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Should I Ask My Friend if he is HIV Positive?
Feb 16, 2004

I've been working with Bill (not his real name) for a year now. All this time we have shared a cube with just a thin wall separating us. We've shared a lot of stories and opinions and have become pretty close friends. In fact, I love him dearly. Bill has obviously lost a lot of fat in his cheeks, buttocks and his face. (Researching this fat loss is how I found this forum!) Bill has also said things to me here and there that have led me to perceive that he might be "hinting" that he has AIDS or HIV. He's even told me that his father volunteers for AIDS patients. We've talked about everything but him having the virus himself. I want so badly to tell him I know, and that I'm there for him. All my research points to HIV. In addition to massive fat loss, he eats yogurt faithfully every morning (along with a banana), consumes a great deal of candy (He is still skinny as a rail.), but will not drink coffee creamer and avoids germs and all unsafe situations. We used to have dinner at my house once a month, but he recently canceled all future dinners, pretty much saying he only wanted a work friendship. I was just about to talk to him about HIV when he did this. I am confused. I want to tell him I am there for him, and he seems to want me to know, but he's not going to say anything. How do I break this wall, or should I?

Response from Dr. Moyle

Revealing status to a colleague is a matter of personal choice. If 'Bill' has chosen not to say anything it could be 1. because he isn't positive or 2. He is but doesn't feel ready to tell you. Its best to allow him to make the decision. 'Outing' his status likely spoil your friendship. Let 'Bill' make his own decisions regards graeme


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