Sick Humor: Sometimes you just gotta have a sense of humor! — The HIV Edition


Laughter is the best medicine. Top Ten Worst Comments Commonly Made To Someone Who’s HIV+:

1) “Well, you know, it’s not the death sentence it once was.” Really?! That sure is good to hear, ’cause I thought I was a goner! *wipes brow*

2) “Have you Googled it? There’s lots of good information out there.” Nope. I’m just flying blind by the seat of my pants. I like surprises and figure ‘no news is good news’, right?

3) “Do you know who infected you?” Although sexual transmission is the most probable means of infection, it’s not the only one. Just sayin’… But do you want to tell me about everybody you’ve had sex with? Uh huh…didn’t think so.

4) “I’m so glad I’m not a gay guy and only have to worry about not getting pregnant.” Yeah, I know what you mean. Like all those babies in Africa, right? Crazy, slutty babies…

5) “Did you hear? They’ve cured AIDS! There’s this guy in Germany and they totally cured him.” First off, it’s HIV — not AIDS, you moron. Second, that case is a VERY specific instance and is quite possibly impossible to duplicate in any other human being. So, you may as well tell me they’ve found a cure for my disease by mixing unicorn burps with pixie kisses.

6) “Have you read about holistic treatments?” I have! Have you read about voodoo witch doctors?

7) “Are you sure you should be doing/eating/drinking that? You know, because it’s probably not good for you.” I don’t know. Are you sure your fat-ass needs that third slice of pepperoni pizza…with extra cheese…because it’s probably not good for you.

8) “What’s your T-cell count?” What? Dude, if you can even SPELL ‘T-cell’, I’ll give you $5! Let alone trust that you know what one does or how many I need to have.

9) “Don’t trust those doctors. You know they’re just trying to sell you drugs, right?” Gosh, that makes me feel so much better about things! You’re a veritable ray of sunshine, aren’t you?

10) “I would never guess that you have AIDS. You look totally normal.” OK, for the last time…it’s HIV — not AIDS. And I don’t know how ‘normal’ I’ve ever been nor looked, regardless of my HIV status, but…I can tell you HIV looks like me, or your sister, or your son, or any other ‘normal’ person you can think of. Of course, not all of them as good-looking as me, but you get my point?

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Written by Jim Swimm

Jim Swimm is a “tall drink of water…with a kick!” A Texan transplant in NYC, Jim’s thirty-something, Gay, HIV+, and simply trying to make the world a better place while having a laugh or two along the way.

*Editorial note: I “met” Jim online when he said he identified with this website and with “The Spoon Theory“. I have to admit that before meeting him I did not even think of HIV as an invisible disease where people “don’t look sick”. As you can see by the post above with every bit of humor, there is a sense of truth. I know many of us living with any invisible illness can identify with some of Jim’s “answers”. I know the answers made me think and laugh which in my opinion is the best learning and awareness out there. Thanks Jim for your post and for me a giggle and an education at the same time! Hopefully Jim will continue to write for us and help represent a new part of our community. -Christine

  • Josh

    While I appreciate these myth debunking responses I think it might be better suited with less of a flippant attitude.  As someone else living with HIV I find it my responsibility to educate others.  At the very least have an open mind that people may not know the basics of HIV if they have never had to deal with it personally and might look to someone that is as a source of information.  If that person is then met with an attitude that they are an idiot for not knowing the details of HIV they will be less likely to continue asking questions in the future. 

    If we are ever going to reduce the stigma of HIV or any other invisible disease there has to be an open line of communication and a safe place for all to discuss.  That person may be curious and might then spout of some fact they think to be true in order to test the waters of asking other questions.  Making them feel like an idiot will only show them that they should keep their mouth shut and never ask another question. 

  • Leah

    I don’t have HIV, nor can I pretend to have any idea what its like… but..
    THAT WAS FREAKING FUNNY!!!!!! i needed that laugh, thank you <3

  • I have Superior Canal Dehiscence Syndrome. Many of the symptoms are similar to having vertigo all day, every day. Some symptoms mimic Meniere’s Disease. SCDS has so far been found in one-tenth of 1% of the human population. I cannot begin to tell you how many people have said to me “Oh, yea. My sister/brother/mother/father/aunt/uncle/neighbor had that. They took hydrochlorothiazide/valium/dramamine and it was gone in a few days. You’ll get over it soon.” I honestly don’t know whether to laugh or cry; whether to hit them or just shake my head and walk away (which would really cause me a problem so I try to avoid that). I know people are just trying to be helpful and just trying to show they care about your welfare, but honestly! If you don’t know anything about the subject, shut up. I love this article. Crazy slutty babies! I hope you start many of your days with a surplus of spoons.

  • Angie_stl

    Linda, I’m sorry you don’t see the humor in this article.

    Jim, thank you for sharing. I have gotten all these comments and more. Hopefully 2011 will be stupid question/comment free for all spoonies. If not, maybe we can see if the holistic doctors have something to give to the commentors to fix their stupid.

  • I don’t see the humor. The post sounds angry, even bitter; not funny. You know you can’t fix stupid, not even with insulting criticism. You just have to let it go and remember that resentment is like me taking poison and hoping you’ll die. I wish for you – a better tomorrow.

  • Thanks for the shares 🙂

  • Vickie Foster

    I wish you many ‘spoons’, Jim…

  • Thanks for the laugh Jim!! Great article and writing hope to read more from you!!

  • pax

    love this!
    i used to work at an AIDS agency in the outreach and education dept… lemme tell you… PEOPLE DONE NEED EDUCATIN’.
    i especially like the slutty babies part. =]

  • Kelly

    Thanks for the great article! If only I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard #9…


  • Crystal

    I have Nummular headaches and migraines and I hear 1/2 of those all the time. Just 2 days ago I was eating a mini choc bar and someone looked at me and asked if I should be eating it. I had to remind her again that I don’t have food triggers just weather triggers.
    After I got sick I have learned of so many invisible illnesses I’m sure all of us could use your great answers. Thank you for a laugh on a rough day.

  • Wonderful article, Jim! Thanks for the all-too-knowing smiles as I read it.
    Positively Yours,

  • Kellye

    Thanks Jim for the smiles. As I read this I imagined how it would feel to use some of these lines, adapted to my own personal bag of crap, to answer the questions, statement of “fact” that was actually pulled out of their head or their rear on the fly, assuring me that I am fine or presently will be (amazing how many psychics we have running around proclaiming healing in short order isn’t it?”). You get the point, of course.

    I do hope to read more from you.

    Fellow Texan (except I am STILL here LOL!)