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Long-Term Survivor HIV Denial

Sep 6, 2003


I am a Venezuelan 25-year-old- haemophiliac that got infected in the US when I was 5 years old. Due to my "good" health during these 20 years (I even get colds and the flu less frequent than most people I know) I feel I developed strict blocking and denial of my condition as a reflex for my mental health. I recently told my girlfriend after 1 1/2 years that I am HIV+. We had unprotected sex on a few occasions. Although she still loves me, she feels betrayed and that she cannot trust me for what I did. I am terribly confused because I feel I failed to tell her before because of my own denial of my condition. I love her with all my life; I don't think I could have consciously done that... how can I make this easier for us to understand?

Response from Mr. Shernoff

I don't know that there is any way that you can make it easier now that you have in fact betrayed her trust and endangered her life. You can try to find all of the rationalizations for your lack of honesty with a person taht you say you love, but your behavior was really terrible and selfish.

If she is still willing to continue the relationship with you, and there is not any reason why she should necessarily be willing to do this, you have to talk with her about what you can possibly do to regain her trust and confidence. After all trust is fundamental for any long term relationship in order for it to flourish. You just have to live with the consequences of what you did, and hopefully learn to behave better from now on.

Michael Shernoff, MSW


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