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In Love But Afraid
Feb 23, 2000

I met the most wonderful man five months ago. But two weeks ago, we discovered that the person he had seen before me lied about his hiv status (or didn't know). He tested positive. Since then, I have been have "pit of the stomach" fear of our future together. He is bravely facing the future and embracing me no differently--even though he is absolutely terrified that he may have put me at risk. We have talked openly about our feelings and will continue to do so. But I am scared and we were planning to make a committment to each other. I do love him and he loves me. I know that I will have to take the test in six months which gives me even more anxiety. But now I find myself pushing away from him. He feels it. Do these all over the board feelings happen often in this situation? How can I really focus on my true feelings and not be ruled by fear? He is everything I have always wanted. How do we deal with this successfully? I know I can walk away. He tells me this. But I want to make the committed decision based on my true feelings, not an emotional response to his now HIV+ status. I really do love him.

Response from Dr. Remien

Your feelings are not unusual. In fact, it is very common for people to feel the way that you do. "Talking openly about your feelings" is so important and helpful and I am glad to hear that you and he are doing this. You need to know that there are many long-term mixed status couples and if you truly love him, you should be able to work through the fears. Time should help with this. You also need to be informed about risk so that you don't have to worry needlessly. Seek the information you need, keep sharing your feelings and I trust things will work out for you.


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