Jan 5, 2006
Hello there. Firstly, this is such a wonderful site and this forum and your answers to many others with the same issue that I am dealing with at this very moment, has helped a lot.
I have been in a few long term relationships . My partners have all been negative, me positive. My status was not an issue for them. Now, single for the first time at 42, I am faced with wanting to date and disclosing my status to potential partners. I recently met this great guy on-line and on our third date (last night) he spent the night for the first time. Things started to heat up so I decided it was time to disclose my hiv status to him. Man was it difficult. I really got the feeling it would not be an issue for him and was devasted when he said it kind of freaked him out and he completely changed towards me. He stayed the night and we cuddled most of the night. This morning he was distant and when he left he said we would talk soon. No kiss goodbye or anything. At this moment I feel so rejected, dirty, empty and pretty pathetic. I have been on the verge of tears all day. I don't know how to deal with these emotions. I want to call him but don't know if I should. This experience has really done something to me and I don't know if I will ever put my heart out there again. Can you kindly give me any advise to deal with this. What should I do?
Response from Dr. Horwath
This is a painful experience, I'm sure. However, I would not view the problem as being primarily with you. Having HIV infection is a biological illness, just like like having an infection with the influenza virus. Having the flu probably would not lead to feeling dirty. Therefore, the problem is not that you are "dirty," but is clearly more with the reaction of your partner. He had some difficulty with acceptance of your infection, but this does not mean that others will. Your experience with other partners who have been more understanding and accepting is proof of that.
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