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We need to know the truth!!
Jan 1, 2002

Dear Expert, My boyfriend and I have been dating for approx. 2 1/2 months and within one month of our relationship I tested positive and he tested negative. He is going to get tested again in five months from now. We love each other but he is so uneducated about HIV/AIDS. He looks to me to educate him & I am trying to but I am learning also so I don't know what to tell him to ease his mind. I know that from time to time he will back away from me in fear because of ignorance so that's where you come in. I need you to reply addressing him. Let him know how we can find support groups for couples (I already attend one for women only and relaying information doesn't seem to work). Also if would please inform him that we can survive in a relationship with our status being opposite and how. Let him know that he is not alone. Please just give us as many resources and information that you can. I have been doing some major searching and all I can find is women, gay, & children support groups. He is a heterosexual male in a relationship with a woman and is scared to remain with me even though he loves me. I am finding out that this is normal but he needs to know that. He needs to meet some people. We want to get married but he's scared.

Response from Dr. Remien

You are very correct in knowing that his reaction is normal and that information and support are the kinds of things that will help him deal with this. And it is true that there is only so much that you directly can do to help him with all of this. He does need to hear from and talk to others who are knowledgeable about HIV and about maintaining a relationship with someone who is HIV+ and needs to pursue this on his own. And of course it is possible to have a very healthy, loving, and satisfying relationship when being a couple of mixed HIV status, however, not everyone can do it.

I recommend that he spend a little time reading through some of the questions and answers on this Couples forum. He will see that he is not alone. He should also contact a local community-based organization near where you live and inquire about information and supportive services available for people concerned about HIV. Speaking to knowledgeable counselors or peer educators would be helpful. And if possible meeting other men in a similar situation could prove to be beneficial. Not every agency has the perfect support group, but he needs to ask around and see what is available in the community.


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