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Coping in a new relationship with a negative partner
Nov 4, 1997

I am a 25 yr old gay male HIV+ in a relationship, he is

negative. Since I found out a yr ago that I was positive, I really haven't had much luck in the dating scene. Now I have met this great guy he's

understanding, caring and wants to learn more about AIDS and HIV. One thing

that concerns me is he is young and wants to make this work. I would like to

get feedback or find out about other positive and negative young couples.

How they cope with their everyday lives and activities ie., sex!!! I know

everyone wants to know about sex, I want to be as safe as possible at the

same time be able to have a happy yet healthy sex life. I appreciate your

comments and look forward to hearing from you or others.

Response from Mr. Shernoff

First of all I want to appluad both you and your boyfriend for trying to date and have a relationship. All relationships take alot of hard work on both partners parts, as well as the capacity to be intimate, vulnerable, and to have fun with each other. Sex has to be one important part of any good love relationship, but no relationship will last that is based on sex. You are indeed lucky to have found someone who feels you are special enought hat he wishes to become more educated aobut HIV in order to protect both his own health and yours.

What city do you live in? IF you live in a large city with a sophisticated mental health and HIV service providing community there may be groups for mixed antibody status couples. With both of you being so young and new to dating, a counselor who is a specialist in working with gay youth would be an excellent resource for you to receive counsleing and assistance about maintaining and building a healthy relationship. FOr instance here in NYC there is a special research project at NY State Psychiatric Institute that is studying mixed antibody status couples. THey run ten week couples groups free. Start asking around in your home town if something similar exists.

Good luck and write back and let me know how things turn out.

Michael Shernoff



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