|I NEED HELP TELLING HIM
Mar 7, 2004
I HAVE BEEN TESTED POSITIVE SINCE AUGUST OF 2003 , AND STILL HAVEN'T TOLD MY FRIEND . WE HAD SEX SINCE THEN ,BUT WE USE A CONDOM. HE WANT TO KNOW WHY WE STARTED HAVING SEX WITH A CONDOM.AND WE NEVER USE TO USE ANY BEFORE . IT'S A LONG DISTANCE RELATIONSHIP , NOW WHEN HE CALL ME I DON'T FEEL LIKE TALKING TO HIM ,HE KNOW THAT SOMETHING IS WRONG. I USE TO GO SEE HIM EVERY MONTH AND I HAVEN'T SEEN HIM SINCE NOVEMBER AND IT'S HURTING ME. I WANT HIM TO BE MY FRIEND BUT I'M AFRAID THAT HE MIT DON'T WANT TO TALK TO ME AGAIN AND HE WIL TELL PEOPLE THAT I'M POSITIVE. PLEASE HIM ME I WANT HIM TO GET TESTED AND GET HELP IF HE IS ,IM ON MEDS AND I WANT HIM TO GET HELP.BUT I CAN'T MAKE THAT CALL TO TELL HIM PLEASE HELP ME.
Response from Dr. Remien
First you need to know that you are not alone in dealing with situations like this. Unfortunately, many people still feel embarrassment and shame about having HIV and are fearful of rejection; and rejection can be a reality. However we all need to continue to work towards reducing the stigma associated with HIV, because it should not be something to be ashamed of and we want people to not be afraid of having relationships with people living with HIV.
With that said, good relationships ultimately require honesty with growing intimacy. It sounds to me like you are in greater jeopardy of losing this person by hiding this from him than if you were to be honest and open with him. He knows something is wrong and that you are avoiding him and that can only go on so long, if your relationship is to continue. And the longer this goes on, the more difficult it will be for you to disclose. I suggest that you find a way to let him know what is going on and when you do, let him know all of the feelings that you have been having, including how much you care about him, your wanting to protect him, and your being afraid of losing him. You can also let him know that you are sharing this information with him because you think of him as someone who deserves to know and that you not only care about him, but that you trust him. Let him know why it is important to you for him to keep this information confidential and that you want him to respect your privacy. And again, rejection is always a possibility, but I would suggest that if he cannot deal with this information and remain a friend of yours, then that is his problem. I don't think you want to invest a lot of time and energy with someone like that.
If this continues to be difficult for you, I encourage you to work with a counselor to help you through this. Good luck.
Project Eban Partcipant at Columbia University, NYC
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