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Depressed: Infected my partner; legal situations; no job..no purpose..no worth
Jul 13, 2008

I need help! I recently infected my partner, for the past two years, and I'm facing a lot of personal demons... sometimes I feel like they are overwhelming me .....but back to him he is the best thing that has happened to me....he has shown me so much, given me so much. asked for nothing in return other than I try to better myself....to say that I love him is an understatement, but I didn't love him enough to disclose my status and take the proper precautions to protect him.....I selfishly took that right away from him and feel horribly for doing so.....i consider the thought of turning myself in to the local authorities and face charges...I feel worthless, isolated....i'm facing a host of legal problems in addition to recently being placed on atripla which has been going well....side effects have been minimal...went to see my dr today for labs and we will see how the virus is reacting to the medication...which I had for 3 weeks before I began to take it and so far I haven't missed a dose.......but I am really sad for what I did to him....and can't forgive myself let alone ask God for forgiveness....he loves life and has so much to live for....and I put his life in danger....what have I done? Oh, I took a man's life and his choice and right to know I feel like the biggest loser/murderer....I can't expect him to forgive me and don't even know if I can look him in the eye.....so I think I just want to get as far away as possible... there is no way I can fix the hurt that I've inflicted on him.... I really need help I don't know what to do or where to turn I don't have anyone I feel I can talk to about anything or on any level.... I may be depressed, but don't want to slip any further in it's grasp....I need help!

Response from Dr. Horwath

You need to find a way to put this behind you. The first step is to speak to your partner. Even if you weren't honest in the past, now is the time to start being honest with him. You cannot change what you did in the past, but you can try to put the relationship on an honest and open basis now. He will need to decide how he wants to proceed.

For the other readers of the Mental Health Forum, your story should serve as an important lesson. Each of us has the responsibility to protect ourselves from being infected with HIV. That means practicing safe sex and not injecting drugs with contaminated needles. This is within the control of each of us.

If your partner decided not to use condoms when he had sex with you, then he made a decision to place himself at risk. If you knew you were positive and did not tell him, then you were not being honest and open with him. However, he also made the decision to place himself at risk. Perhaps his decision was based on trust in you, but nonetheless he decided to assume the risk.

Both of you contributed to his becoming infected. You did so by not telling the truth. And he did so by taking the risk of having unprotected sex. Both of you now will need to accept the consequences and move ahead. This should serve as a reminder to every reader to be honest in your relationships and also to protect yourselves in sexual relationships.



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