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John Lindsey
7th May 2002, 18:22
Master X teaches tai chi at a local YMCA. He has a large children's class and very popular with the parents.

He tells the parents that his has been diagnosed as being infected with HIV. He contracted this (in his words) due to his "life style." He wants to continue teaching martial arts and feels that there will be no risk to the students.

You are a Parent. Do you keep your children in his martial arts class?

sean_stonehart
7th May 2002, 19:52
No. Not because of the "lifestyle" of the teacher, but the fact that taiji is a martial art. Therefore at some point, it becomes violent & with violence comes the inevitable (albeit not intentional probably) spilling of bodily fluids. A good serious push hands match can be just a violent & brutal as anything else. Gotta say NO to that one.

Soulend
7th May 2002, 19:53
I think this would probably depend on what he means by 'life-style'. If he was a homosexual, I would have no problem with my children continuing to train there. As there is unlikely to be any blood spilled at a children's tai chi class, I don't think there's much danger. If 'life-style' means intravenous drug user, then the answer would be no. If he didn't clarify what he meant, then the answer would also be no.

John Lindsey
7th May 2002, 21:29
Ok, lets say for this situation that he is Gay.

Nicolas Caron
7th May 2002, 21:34
Wow, really good question. I'd want a little more details on the "life-style" stuff. Lots of people get infected with the HIV by using injected drugs and that would concern me. Sexual orientation/habits would not matter in my decision making.

If it would be a more violent art than Tai-Chi I would probably pull my kids from the school for safety reasons. The art being taught being Tai-CHi I think it would depend on the approach the teacher has toward that art. My kids safety would be my primary concern, but I think I would invite the teacher for a coffee so I could discuss my concerns with him and see how he wants to approach teaching now that he's aware of his condition before I would make any decision.

Another thing, I'd be worried about what could have happened in class BEFORE he was aware that he was HIV-positive. Think I would make my kids pass an HIV test just to be sure.

Don Cunningham
7th May 2002, 22:07
I'm afraid I would pull my child out of class. I don't think there is much chance of infection in an art like tai chi, but you never know. I might stay in myself, but I wouldn't want to risk the life or health of my child.

We had a local jujutsu instructor die of complications from HIV. Shortly before his death, the illness became obvious. However, he informed his students only after it was clearly evident. Further, he claimed to have become infected in an accidental needle stick on the job while testing blood in a hospital several years prior. My problem is that he knew that he was HIV positive and didn't tell anyone for fear of their reaction. Personally, I think that was not right. Despite the negative reaction he expected, they all deserved to make their own choice based on the facts.

TomMarker
7th May 2002, 22:16
Assuming he is an excellent teacher (which he would if I let my kid take classes there), I wouldn't have a problem with keeping my child in the class.

I'd reward his honesty and his willingness to make his personal life well known. It would have been just as easy to keep it quiet. With medication these days, you'd be hard pressed to spot an hiv-positive individual. Assuming that we could come up with a set of precautions to follow in case of cuts, etc, I'm sure we'd be OK. Plenty of people play basketball with Magic Johnson with no problems. Get over it.

Of course, if he was a homosexual who got the disease from intravenous drug use, I would yank my kid out of the class.

The real question here is, how does one teach tai chi to kids and be successful???
:)

John Lindsey
7th May 2002, 22:51
Interesting stuff so far. When I made up this question, I thought the lifestyle question would hint at this teacher being a homosexual, without saying so outright. I didn't think being an IV drug user would be considered a lifestyle :).

Maybe it is today, so I guess we will be seeing children's books like: "My Friend: Jimmy the Junkie."

Onmitsu
7th May 2002, 23:24
There was a time that I would have said NO but being a father has changed my perspective immensely. I wouldn't risk exposing my male child to either possibility of infection (drugs, sexual abuse, or disease) I'm not saying that ALL gay Tai chi teachers are also pediphiles but what if it was the youth pastor of a church taking your kid on a summer camp or retreat? You are trusting this person not only with the physical care of your child but with his mental and spiritual development as well. Looks like my predjudice is showing but when it comes to my kid I take no chances.

Ron Rompen
8th May 2002, 00:16
I don't know enough about Tai Chi to know if there is any danger of infection during class.....so I'd have to find out more about that to make a fully informed choice.

As for AIDS itself, I have two friends now (both gay) who are positive. Neither their sexual orientation nor their illness has made any change in how I treat them, or how they treat me.

Soulend
8th May 2002, 01:37
Originally posted by Onmitsu
There was a time that I would have said NO but being a father has changed my perspective immensely. I wouldn't risk exposing my male child to either possibility of infection (drugs, sexual abuse, or disease) I'm not saying that ALL gay Tai chi teachers are also pediphiles but what if it was the youth pastor of a church taking your kid on a summer camp or retreat? You are trusting this person not only with the physical care of your child but with his mental and spiritual development as well. Looks like my predjudice is showing but when it comes to my kid I take no chances.

I can understand your concern. But from what I understand there are far fewer cases of pedophelia among otherwise gay males then there are among otherwise heterosexual males. According to what I have read it is a rare child molester (even those that prefer same-sex children) that is also attracted to adults of the same sex. There simply doesn't appear to be any correlation between the two.

As to Mr. Lindsey's post concerning drug use to be a lifestyle...it surely can be. Maybe more compelling and imprisoning than any other factor or 'lifestyle'..even sexuality.

Laotse
8th May 2002, 06:28
Interesting question. I teach taiji, as well as train with other advanced practitioners. I would have serious problems with training at an advanced level with someone who had HIV ... infection is a possibility, even if remote. We trade sweat all the time, and occasionally blood. I have a second-degree burn right now that would be susceptible to such infection. Who cares why they have it? Likelihood of transmission is the same regardless.

Now, I must point out, I've never heard of a children's taiji class. Never met a child willing to put up with it -- requires too much patience, not fast-paced enough. My own children turn up their nose at it, even after seeing it demonstrated as a martial art. So this is an imperfect example, but I think we all get the point nonetheless.

Rogier
8th May 2002, 07:19
Will why wouldn't you keep them in the class?? I think there should be no problem.. It is a Tai Chi class and as far as I understand it Tai Chi does not have hard contact, so where is the risk.

Onmitsu.. let's say the teacher is heterosexual and his lifestyle has been sleeping with lot's of women and using no protection, and he got HIV in this way...

Would you still choose to stop your children from attending??

kenshorin
8th May 2002, 09:16
Originally posted by Onmitsu
I wouldn't risk exposing my child to either possibility of infection

I agree on this part, although I probably wouldn't worry so much about the pedophilia. The truth is, t'ai chi is a physical activity; it might not have as much contact as other martial arts, but accidents can and will happen. I would not want to put my child in a predicament with a higher chance of possible contraction, especially when they would not be able to avoid potentially harmful situations when body fluids could be passed. It would be different for myself, being adult who can make the determination and take appropriate steps to prevent my own chances of contracting. A tough question however.

Blues
8th May 2002, 13:39
For the record:
- Being homosexual does not increase the likelyhood of being infected with HIV; not having safe sex does.
- Using intravenous drugs does not increase the likelyhood of being infected with HIV; exchanging needles does

Question: Should I be concerned about getting infected with HIV while playing sports?
Answer: There are no documented cases of HIV being transmitted during participation in sports. The very low risk of transmission during sports participation would involve sports with direct body contact in which bleeding might be expected to occur.

If someone is bleeding, their participation in the sport should be interrupted until the wound stops bleeding and is both antiseptically cleaned and securely bandaged. There is no risk of HIV transmission through sports activities where bleeding does not occur.

Source: http://www.thebody.com/cdc/faq/transmissionFAQ.html#fifteen (my emphasis)

Rogier
8th May 2002, 13:44
It was just given as an example...

I think everyone here understands that heterosexuals and homosexuals can get HIV...

I think I'm gonna turn the question around... so I'll post a new topic..

Onmitsu
8th May 2002, 15:41
Everyone makes very good arguments. Everything changes when it's YOUR kid on the line.

TomMarker
8th May 2002, 16:13
Originally posted by Blues
For the record:

- Using intravenous drugs does not increase the likelyhood of being infected with HIV; exchanging needles does


I think this is superfluous to the arguement. if the teacher was a drug user, I would not have my child in their classes, regardless of their needle exchanging or lack thereof. Part of teaching kids is being a role model.

Again, I will state that many HIV-positive people lead normal lives (externally) and many play sports, most notably Magic Johnson. As long as precautions are taken when blood is spilled and all open cuts/sores (on everyone involved) are covered, I see no problem.

Rogier
8th May 2002, 18:32
I have to admit you're right Onmitsu.. Ones opinion will probably change when it applies to your own child.

kenshorin
9th May 2002, 09:14
Originally posted by Blues
Answer: There are no documented cases of HIV being transmitted during participation in sports.

Would you want your child to be the first?

Also, this is a pretty bogus stat since a lot of people get diagnosed with HIV a while after contracting it, and usually settle on a few things it could have been. A lot of people don't really know EXACTLY when they contract HIV.

kenshorin
9th May 2002, 09:17
I know a lot of people have done things even though they are afflicted with HIV like Magic Johnson. I respect that, and if given the chance to play basketball with the man, I would. He's a legend :), although as a Boston native my whole life he has been the direct cause of some amount of distress. But if he falls and cuts himself, I would know enough to stay away. Can you make that same choice for a child? I don't really think you can...

Joseph Svinth
10th May 2002, 08:00
For myself, I don't care if the guy dresses like Liberace, swishes when he walks, and talks with a lithp: if he's honest enough to admit all this without prompting, thus giving you the choice to make a no-hard-feelings decision, then he needs to be supported, not ostracized. And yes, I do have a kid, and between us, I worry a lot more about her eventually having sexually abusive bosses, domestic partners, and "friends" than I do about her acquiring HIV from her athletic activities.

Still, if you're really worried about your kid acquiring HIV from casual contact, then probably you should drop the class if the teacher is health care professional, too, as health care professionals are another of the high risk groups for both HIV and hepatitis.

As for the drug addicts, note that there are about 9 million people in the US who regularly abuse prescription medicines. Many of these people are aged 12-25, and a disproportionate number are female. See http://www.nida.nih.gov/ResearchReports/Prescription/prescription5.html#Adolescents . This implies that a concerned parent should also endeavor to keep his or her children away from all females aged under 25 years, and under all circumstances avoid sex with them.

Good luck in your mission, you'll need it.

Yojimbo558
12th May 2002, 01:49
Hi there!

I would pull my daughter out...What amazes me was some of the responses jumping into the homophobe direction.

For a moment ignore the instructors life style. The fact is they have a disease that is incurable & fatal. This to me is what matters. I've practised martial arts since I was 7 ( I'm now 36 ) & although I've never been cut when practising sword or knife take aways...I can't tell you the number of times over the years that I have been cut by my training partners finger & toe nails....

If all of you think back to being on the mat, due to adrenaline when working out, when uke is cut they don't feel it, and it's usually not until somebody notices blood on the mat or peoples uniforms that eveyone knows that somebody's bleeding...and training stops so we can find out who. In a couple of cases I remember a friend mine almost getting someone else's blood in his eye when he went to wipe the sweat off of his face & discovered he had their blood on his sleeve.

To me the notion of purposely placing my daughter in a class where a participant has a fatal disease is not good parenting. I pulled my daughter out of a Jujutsu School when I found out that one of the people she'd been working with had Hepatis C ( this person was straight ) again to me as a Father the fact is simple...this person like the one with HIV has an incurable disease which in the end will kill them. The odds of them transmitting their affliction may be small...but the odds of my daughter being exposed to these things, is greater if I ignore the threat, and instead choose to be politically correct & keep her in that type of environment.

Do these people have a right to train & protect themselves? Sure they do, absolutely...but, do I have a right to place my daughter in an environment where the instructor or senior student doesn't have fatal diseases? Your damn right I do!

When I explained to the instructor why I pulled her out...he tried to question me about how this was fair & whether or not the individual had the right to train or not. I replied by telling him, "Sensei, with all do respect, I didn't tell you, this person can't train in your dojo or who you have the right to teach. If you wish to include them great. I honestly hope they can find a cure for this...but for right now this isn't one. I talked to 4 different doctors and after describing the training to them, I asked them as to whether they would put their children in these classes.

The response was unanimous, none of them would purposely send their children to a school where they would be training with a student who they knew had a fatal disease...when it's so easy to send them elsewhere.

Eric L. Bookin

sistaninja
13th May 2002, 01:06
It is sad to me that many of you who are instructors have not taken the trouble to be more informed on this issue than you are.

Do any of you take blood tests of everyone who comes into your dojo? How do you know whether any of your students have or do not have HIV/AIDS, Hep C or any one of a number of serious blood diseases? Do you really know about the lifestyles of your students?

Many of you mention things like being nicked by other persons toe nails etc - this will NOT give you any of theses diseases. You must directly swap body fluids. That person would have to be bleeding at that same spot at that same time as you, and your fluids would have to substantially mingle. That is, their skin contact on your injury will not give you the disease. The virus is killed by 20 secs exposure.

The safest course of action in all dojos is to implement a blood/body fluids rule - no assumptions.no exceptions

This means:
1. the person who is injured takes care of their own wound as much as possible.
2. Everyone who handles the blood wears gloves. (This of course means the instructor has to have a supply in the first aid kit - readily available at any supermarket). If there is blood to be cleaned, use some bleach.
3. The first aid kit also should contain a protective breathing apparatus in case you have to do mouth-to-mouth.

Everyone should be informed of this from day one. And it should be drilled regularly.No exceptions, no assumptions.

Those instructors who have not already done so,do yourselves and your students a favour and go to your local health authority and get the appropriate information.

Also - references to homosexuals and paedophilia are just plain ill informed. The facts - legal, social, psychological - are clear that the vast majority of children who are sexually assaulted
are assaulted by heterosexual men. I worked in child sexual assault for many years and I can tell you the number of married Rotary men, pastors, bank managers, school teachers, local politicians, magistrates and straight martial arts instructors far outweighed the number of homosexual men as perpetrators.(is none of the latter in 3 years!) The focus on gay men as culprits on this issue, allows people to avoid looking at where the real dangers and dealing with them accordingly. All parents should be hypervigilant when their child is in the presence of any adult - gay,straight, man or woman.

Rogier
13th May 2002, 07:25
the question has nothing to do with knowing or not knowing if your students have HIV or not. Knowing how to handle things when it comes to HIV has nothing to do with it either.

In this case the TEACHER himself has said that he has HIV. The question is would you keep your kids in the class? And I think that if we are honest about it, that most of us would not keep our children in class.

I know I said before that I would keep them in class (please note that I do not have children yet). But maybe that was an answer that was given a bit too quick. I've been thinking about it and I have to say that if I had children I would find them another teacher. I know it is probably not the right thing to do. But as Onmitsu said:


Everyone makes very good arguments. Everything changes when it's YOUR kid on the line.

red_fists
31st May 2002, 02:58
Hi.

I guess it would depend on the level of Tai Chi taught there.

If it is feel-good Forms Tai Chi I would keep my Kid there, but if it was a school like mine where live Blades, Weapons & contact sparring are taught I would be thinking twice about it.

But as was stated in an earlier Post I also can't see many Kids doing Tai Chi at a young age.

Peace.

M.C. Busman
11th June 2002, 00:32
What an interesting ethical question.

Obviously someone responsible enough to inform others about his having HIV is already showing his concern for the safety of others first. I would ask him how his situation will impact how he teaches to be sure. I would see no reason to pull my kid out if the class suggested no risk. This is a kids class, which probably means mostly calesthentics and games rather than full contact fighting, and minimal instructor contact to begin with.

Anyone consider telling the kid (if old enough, say 9-12+) the facts & using the situation to teach 'em about HIV/AIDS, and letting her/him come to a conclusion with your support?

The infected folks we need to watch out for are the very ones we <b> don't </b> know about...the people who won't tell you a thing...or the ones who don't know themselves.

Take Care, Y'all!

M.C. Busman
mc_busman@Bigmailbox.net

Jdalton51
11th June 2002, 02:34
For those of you that said you would pull your child out of the class, what sort of message are you sending to your kid and how do you feel about that?

I know if my mom had pulled me out of class because of an HIV scare, it would have sent mixed messages.

M.C. Busman
20th June 2002, 21:37
Interesting related link concernes Montalvo v. Radcliffe, 167 F.3d 873, 9 A.D. Case 15 (4th Cir. 1999):

http://www.findarticles.com/cf_dls/m1145/11_35/67920995/p1/article.jhtml?term=AIDS+karate

If that doesn't work, try searching under "AIDS Karate" on Findarticles.com

Best to All,

M.C. Busman

mc_busman@Bigmailbox.net

sean_stonehart
21st June 2002, 16:53
Originally posted by red_fists
Hi.

I guess it would depend on the level of Tai Chi taught there.

If it is feel-good Forms Tai Chi I would keep my Kid there

Peter... you're referring to "Tai-cheeee" where you seek everything else but martial training... as opposed to...


Originally posted by red_fists

but if it was a school like mine where live Blades, Weapons & contact sparring are taught I would be thinking twice about it.


like where I study & train. My reference above is a joke I picked up from the Usenet RMA group. It refers to the group that "wants to be one with everything & non martial" as opposed to the martial taiji practitioners.


Originally posted by red_fists

But as was stated in an earlier Post I also can't see many Kids doing Tai Chi at a young age.

Only place I saw that was in Chen village China. Willingly practicing Taiji anyway... Some of the village kids did the Lao Jia Yi Lu routine. It was done like a child would, but fun to see anyway!

davoravo
21st June 2002, 20:13
Tai Chi? My child would be studying Budo!!

If this were a Tai chi class I would leave my child in. But if John is going to suddenly turn things around and make it full contact Karate then out.

Why the sudden run on ethical questions??
Why not.

Driftwood
26th June 2002, 07:02
My first post.... how exciting.....

I would keep my child in. As an instructor myself I know that I am bound by certain restrictions when it comes to working with my students. When dealing with my students when I am down with a cold or a flu I limit my contact with them, choosing senior students to demonstrate. An instructor who is bold enough to come forward with such a personal disclosure will be aware of the need for strict observance of safety precautions when working with a student.

I tend to think that many people are unaware of the exact means of transmission of HIV. Swapping sweat isn't going lead to infection. Were it that simple I'm sure that more than a few of us would be vunerable after a clammy handshake or a summer time hug or slap on the back. Direct exchange of fluids is required (sweat, saliva and tears are excluded because an extremely large amount is required for transmission via these fluids).

Excellent ethical question

Adette Rice
Kitchener, Ontario

ramcgrew@mcgrew
31st December 2006, 20:01
I am a student (used loosely) and I have tested HIV +.

I am also disabled, not by HIV but by neurologically based genetic problems, soft tissue damage, diabetes and a long term (over 30 years) chronic infection of Epstien-Barr Virus I probably got in High School. It is classed a Multi-factoral disability that renders me totally fatigued and ill with very little effort. My brain's white matter is also receeding which could be the diabetes, stress/hyper-tension, or genetics.

I would like to take Aikido here in Colorado where I live in Boulder County, but I have had resistance due to my infection. Most understand that the chance of infection is minimal to none, especially if the teachers and students are aware and handle accidents intelligently. Surgical gloves should always be in any first aid kit; bleach or hydrogen peroxide in water for clean up;
I studied Jujutsu, Aikijujutsu and Kenjutsu for years and only once ever bled.
A senior rolled into my face as I rolled at a special session. My nose bled like a water spout... but I got none on the Tatami!!!! :D Still only the sensei delt with me and that was long before my health problems or infection.

Is this resistance normal? And may there be a way to include HIV patients in studying Aikido for the good of their spirits and health, as well as the good of the community by showing these are just people with an infection, not something to be ostricized or avoided. Even sufferers of Hansen's disease (leprosy) are found to be isolated more by fear and revoltion than actual danger of infection. Most HIV + people are undetectible or inactive, and are no danger even if they did bleed as long as intelligence and forethought is used in handling the accident.

Does anyone know of a dojo or program that does allow HIV + people learn and practice?

I would never hide the fact that I am infected. How I became infected is no one's business but mine. But everyone involved deserves the right to know that there is a chance of infection however slight. Now for the bomb...
there are probably people next to you that are infected and have not shown or tested positively for the anti-bodies. So how would anyone really know?

Thank you.

Randall A. McGrew

Douglas Wylie
1st January 2007, 06:02
Increase in risk? An economist would tell you that there would need to be a risk premium to make risk adverse person enter a market.

A parent has the responsibility of protecting their child, most even take this very seriously, making them very risk adverse.

So, ceteris paribus (all things being equal), a rational parent would not allow their child to continue taking lessons.

As an instructor, I ask if the student has any health problems. If the answer is yes, I need a doctors release. For something serious like that, I'd need to be able to discuss the situation with the doctor in depth and be fully satisfied before I agree to accept the student.

Yojimbo558
1st January 2007, 21:50
Hi Randall,

I'm sorry to hear that you've tested positive...but people either cancelling or pulling out their kids from such a class is a common experience and one that you will continue to see.

Being up front with everyone is great, it is the right thing & the responsible thing to do.

If you were in a Non-Contact Class like Tai Chi, I wouldn't think anything of your participation. But in a contact class, if I were the Instructor I wouldn't take you as a student, or if I were in the class I would end my training & move on elsewhere.

While you mention that there are others that might have this disease, and are not telling their classmates or are ignorant of the fact...the point you're missing is that in your case & others like yours, there is no question...the answer is yes you have it.

While the risks may be small, with those who are infected the risks are higher for the simple fact that people who are consciously choosing to train with you on a regular basis are increasing their odds and risk of exposure.

I'm not saying this to be nasty or insensitive, simply that what you're talking about what is sadly a Fatal Disease...and purposefully exposing or risking exposing others to it (( when you're dealing with a curriculum that involves: Striking, Grappling, Weapons, etc )) is wrong. While a non-contact martial art (( while it may not be what you're looking for )) keeps others exposure & risk to a minimum.

As you stated yourself, through accidental chance, your nose spurted blood like a facet, and thankfully you didn't get any on the mat...what if during the incident you'd gotten it in their face or if the person had a small cut & your blood got in the wound...all small chances...but accidents as you illustrated yourself happen...and should someone actually catch it from you...saying sorry for giving someone the flu is one thing...saying you're sorry for giving someone something that is Fatal...unless they consciously have chosen to ignore the risks simply doesn't cut it.

An Instructor opens themselves to massive liability should any of his students catch the disease. While I've worked with hand-to-hand, plastic, wooden weapons & bladed ones...I've been fortunate in that I've never been cut by these...the times I have been cut have been by students who haven't bothered to trim their finger nails or toe nails.

I pulled my daughter from a Jujutsu Class when I learned that the lady that my daughter was regularly being paired up with had Hepatitis C & that the instructor knew this. This disease has a quicker kill rate than AIDS & I didn't appreciate the instructor pairing up my 14yr old daughter with someone who had a Fatal Disease. If she were learning Tai Chi...it wouldn't have been an issue...but grappling, striking & weapons training all have inherent risks, and when you add someone who definitely has something like this or Aids...it is a risk that an Instructor shouldn't allow in his school. Both in terms of Morality & Liability.

Eric

ramcgrew@mcgrew
2nd January 2007, 02:24
Eric,

Thank you for the well thought out and insightful post. And no, you are not being insensitive or nasty. I completely understand and agree with your concerns. This is also the response I generally get. It is bad enough that there are many who do not know they are infected, and are out there in the crowd.

I have started another thread with a different angle, but at this point, I might as well just not bother.

Thanks again for you honesty and candor. I do appreciate it.

Sincerely,

Randall

pacman2323
2nd January 2007, 18:57
I would let my child stay and study Tai chi chuan. I think studying the forms
is fine. When ever you engage in anything theres always risk like driving a car.
I do not see why a teacher can not teach martial arts so long as he does not get into applications that can result in exposing blood. Of course us concern parents would ask questions on his lesson plans perhaps a meeting with him a doctor and so on to come to safe way for him to still teach. I would also recommend education with the students both parents doinig it and a semiar dealing with it. My point is instead of annexing a good teacher(I suppose he is a good teacher) find way to deal with the problem instead of running from it.
-David Andreasen

dbotari
2nd January 2007, 19:16
Increase in risk? An economist would tell you that there would need to be a risk premium to make risk adverse person enter a market.

A parent has the responsibility of protecting their child, most even take this very seriously, making them very risk adverse.

So, ceteris paribus (all things being equal), a rational parent would not allow their child to continue taking lessons.



Does this line of reasoning extend to all activities that carry a potential risk? While I understand that this scenario is constructed in a very deliberate way, I find this "risk aversion" mentality somewhat confusing. You mention a parent's responsibility to protect their child. Does this mean locking them up in a plastic bubble to protect against "all possible risks"? Which risks do you say "ok" to and which do you you "run from"?

Yojimbo558
2nd January 2007, 23:15
Hi Randall,

Best of luck to you, all I can say is that in this day & age it is amazing what science can do, and the medical advancements that have been made.

I wish you the best of luck, and hope that 2007 ushers in new possibilities and cures for what ails you.

Eric

ramcgrew@mcgrew
3rd January 2007, 14:00
Hi Randall,

Best of luck to you, all I can say is that in this day & age it is amazing what science can do, and the medical advancements that have been made.

I wish you the best of luck, and hope that 2007 ushers in new possibilities and cures for what ails you.

Eric

Thank you, Eric. That is greatly appreciated. I have been positive since 1998 and totally undetectable until this year (undetectable means my viral load was <50.) without drugs. This is becoming the norm in the US apparently. But the thing to keep in mind is that it is inevitable that HIV will rise up. So at some point in 2007, possibly 2008, I will have to start the drugs. I will not do so until absolutely necessary.

Oddly enough, I have studied Taijiquan for almost as long as other forms of MA. I will not be out of the MA entirely, but given the general convictions in this and the other thread I began, I will bury the past and move on.
I cannot consider it risk aversion when you face a life dealing with the physical and social stigma of HIV. I am primarily a loner so its no real problem but I know many who are very social and it would be devistating to have your friends suddenly stop coming to dinner parties because they are afraid to use glasses or utensils that may have touched you. Or being with family at Christmas and realizing that they have a separate place setting 'just for you!' that must never be confused with the 'others'.

No. It is better that the HIV + person either opt not to attend and find another pursuit or, as I am starting to investigate, starting a Dojo that will be for the HIV patients. If only I were a ranked Yudansha with the right to teach and start my own Dojo, I would. But I was too busy with business and work to commit to Budo what it demanded. That's a lesson to you kids out there! Choose wisely! Money is great but it is not everything... in fact it is virtually nothing in the bigger picture of life. A lesson most Americans could afford to learn.

My rant for the day!! :D

And thank you to everyone who is joining this discussion. It is good to see you putting in your two cents. I have great respect for you all.

Randall

Duncan B
4th January 2007, 17:32
Firstly obviously risk aversion as a reason to stop training works ceteris parabus however this assumption does require substitues. These substitutes do require their own risk calculation and it is therefore reasonable to assume that there must be a point reached in which the risk in this class may still be below that calculated in other substitutes.

The second point is probably more important. Studies generally show that indiviudals place too high a calculation on the associated risk with "unusual" events compared to "normal". The most readable explanation of this is in the book Freakonomics by Levitt & Dubner. Here the authors phrase a similar scenario between letting your child play at a house with a gun or a house with a swimming pool. They then go on to prove that the house with the swimming pool is considerably more risky than that with the gun. It is entertaining - honest.

Given the fact that we do not know if everyone is HIV+, the dojo with an honest teacher who has put the necessary procedures in place and treats everyone the same has probably managed the risk best and is in fact quite possibly the safest dojo to train at. As opposed to the one down the road where no one speaks of HIV and there are no procedures in place.

Regards
Duncan Bowdler

Douglas Wylie
4th January 2007, 20:40
Freakonomics by Levitt & Dubner.

I read it.

According to the CDC HIV can/has been transmitted by bite.
http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/resources/factsheets/transmission.htm

Salvia and tears are some of the lesser known carriers of HIV. Mucous membranes can absorb HIV, lesser known mucous membranes are the eyelids, lips, ears.

It doesnt take a vivid imagination to figure a way to simulate a bite (or invision some other exchange) in a martial arts setting.

Accidently headbutting someone in the mouth could cause the teeth to puncture the skin. Punching someone in the mouth would do the same thing. I can split/ scratch my knuckle while busting a lip open. What if someone slobbers in my eye while I am choking them?

I dont think many people want the honor of being the first to contract HIV in some unique manner.

I think there are those who overestimate the risks of contracting HIV but I also think there are those who underestimate the risks, especially in a martial arts setting.

Douglas Wylie
4th January 2007, 21:17
It occurs to me that "documented cases" implies "undocumented cases". Or cases where people get HIV and have no idea how. People can and do carry it for a long time before they ever even know, making the infection method so far removed from the diagnosis that they have little chance figuring out exactly when and how they got it.

I dont think anyone can offer any assurance at all that it is NOT being transmitted by unusual means. The fact that they haven't detected a specific case doesn't mean that it cant or doesnt happen.

This line of thinking is kind of paranoid but it is also stupid not to at least acknowledge the idea.

Duncan B
5th January 2007, 16:17
Quite reasonable: statisticians refer to this as type 1 and type 2 errors, e.g. how many guilty criminals go free to minimise imprisoning an innocent person.

This is after all about risk management. If people are so worried about how "easy" it is to catch transmitable diseases through martial arts practice then they simply can't practise martial arts if they wish to be risk free.

My believe as stated above is that someone who has put controls in place will be safer than somewhere with none. Of course if there are two identical dojos then those with a known HIV+ student would be of higher risk.

At the end of the day it's for the individual to decide. Personally I'm fairly certain that if the alternative dojo is 10 miles away I've probably increased my risk of death greater through the extra miles driving than any risk of contracting HIV. Of course I've not checked the stats to confirm this.

Duncan Bowdler

Duncan B
5th January 2007, 21:43
Accidently headbutting someone in the mouth could cause the teeth to puncture the skin. Punching someone in the mouth would do the same thing. I can split/ scratch my knuckle while busting a lip open. What if someone slobbers in my eye while I am choking them?


Many posts have made a similar point however the actual scenario was "The instructor in a kids Tai Chi class". Hence if any of this sort of thing was being done to my (theoretical) child by an instructor I would have an issue!! More seriously the situation itself reduces any risk to a reasonable (virtually impossible) level in my view. I've assisted with considerably more risky self-defence classes to children and there has never ever been a situation in which this has been even close to an issue from MY input and I would not class my self as particularly skilled in comparison to my fellow e-budoers.

Obviously if the scenario is broader to include all possible martial arts practice by adults then the risk IS different and greater. However it may again be possible for an instructor to instruct without raising the risk by avoiding the direct demonstration of certain techniques. This may or may not be possible depending upon the martial art in question. I'll bet boxing trainers like Emanuel Steward work with pros and don't get cut very often themself (any more). It's just not necessary for their training method. Of course if you're waving around large pointy swords you've got another issue altogether but not necessarily one you can go around.

(Edited for clarity)
Regards