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Am I crazy to continue to be with someone HIV+?
Jun 4, 2004

Hi,

I just recently started dating an absolutly wonderful man, quite possible THE guy and he just told me a week ago that he is an HIV+/Hemophiliac. He has been + for over 20 years and has a viral load that is undetectable and he is very healthy, nonetheless. We haven't had sex.

My question is, is pursuing this relationship completly insane and stupid? After he told me I was shocked and scared but I didn't leave. Oh, and I'm an HIV-, ADHD young woman with alot of energy and inner chaos. It seems as though we have everything going against us. But nonetheless, we are still together and having a good time. I find myself drawn to him like a magnet. Although, I am insanley nuts about him and really "clicked" with him I find myself wondering if it's even possible.

I guess I wanna know, how many couples like us are there? Can this relationship work? What do I need to do to be supportive, while still feeling like my issues aren't being neglected? How at risk for getting HIV am I? How will I ever feel like I will be supported? Seriously though, do you really think that anyone in my position would stay and be all "yes, I'm going to put myself at risk of getting HIV for someone who could be my true love" It feels like most would ditch. I'm just really confused and I don't know if I should listen to my heart or the facts, logic, family, friends. Any advice or guidance would help. Thanks

-alone,scared & confused.

Response from Dr. Remien

You are asking a lot of questions - some of which have no answers. However, you are not alone in wondering about many of these things. If you read some of the other questions and answers on this forum you will see that you are not alone.

Pursuing this relationship is not "insane" nor "stupid" simply because he is HIV+ and you are not. There are many magnetic couples who have long, healthy, and satisfying relationships. Having to maintain safer sex over the long-term can feel burdensome to some people, but it is possible. You can protect yourselves and have fun at the same time.

It is difficult when friends and family are not supportive of such relationships. And as you say, it is important that your needs not be neglected. Having HIV does not mean that the positive person's needs take precedence. In any healthy relationship, the needs and concerns of both partners are taken seriously. You need to support each other if things are going to move forward. And while some people would "run" from a relationship like this, many others stay and are glad that they did. If you are not able to get support from family and friends, then find supportive people out there so that both you and your man feel validated in your relationship.


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