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partner afraid of infecting me
Jun 12, 2005

My partner was diagnosed + a few months ago. While we had only been dating a few months when he got the news, we managed to keep the relationship going. I am very deeply in love with him, and very confident that he is supposed to be in my life.

But he hasn't been interested in sex that much since being diagnosed. I think it might be a combination of afraid of infecting me or punishing himself (if you get lung cancer, ciggarettes aren't as enjoyable anymore... same idea with sex and hiv maybe?) We've broken off the relationship. He says I shouldn't be in a relationship where I need to comprimise so much (ie, not having sex), and he doesn't want the pressure right now because he has things he might need to deal with on his own.

I don't want to let HIV win. I don't know if I'm supposed to be with this person the rest of my life, but I feel strongly that the relationship has ended prematurely because of HIV. I can't put myself fully in his situation, so don't know what his exact feelings are, even though he tries to describe it to me. I just want to be with him, and as for sex... I'd be happy with very safe sex practices with him. He is the only person I want to be intimate with.

My partner (ex partner right now) isn't on any meds and testosterone levels are normal. It seems phychological since the loss of sexual desire occured the same time he was diagnosed +. Any advice for us? I want him back. I know youre not really a relationship therapist, but maybe any information about safe sex between -/+ couples might help.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

You can review the information about safer sexual practices for magnetic couples in the archives of this forum. I've addressed that topic many times over the years and the information hasn't changed. Many serodiscordant couples, including Steve (Dr. Steve in The Body's Tratamientos Forum) and I, have very successful relationships, including the mind-blowing, toe-curling sex! The real question here is a relationship problem. If your ex isn't willing to even consider reconciling, there isn't too much you can do, other than tactfully suggest the two of you consider couples' counseling.

Alternatively you can just continue to be an excellent nonsexual friend and allow your buddy some time to come to grips with his new reality. A period of adjustment is normal. Decreased libido can be a symptom of depression or stress. Give him some time. Strong relationships are built on trust as much as lust. Hopefully sooner rather than later, he'll realize his touch is not toxic and being "virally enhanced" does not mean you have to give up your "happily ever after." Encourage him to sign on to The Body's expert forums. Hopefully he'll find some of the information here helpful.

Good luck to you both.

Dr. Bob



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