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Apr 5, 2007

Dear Dr. Bob

I am a man that is in his 20's. I have been born with HIV. My mother and sister and brother died because we inclding myslef where the unlucky ones to be born in the year where the meds they have today were not invented. I won't go over the whole sad tail but I have one thing that has been on my chest for such a long time. My grandmother use to keep me lock up because there was a great fear of HIV and she told me never to tell anyone about my condition. I had to live by that rule for my hole life. I taught that I may never have a girl friend because of my condition. Back then people were not very well educated about HIV but I don't know about today. What I am trying to get at is I get so lonly and feel that I must live my life alone. My HIV is so low that the docter said that it is almost like I don't even have it. But I feel that no matter what I tell a girl that they will all go away. My sister talks about her sex life and it makes me very depress to the point where I don't want to live I am also very scared to tell someone other than my family or a docter. I am very tormented by this life. I feel like a monster for being born like this. Am I really damned to be alone? And if not how can I approach a girl with my situation?

Response from Dr. Horwath

First of all, you're not a monster. You have a viral infection. This creates some real limitations in your life, but it need not doom you to be alone. Coping with HIV requires making decisions about what and who are most important to you. If you'd like to develop an intimate relationship with someone, you need to take some time to develop trust and then decide if this is a person to whom you can be open about your status. If you stop to consider who is truly important to you, you may conclude that the best course is to only be intimate with someone who is willing to accept you as you are. There may be people out there who cannot tolerate intimacy with you, but perhaps you're better off to wait and find someone who is accepting and trustworthy.

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