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Reconciling Reconciling Relationship After HIV

Jul 19, 2007

My partner and I have were together for a year and lived together for almost six months. He found out in February that he was HIV positive and encouraged me to tested with the CD4 counts, viral loads, etc. Those results came back not-so-favorable; I'm defintely positive. I asked my doctor if he could tell how long I've had it, and he really couldn't, other than to say it wasn't an acute infection and that I've "had it a while." When I told my partner, he started to blame me for infecting him, since his was described as "an acute infection." I endured several weeks of being blamed for infecting him, and that was always where most of our non-HIV-related arguments ended up. When he told me his status in February, I'd started preparing myself for the fact that I could be positive, and that if I was, it really wasn't a big issue in the relationship as to who infected whom. I recently moved back home (out of my own frustration with him) with my parents who don't know either of our statuses. All they know is that he was saying some things that were very harsh to me. But they don't know that those things were said out of anger because he didn't understand how I can be positive and be relatively healthy and he's been in and out of the hospital for complications with HIV. he wants this relationship to work, and I do too. How do I talk to my parents and explain to them the situation and that we both want the relationship to work?

Response from Dr. Horwath

First of all, if he's been in and out of hospitals for complications of HIV, then he does not have an acute infection. It takes a long time for HIV to produce significant illness (on average 10 years). The symptoms of an acute infection are similar to a mild case of flu, ie. fever, aches & pains, headache, etc.

As for your relationship, if you both want to make it work, you'll need to put the issue of who infected whom behind you. If the issue is trust, then it needs to be addressed directly. Are you wondering if he knew he was positive, but did not tell you? If so, address it directly. You need to know if he deserves your trust (and vice versa).

I don't think you can make your parents understand the problem without telling them the whole story. You will need to decide if you want to tell them.

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