...Martina McBride


        • Hi Again Faith,

          I responded to this thread about 5 pages back and after reading the balance of the thread just had to post again. I think your initial response that we would not acccept you was as far from the truth as it could get. I have not been a member that long, but one thing I have learned is that all the people on this board are great!!! Everybody supports everybody in good times and bad times. There have been little cat fights, but what "family" doesn't have those sometimes, especially "families" with so many members and personalities. When times are bad everyone pulls together to make them better (see the Aiden threads for more proof of this).

          I for one have added your address to my address book and if your are ever in the Metro Detroit area look me up (even if you don't have your horsie with you, we have several at the barn that could use some excercise). You do realize that if you hooked up a trailer, loaded horsie in it and traveled across the country right now you would be able to ride in a different place with a different BBer for about two years straight. If you want to talk my e-mail address is ttldr@aol.com.
          Pictures of my boy & girl are at:




          • Hi I think it is very important to let people know in some way. I know you would be careful but some of us (*me*) don't think about HIV and such when someone is hurt we just dive in. If you were unconcious and I didn't know you but saw you get hurt I would be putting my life at risk. I know I am an idiot but I have done it before it's a reflex to help without thinking "saftey first". My friends are trying to cure me of it.

            Would it be possible for the barn managment to send out a notice about administering first aid on the property with a warning that HIV is a reality in daily life and also at the barn so saftey precausions should be taken. aka latex gloves used and stored in a central location. I don't know sounds good in theory.

            Good Health to you!!

            Edited to say You can come tail riding with me too.
            p.s. Thanks for this post I think I will start carrying my own (human) first aid kit stocked with gloves.

            [This message was edited by BumbleBee on Jan. 28, 2003 at 11:39 PM.]


            • I have been lurking here since this thread started. I was really hoping someone would also notice and say something...

              First of all, WELCOME Wild Filly, you are a brave and inspirational person to us all.. by posting your story you have truly shown what the powerful bond between a horse and a human can accomplish!!!

              Now, I am not starting anything, no flaming, but did any of you notice that a junior posted here and does not know how HIV is transmitted. Am I wrong to be bothered by this?

              Quantum Physics meet Dressage...Superposition Position


              • Original Poster

                I must have missed that, I'd like to make it clear to that person. I don't want any false idea's about transmission coming out of this and I know it has been mentioned that HIV is not as easily spread as other diseases. It all depends on the situation. But the bottom line is that you are at risk if you have ANY kind of open cut, even teeny tiny cuts you may not be aware of and come in contact in that area with bodily fluids especially blood from an infected individual. The virus continues to live outside the body, for how long is under debate but it has been proven to live for a matter of minutes. Please don't take any chances and protect yourself, there is no turning back once you are infected. We are not talking about a cold or flu that will go away, we are talking about a devastating virus that will kill you. It is a very serious matter and while I'm on my little soapbox, ladies, please know that heterosexual women are at a greater risk from getting HIV from a man than it is for a man to get it from a women. A woman is at a much greater risk via sex. Sorry for the length...it's a touchy subject.

                I'm thirsty anyway, so bring on the rain...JoDee Messina
                i am so blessed...Martina McBride


                • Wild Filly, I take my hat off to you.

                  All I can share with you is my own experience. When I took a header off my horse, I cut the back of my head open, and amount of blood was amazing and instant. I am sure no one would have taken the time to read a medical alert bracelet (same time as I did CPR on someone who was dying, it never would have occured to me to check a bracelet, she needed help then and not two seconds later).

                  Being the black and white kind of gal that I am, all I can say is how I think I would feel if I was wearing your shoes: I would tell them, and if they were too narrow minded to want to hang with you because of that, I'd think (OSBOURNE WORD) and (ANOTHER OSBOURNE WORD) and (THIRD OSBOURNE WORD), because you don't need people like that in your life anyhow. There are a lot of us who would welcome you with open arms, and you'd have much more fun hanging with us anyhow.

                  You GO, girl!


                  • Original Poster

                    Thanks Coreene, you guys are just fabulous! One thing that hasn't been mentioned on this subject (that your email reminded me of) is when there is an accident with blood involved, that blood is infectious even if it is dry. Clean up after the accident is just as important as far as protecting yourself. A bottle of Clorox should be kept near by if possible. It is the only thing that kills the virus immediatly. And really you only need a solution of two parts water to one part clorox in a spray bottle or something. It's hard to think of these things. You always have to be aware, not obsessed, just aware.

                    I'm thirsty anyway, so bring on the rain...JoDee Messina

                    [This message was edited by Wild Filly on Jan. 29, 2003 at 12:16 AM.]

                    [This message was edited by Wild Filly on Jan. 29, 2003 at 12:18 AM.]
                    i am so blessed...Martina McBride


                    • Hey Coreene,

                      Here is one for you... Oaktree in San Dimas! Please tell me you remember that place, I am starting to question my age!

                      Quantum Physics meet Dressage...Superposition Position


                      • Ditto what everyone has said. I think it's great that you're coming here and telling your story. Sometimes people get a little too far removed from the presence of invisible minorities.

                        I think/hope that people are educated enough that they would procede with extreme caution when faced with ANYONE's bodily fluids. The risks of HIV have been so thoroughly drummed into our heads (possibly to a fault) that as long as you supply gloves, I think you are being more than fair. So I think you should feel absolutely free to tell or not tell anyone you want. As a lesbian I am well aware of my need to come out to people on my terms. Again, kudos.
                        Marge, with today\'s gasoline prices, we can\'t afford NOT to buy a pony!


                        • <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
                          Now, I am not starting anything, no flaming, but did any of you notice that a junior posted here and does not know how HIV is transmitted. Am I wrong to be bothered by this?


                          I thought that was odd as well, and an interesting point to bring up.

                          HIV, Hep, and other diseases of that nature can be passed through blood and other bodily fluids such as saliva transferring through an open wound, sexual intercourse, blood transfusions, etc...

                          I feel that these kinds of diseases are so prevolent that most of us know someone who has them. That said, i always make sure i have latex gloves at the barn for injuries, not just for diseases but for prevention of regular infections to said person.

                          I admire your strength Wildfilly and you must not be ashamed or embarrased to tell people. But i do know that it can be embarrasing to announce your weaknesses.

                          I'm not comparing myself to you but i have been embarrassed a number of times about the fact that i have asthma. I know it doesn't sound bad but when i was growing up, nobody had it. I felt very much the outsider and people were always saying "Don't you think you should take it easy?". It got irritating and i was humiliated at shows when people thought i placed badly because of my condition. (I was like "Heck, no. I placed bad because i suck! Just like everyone else!! Teehee...)

                          Good luck and i will also offer my email if you feel like ranting! spankew@rogers.com

                          Tis better to be silent and thought an idiot then to open ones mouth and remove all doubt.
                          Tis better to be silent and thought an idiot then to open ones mouth and remove all doubt.


                          • Original Poster

                            It is easy to speak freely in a forum like this. I don't have to stand right in front of you.

                            I'm thirsty anyway, so bring on the rain...JoDee Messina
                            i am so blessed...Martina McBride


                            • I am going to vote NO. You should not feel compelled to inform anyone of your health status, unless you get to a point where you cannot safely ride without being worried about falling off or such.

                              As the daughter of a Pathologist who runs a hospital laboratory and a blood bank, I have grown up around the phrase "Universal Precautions." I (try to) treat any bodily flood as if it is potentially carrying an infectious disease.

                              I think it is naive of us to assume in today's world that there aren't others out there, and specifically riders, who are carrying the HIV or AIDs virus. Who is to say that such riders aren't even aware of their status?

                              I am going to go out on a limb here and venture to say I guess that in the 6,000 of us there is someone out there who rides at a barn where there is either an HIV infected rider or employee of sorts. Whether this person knows this or not, I think that the statistics are on my side.

                              Keep this in perspective. ALWAYS try to assume the worst with anyone.

                              Here's a fact sheet from Canada about Universal Percautions: http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/preve.../universa.html

                              Here's an American version (from a school system): http://www.rcs.k12.in.us/eses/univer...recautions.htm

                              Another aspect to bring up is the "Sharps" container. This is why it is so important for everyone to properly dispose of any needles (etc) at horse shows and even around the barn. We don't know everyone's status, it's not only improbable it's a violation of their privacy. But we can take certain steps to insure the best possible protection for ourselves.

                              formerly Emily A My karma ran over your dogma.


                              • This is probably the most important thread i've ever seen on this board. I hope that everyone is reading it, and you should share it with friends and loved ones.

                                A little nonsense now and then, is relished by the wisest men...
                                CANTER West Virginia


                                • Having had Blood-born Pathogens training numerous times since I worked in Schools, I am actually more concerned with Hepatitis C, since it can live outside the body for several weeks (i.e. in dried blood residue) and most don't even know they have it.
                                  One of my co-workers stuffed a pair of latex gloves in a film canister and gave one to each of us. You can easily do this for your purse, car, tack box, wherever. For those who know they would jump right in to help regardless of risk, you can buy a CPR mouthpiece from First Aid supply places. Maybe our medical members could give recommendations as to types.
                                  Our barn keeps boxes of gloves in with the other horse/people medical supplies and they go to all the shows. We're now in the habit of using them to treat even little boo-boos.
                                  Wild Filly, you shouldn't feel forced to tell everyone, but I would vote that it would be wise to let at least your trainer know for your own safety. And I would happily ride with you or have you in my home anytime.


                                  • The challenge is to maintain your right to privacy while protecting the welfare of others.

                                    Thinking back to accidents that I've witnessed, both in and out of the horse world, you would seemingly have to tell EVERYONE in order to truly ensure against the transference of the disease. That said, in the case of serious accidents, emergency services are very quick to respond; and, if anything, civilians who rush in to assist often end up doing more harm than good.

                                    I think the chances of you sustaining an injury while trail-riding which may result in the loss of blood and the possibility that you infect any of your fellow riders is so remote that I'd tell only those who truly do need to know - and with whom you are comfortable sharing the information.

                                    My best friend died of AIDS ten years ago within a year of diagnosis with HIV so I'm painfully familiar with the challenges presented by both the disease and social hysteria.

                                    I wish you well, WildFilly - and welcome to the BB!


                                    • There are no guarantees in this world. There are many, many people walking around who don't know that they are already infected. Why should this be different? If you are going to help a person who is injured you need to follow basic rules of safety, which means you protect yourself from their blood and other bodily fluids. It shouldn't matter if you know they have something or not.

                                      No one should have to tell anyone. At least that's my opinion, and I've had a very close friend die from AIDS/ARC.

                                      It's all about ME, ME, ME!!! (The only signature worthy of a real DQ.)
                                      "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"


                                      • Welcome to the BB, Wild Filly!

                                        What a valuable and thought provoking thread. I think you should tell one person, preferably your barn manager if you think that person will be okay with the information. While it would be nice to think that everyone will take the proper precautions in case of an accident, in reality I think most people won't. Having at least one person forewarned seems like a good precaution to me.

                                        A dozen years ago my best friend was diagnosed HIV+. We showed dogs together (think lots of sharp scissors lying around, etc.) Everyone just bought latex gloves, stuffed a couple of pairs in their grooming boxes and got on with things. Hopefully you will get a similar response.


                                        • Welcome to COTH

                                          I just wanted to say that I really admire you for being so courageous.

                                          Thank you for giving us someone to look up to.

                                          I don't really have anything to add except maybe seconding the idea of a med alert bracelet or wearing a medical armband.

                                          "Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past me I will turn to see fear's path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."~Dune~

                                          [i]Only great sorrow or great joy can reveal your truth.~ Kahlil Gibran
                                          My current project of local food/sustainability http://community.fingerlakesfoodie.com