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Lover with HIV(have thoughts of getting it)
Mar 18, 2004

My lover of 13 yrs tested pos 6 months ago. I had problems dealing with it. The emotional and sexual part of our lives suffered a lot. We are trying to work through it. He recently had an affair with another pos person he said that they didn't have to use condoms since they where both pos(clarify). I want the relationship to work and find myself thinking crazy thoughts like getting infected so we can go through it together. Is this natural or do I need a reality check.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

First off, please note questions such as these should be posted to the Safe Sex forum, not the Fatigue and anemia Forum. I'll post the reply in both forums.

Is this "natural?" I've given up trying to even define what's "natural" when dealing with something so unnatural as HIV and its related challenges. I will say your feelings are not uncommon. Magnetic couples face challenges that seronegative couples never even fathom, let alone consider. However, Steve (Dr. Steve in The Body's Tratamientos Forum) and I are living proof that magnetic couples can have incredibly successful and satisfying relationships, including the sexual aspects.

Do you need a reality check? Yes, absolutely. The best advice I can give magnetic couples is that communication is key, and that they need to accept each other as different. You and your lover need to face and discuss the often unspoken taboo of dreaming that it would all be much easier of you were both positive, even though you know deep down this dream must never come true. Talking about taboos can diffuse their power. Consider couples counseling. Being HIV-positive and having an HIV-negative lover can bring up many conflicting emotions for the poz guy. HIV can make even a sex god feel his touch is toxic; however, the need for touch, pleasure, intimacy, and hot sex does not decline with someone's CD4 count nor should it! Being the HIV-negative guy, you might feel survivor guilt for having escaped the virus, or perhaps fear your HIV-positive partner might get sick someday.

The shock of having HIV intrude on your 13-year relationship will indeed require some adjustments. But if you are both willing to work through it, the challenges you now face can indeed be overcome. Read the archives of this forum related to magnetic couples. Show some of the posts to your lover. Consider getting couples counseling. Also, please advise your lover that condoms are still recommended, even between pozitoids, because of the risk of superinfection. We now have good evidence that a positive person can become infected with a different, more aggressive strain of HIV from another poz guy. That's a reality check he should be made aware of.

Good luck. Let Steve and me know if we can provide any additional help.

Dr. Bob


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