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Single Forever? A little Melodrama
Dec 28, 1999

Dr. Remien,

I am a 23 year old man who found out about 5 months ago that I am HIV positive. Aside from that, I am in pretty good shape. My problem is that I'm so afraid of getting into a relationship with anybody. I feel like I don't have the right to pursue a relationship because I am HIV positive, that by being positive I would be shortchanging anyone I got involved with. I feel like I am facing some sort of karmic justice for all my years of slutting around and now the price for all my reckless behavior is that I will be single forever. I feel like I don't deserve to have the kind of happiness that you find in a spouse. I feel like no one is going to want me because I can't promise forever. Of course I realize that no one can, but I really can't. See, I don't feel like it's punishment though. I was a slut. I feel like I really deserve this. It kills me every time I see happy couples holding hands, kissing, talking, going out. Am I insane? Am I sane? Does what I say make any sense?

Response from Dr. Remien

While I can appreciate you having some of the feelings you are having, you need to know that you are WRONG about not having the right to pursue a relationship. Yes, being in a mixed status relationship presents challenges for both partners, but it is possible and viable as you can see from looking at the questions and answers on this forum. If you have not already, I suggest you read some of these questions, in particular one titled, "Am I Worthy of a Relationship?"

It also sounds to me like you are having difficulties with general feelings of self-worth and self-esteem that probably go beyond being HIV+. If these feelings persist I strongly recommend that you seek counseling with a therapist.

Take care.

dos and don'ts for a +/ - married couple

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