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My partner is devastated that he infected me
Jan 3, 2012

Hello,

Last year my fiancé had an opportunistic infection and was diagnosed with AIDS. He currently is undetectable with a CD4 count just below 200 (when he was diagnosed his CD4 count was 12). About a week later, I was diagnosed with HIV. Although we both have received counseling, he is still devastated that he has "ruined" both of our lives. He just recently told me that he cries every day because of what he has done to both of us. He has done a bunch of research about our disease and life expectancy. But he doesn't believe it. He thinks that he is going to die within 5 to 6 years. And he has talked about killing himself so that he doesn't suffer. I don't know what to tell him beside getting him help to see a counselor and telling him that if he keeps taking his med he can live a long life. I am at my wits end. I know he won't hurt himself but I don't want him to cry everyday thinking he has ruined our lives. I don't know what to do besides show him some literature about life expectancy of AIDS patients. Please help me.

Response from Dr. Fawcett

I'm sorry that both of you have to go through this. It is extremely devastating to think that you have exposed someone you love to this virus. Your suggestions for him to really understand the facts and to seek assistance are exactly correct. Anxiety and guilt often get in the way of resolving these concerns. I strongly suggest that he seek further counseling to help him with his feelings, and that you both become very connected with a strong support system (if you are not already). You both will have ongoing emotions that need to be identified and expressed. Good communication between the two of you is going to be essential to thrive both emotionally and physically.

-David



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