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May 27, 2006

Dr. Horwath, My fiancee is 32, and HIV+. I am HIV-. We are extremely safe and don't endager my health. While I know that there is an excellent possibility that he will live a normal life span, what are the chances that he and I will grow old together? What are the sure things? He is 100% adherent to his meds, but I have to wonder about toxicity and opportunistic infections and cancers.

I guess I want someone to tell me that I am not setting myself up for a lifetime of loving someone who will die a slow, painful death.

I know that there are possibilities that I could get cancer, or get hit by a car, and die long before he does. I just want to know that there is a chance for us to grow old together.

Response from Dr. Horwath

You are marrying someone who is HIV+. God-willing, you should lead long and happy lives together. I have patients who have been HIV+ for 20 years and are doing just fine. Taking medications reliably, of course, improves the outlook.

However, there are no "sure things" for any of us. We are all subject to illness and accident, whether HIV+ or HIV-. Our future is not completely in our control. Getting married means accepting the possibility that both good times and hard times together may occur. Marriage vows remind us of this with the promise to love one another "in sickness and in health."

RN and HIV
treatment in Brazil

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