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Poz partner and Healthy Lifestyle: How to help?
Apr 1, 2005

Thanks for your attention.

I always thought that I always knew how to handle all issues in my 4-year relationship with my poz partner.

I love him so much, I want to think that we'll live a long life togheter...

Lately, I've been worried about his smoking, eating and exercising habits. He won't exercise, sugar, starches and fried food are on top of his menu and smokes about a pack a day...

I just can't make him understand how important is to address this issues..

I've dragged him to the gym or to take a walk one day, give a lecture on avoiding fried foods and try to make him smoke less...

All I say or do seems useless, he just won't become aware of how important is for an HIV+ person to have a healthy lifestyle. He suffers from episodes of depression and that makes it worse..

There will be always that excuse or "important errand to do" on his part to avoid taking action...

I am afraid he'll get sick and have other health problems in a near future..

I just don't know how to make him understand. Should I try to involve his doctor on this or seek professional help of any kind??.

I am getting deppressed myself and I feel powerless...

What can I do?

Thanks a million again for your attention,

Response from Dr. Remien

This is a challenging situation. While your concern for his health is warranted, you cannot make him care about his own health in the way that you would like. He needs to care enough himself. As you have done, you need to let him know that it matters to you. If he cares enough about you he should take your concerns seriously - which means he needs to confront how his behavior is making you feel.

I would be concerned that he may be dealing with an untreated depression. Depending on your relationship with your partner and his doctor, it "may" be appropriate for you to try to get the doctor involved. However, in some situations, this could be perceived as intrusive and inappropriate.

It may become important for you to seek some counseling for yourself, especially if you continue to feel frustrated & depressed, and find it difficult to cope.

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