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Thank you again (years later)!
Dec 17, 2002

Dear Michael:

I just wanted to thank you again for being so kind.

In 1998 I wrote to your forum a few times....several long letters, all of which you answered. I am an HIV- woman in a relationship with an HIV+ man. Our relationship was fairly new when he was diagnosed. My partner shut himself down emotionally and wouldn't talk about his feelings. He already had problems talking about things, and the HIV diagnosis made this even worse. I felt as if his attitude was stifling and silencing me. I felt very isolated. And I had so many emotions bottled up inside, all of which came streaming out in my emails to your forum.

My partner and I are both doing very well, and much of it has to do with you. Your answers helped to give me the strength to assert my need for communication and to make him accountable for his own feelings and reactions. He listened, he understood and was willing to make a change. He was then able to open up about his feelings regarding HIV, and this brought us closer. Once this wall was down, it was possible to feel more like a normal couple with normal issues. The HIV stopped seeming like such a huge thing. A couple of years later we had several sessions with a counsellor to fine-tune our ways of communicating (nothing to do with HIV) and to further understand some of the triggers from both of our pasts.

We have been together six years and have a very strong and loving relationship - as well as a wonderful friendship - with each other. My partner is very healthy, and has never had any HIV or AIDS related illness. HIV has become pretty much a "non-issue" in our lives.

I want to thank you once again for being there when I needed someone to talk to, and for being so kind, gentle and supportive.

I hope you continue to enjoy good health as well as much happiness in your life.

Sincerely,

S.D.

Response from Mr. Shernoff

Thank you for your lovely feedback. It is always welcome to hear how things turn out. Enjoy the holdiays.

Warmly,

Michael Shernoff, MSW



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