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Finding it hard to cope and fear losing -ve partner

Jan 11, 2009

I'm a +ve female aged 19 and have known of my status for just over a year and half. I'm facing two main problems due to my status. The first is I'm not sure as to whether I've accepted and am dealing well with the knowledge of my condition. I fear I maybe depressed as even before I learned of my status I often cried at night and sometimes contemplated suicide but didnt really understand why I felt this way. However, since knowing of my status, these ill-feelings have worsened and I often fantasise of dying of something else people would actually sympathise with such as a road accident. I suspect my lack of acceptance is due to the fact I didnt receive any counselling after learning of my status. My mum insisted support from her would be enough but I dont feel as though I can really express how I feel about it. This is because the transmission is noted as vertical but my mum does not know I was sexually active and still believes this is the case. Thus making it difficult to discuss my feelings with her as there is a possibility it was through unprotected sex. I have no one to talk to and am not sure if I need help. Does it seem like I need it? My second issue is that I'm now in a relationship with a male whom I assume is -ve (clues including he has never been sexually active, nor is he a drug user and that lastly prior to our relationship he had never experienced oral sex). We've been in a relationship for 3 months now, although we have been friends for over a year. However, I have not yet disclosed my status to him. I have never connected with anyone so well and we really understand each other and are very much in love. Although we are still very young, I really depend on him emotionally (he is my rock) and feel I could spend my life with him. He knows there is something wrong with me as I sometimes get upset when I'm spending time with him but I never tell him the reason is because of my fears of losing him if I disclose my status. He tells me no matter the problem, he will not judge me and will accept me whatever the problem. I feel maybe it would be easier if I just sacrifice this relationship and finish it without disclosing my status. That way, I wont have to deal with the thought of being rejected, nor will he have to know this terrible fact about me. The reason which is urging me to disclose my status is how much I care for him and the hope hell stay with me. Im sure him knowing will also help me to deal with my condition better as will finally have someone to speak to about it. Im 75% certain hell stay with me and Im willing to gamble the 25% chance of losing him rather than just never telling him and finishing the relationship, never knowing what could have been. What do you think I should do about this relationship? Or should I not even be in a relationship at all?

Response from Dr. Horwath

Yes, you should seek counseling from a mental health professional. Thinking of suicide on a regular basis is a sign of depression and requires professional treatment.

It is clear from your comments that you care for him very much, and that he cares for you. It is also clear that it is your desire to tell him about your HIV status, but you are afraid. I believe that your best course of action is to be open with him. If he cares for you, he will be supportive and become an important confidante and partner in helping you cope with the emotional burden you are carrying. This is an important relationship for you and you should work to preserve it, but being open and honest with him is the way to deepen the relationship. After you've been open with him, the ball will be in his court to decide if he wants the same type of relationship. You cannot control what how he will react, but I do believe it is worth the risk.

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