Re: Is it possible to have the virus but not have visible symptoms.
I wasn't trying to be technical. I was trying to say that the word disease is not pejorative and does not imply, as many people here think, that we are spoiled, dirty, useless, etc etc etc. We have a disease that affects us in some ways but not in most ways. That's not the best that could be, but it doesn't mean anything bad about us as people. I was trying to say that using the word "condition" doesn't change what we have or that it is contagious, and that we are still very good and wonderful people whether you call it a condition or a disease.
My Webster's says that a disease is "an impairment of the normal state of the living animal or plant body or any of it's components that interrupts or modifies the performance of the vital functions, being a response to environmental factors (as malnutrition, industrial hazards, or climate), to specific infective agents (as worms, bacteria, or viruses), to inherent defects of the organism (as various genetic anomalies), or to combinations of these factors." So you're right, Ivy; the broader definition is correct. But my whole point was, we have a disease, and there's nothing to be ashamed of, any more than being malnutritioned because you live in Ethiopia during a drought, or were irradiated after the dropping of the Bomb in Japan, or have a cold. But if calling it a condition makes you feel better, gvillegirl, go for it! Just understand why I call it a disease, and I'm not putting us down with that term.