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Is this behavior normal? Positive boyfriend.

Feb 9, 2005

I have been with my boyfriend for 1.5 years. After 3.5 months we were tested and both negative. 1.5 months later myboyfriend was very ill blood tests negative. 2 months later after continually feeling tired his doctor gave another test and he was positive.

We have been trying to wrok through some issues. He puts pressure on me to perform sexually- try new things. When I do there is no interest. He says he is afraid he will infect me. (we are safe) He looks often on a dating site- too often I think. even though I know he acts out sexual fantasies- he got defensive when I saw him trying to logout of the site. He assures me nothing is going on- I believe this and continue to try and be supportive. I noticed some contacts on his cell phone match that on the dating site. I have not confronted him yet. In addition to this, he is not considerate of me and acts very selfish. He goes through moods and time periods where he wants to be left alone and not even talk to me. I want to continue to believe him and support him, however I feel he has not been faithful at the start. He says his doctor said it can go undetected for upto 6 months- is this true? (being found positive 5 months after infection and having it not being detected at 3.5 months? Are the behaviors normal- the pushing away and selfishness? He makes me feel like it is all for him and he takes me for granted. I want to be supportive, however I am finding this more and more difficult. Why should I put up with this when I feel he is being dishonest. In addition, he does not have many friends and out of the few he has there are 2 that know his status. I am worried about leaving him- however am lacking the trust, consideration and respect that I need in the relationship. I have only been able to talk to my friends about the relationship behavior and not the hiv status. This is because I promised not to disclose his status. So the advice I am getting is without consideration to the hiv status- I feel this may be allowing me to take advise from friends that may not be totally correct. I am in a small town and going to the support group- surely would let people know either one of us or both were positive- I do not want to go for fear of revealing his status. Can you offer me any advice? Is there anything to read that would help me understand the mental phases of being positive? Should I confront him with my fear of his infedelity? I am starting to have mood swings myself and cannot focuss at work and have no desire to be with my friends. I need to sort this out somwhow. If I leave him I will feel like I deserted him when he may need me most. Help!

Response from Dr. Horwath

Any decision you make about the relationship is a complex one. You need to decide based upon the overall relationship and whether it is appropriate for you. If his behaviors are hurtful to you (as they are), then you need to discuss that with him and let him know that he needs to be responsive to your needs and feelings too. Being HIV positive is not a license to treat you (or others) badly. If he cannot respond to your concerns and does not seek help to solve his problem, then you should decide your staying in the relationship based upon that.

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