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Where do I fit?
Mar 31, 2000

Hello Dr. Remien,

I have been HIV+ since 2/96. I am in excellent health taking no medication at all. I get tested every six months and my last test showed t-cells =1217, vl=undetected.

My problem is that I don't feel I belong in either worlds.

People that are HIV- are uncomfortable around me and once I tell a potential partner my status, he's gone. As for other HIV+'s like myself, I feel kind of guilty that I am not taking any of the meds or that I have not experienced any of the illness associated with the disease. My only association with HIV is that I tested positive.

Am I wrong for feeling this way? Will this feeling pass?

I am a 46 yr. old female and I would like to date again but I'm afraid of rejection.

Response from Dr. Remien

Certainly you are not "wrong" to feel this way. Further, you are not the only person in this situation and your feelings are understandable. The bottom line however, is that you are HIV+ and are therefore challenged by concerns about potential health changes and all of the uncertainty that goes along with living with HIV. I hope that your feelings of guilt can "pass," since there is no good reason for you to feel that way. Rather, I hope you can come to feel grateful for the health that you have and to do all that you can do to help keep it that way.

Regarding your concerns about dating, unfortunately, people living with HIV often experience rejection from potential partners. Choices about, and timing of, disclosure are challenges that all people living with HIV face. You could perhaps benefit from talking with other people living with HIV to get emotional support on this issue, as well as practical suggestions about ways of dealing with the challenge. You also may find helpful advice from the numerous other questions about this issue that others have asked on this and other forums (i.e., Mental Health and Safe Sex Prevention and Transmission) on this website.

Just found out

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