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Love of my life, should I spare her?
Feb 16, 2001

Mr. Kull, thanks for your valuable work. I have met someone I want to share my life with, but I feel I should find some excuse to let her go because I don't want her to get infected, at least until I summon up the courage to go get tested. I'm a heterosexual male age 30. 4 years ago I had protected vaginal sex and unprotected oral insertive sex with a Samba dancer in Rio. I had cuts on my fingers and hands and while I didn't finger her exactly, I rubbed her down there and got vaginal secretions on my hands. I had a mild sore throat a week after that, and a cough that lasted for a month. I also had aphtous ulcers and a bad case of night sweats after about a month. Again, after about a year I had a facial nerve paralysis which lasted for a month. I've read that this paralysis is a symptom of early HIV. Otherwise I've been healthy and I have never done anything else that is risky for HIV. Because of all this, I'm nearly certain I have HIV, but I don't want to get tested because there are some days and weeks when I forget about it and actually doubt the whole thing, and I would rather live in ignorance than to lose my job (which I would), and my sanity if I tested positive. I have always been so careful, I am so angry that this one lapse has caused all of this. So here goes again: Can I go ahead with this relationship and have sex (I have hard time explaining to her that I don't want to yet) without getting tested? I know this is an irrational question and I need to get tested. I just needed to ask, even this helps clear my mind a bit. Thanks, Zico

Response from Mr. Kull

Well you have many options in front of you, but I can think of two that would be most helpful to your own peace-of-mind. You could go ahead and get an HIV antibody test to determine if you are infected. Based on your story, it sounds like you are at low-risk for infection. Where are you working that you would lose your job if you were positive? That's an awful position to be in.

You could also talk with your partner about what is going on with you. It is important to have an honest communication with your partner, especially if you have something weighing on you so heavily. To just ignore your feelings and plow ahead may put unneeded stress on you and your relationship. Your partner might be a supportive person in the process of getting HIV tested.

Good luck.

RMK



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