Worried after revealing my status
Aug 26, 2012
Recently I told my friend who has fallen madly in love about my positive HIV status. We have been seeing each other for about eight months now. He's been trying to kiss me all this while but it was difficult to do that before telling him, since I know that kissing leads to many other things. He cried a lot and promised not to leave me. Two days later he wrote me honestly telling me how depressed he felt about the whole issue. He feels his dreams are shattered, he cannot concentrate on anything and has lost his voice. I tried to encourage him and make him feel better but it has been difficult. He told me nothing has changed in our relationship and that he was going to do everything in his power to ensure I am happy. However, he said he needs time to get over it. We are still in constant communication and he assures me he will always love me, but I have doubts if this will last. He promised not to tell anyone about it since I have not gone public with it. Please tell me did I do the right thing by telling him? I feel so guilty that I have made him so sad and unable to concentrate. What should I do? I am female and I have been living with HIV for 17 years now and on drugs for 10 years. So far I have lived a happy and productive life but it has been very difficult dating. This is the second man I am revealing this to and it always hurts to see them cry.
Response from Dr. Fawcett
Thanks for writing. I'm sorry to hear about the emotional pain you are both experiencing, however, such disclosure is critical if the relationship is to move forward. Remember that such news is a big shock and that time is necessary to process this information. Some people can easily adapt, others find it difficult.
I am glad to hear you have taken care of yourself over the years. Dating can present real complications. You may find help in a support group with others in a similar situation. Depending on your location, you might also find resources for serodiscordant couples. Here is a link to a resource page on disclosure at TheBody.
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