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Do Not Despair
Aug 10, 2001

I was recently scheduled to meet my soon to be parents-in-law. Before my trip to their house I tested for HIV and, much to my shock, tested positive. Because of my lack of knowledge concerning HIV I considered my life, new marriage and all, finished. My wife-to-be calmed me down, straightened me out and provided me with emotional and spiritual guidance, more than enough to make it through the horrific barrier of those first few weeks. Once the stigma and overblown fears dissipated, we continued on to a productive and very happy marriage. I know that not all of you out there have that kind of support and that some partners out there flee in terror at the very name HIV. I consider myself incredibly lucky that she did not. I also happen to believe that people are more likely to be more accepting than you might imagine. The people in your life that truly care for you will be with you regardless of this kind of setback and will more than likely profit by educating themselves about HIV/AIDS. If you find yourself in life without a truly caring soul then I would advise an HIV+ group or similar situation because we're all in this one together and there are more concerned souls out there than you know. I wanted to thank Dr. Remien for all of his thoughtful, caring advice. I believe his words are the most important here at "thebody.com". Thanks so much doc.

Response from Dr. Remien

Thank you for your generous words to me and also for your encouraging words to the readers of this forum. You are not alone in finding out that "people are more accepting" than most people would imagine. People in your situation need to hear this, even though it will not always be the case. And you're right, an HIV+ support group can be very helpful when people do find themselves feeling alone and isolated. I am glad to hear that you are finding support, love, and acceptance in your life - this is deserved by all who are living with HIV.

Again thank you for your thoughtful words to readers of this forum. Take care and be well!


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