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Helping a positive friend

Dec 17, 2002

Please give tips on how to deal with a positive friend. I never see enough information about this. I do too much for him; I feel like I do too little for him. It's not only the issue of how to deal with me and how scared and sad I am, but where are the words, what are the words to say to him as he goes through drug reactions/failures, little infections, broken relationships? Help! I can't be the only one feeling this way about someone I love and want to support.

Response from Mr. Shernoff

While I respect your desire to help this person and be there for him or her, I am concerned that you are asking me for the right words etc. My only suggestion is that you share your feelings and thoughts directly with the person who is living with HIV and inquire from them how you can best be there for him or her.

This is, as you already know, not a static situation. It is always changing and requires emotinal flexibility and creativity. But most of all it requires open channels of communication. Keeping those lines of emotional expression open and remaining honest and vulnerable is the best advice I can give you.

Michael Shernoff, MSW

unrequited love

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