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Supporting my partner

May 20, 2005

In january of 2005 my partner and I decided it was time to get some life insurance on each other, we have been together 4 years now. Well bad news hit several weeks after our tests results were received. I was approved and he was declined due to being HIV+. Talk about a shock!!!! We cried for weeks afterwards until the tears were all dried up. We have never cheated on each other, before our relationship he was married. However, he did participate in some dangerous activites during this marriage. He would go to public bathrooms and receive oral and on occasion give oral to people he knew nothing about, he didnt know at the time he get get HIV this way. His first tests came back with a CD4 count of 217 and a VL of 77,000. Based on this the doctor estimated he had been infected for approx. 5 to 6 years. Prior to our relationship and during his previous marriage. His ex-wife has since tested neagtive do to another scarey relationship she had had. Some of are problems are his denial of the whole issue, this cant be happening to him, he is also expecting a miracle, one day he will wake up and it will be gone. He doesnt want to tell his ex-wife or his two kids either. In addition our sexual relationship has come to a dead stop, we found out on 02/10/05, it is now 05/07/05 and we have had no sexual contact. This is partly because we want a diffinative answer on weather or not Im now positive. We love each other very much and I will see this though to the very end with him. How do I get him to accept this, how do I get him to get past his expectation of a miracle happening. How can he keep this from his kids and his ex-wife and his entire family, he needs their support as well, I cant do it all by myself. I also have issues, this is my first relationship with another man, I too was married before and have a child. When this is over and I mean when one of us has passed on, if Im the one left behind I cannot imagine going through this again with another person. I have no idea from day to day how much time we have together, the unknown of it all is just so nerve racking. We also both believe that we are giving only what we can handle in life so deep down we can find the strength to carry on. He also nor have I seen a therapist as of yet, I want to go but he is dragging his feet.

Response from Dr. Horwath

It would be a good idea to go for some therapy or counseling on the issues that you have raised. You and your partner have a number of problems to address. Ideally, it would be best if he goes with you.

I agree that the most important issue right now is his denial. Unfortunately, you can't just knock him on the head (figuratively or literally) and make it go away. He will need to accept this in his own time. However, time is important for him right now. He is already a candidate for HAART, and delaying too much would have consequences for his long term outlook. Meeting with him and his HIV doctor may help to address the urgency of the need for treatment.

HIV positive and can't find counsellor
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