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Can I trust him?
Oct 14, 2007

Dear Dr. Bob,

I'm an italian 35 yo guy, hiv-, and I discovered The Body 6 months ago, when the man I had been dating for 2 months revealed his hiv+ status to me. I think you're a very, very nice person, thank you so much for what you do.

Now, I don't know if this is a question, maybe it's more wanting to hear your opinion about how I feel, because I think you can understand.

As I already wrote, I dated this man 2 months before he told me he was hiv+. We always had protected sex (I am btm), even though once the condom broke (he immediately noticed and there was no ejaculation, I just tested negative after 6 months so I'm not worried about my hiv status, this is not why I'm writing).

What happens is I think I love this man but I'm really scared of hiv and I don't know if I will ever be able to handle a magnetic couple situation. Actually the last 6 months have been so hard, I changed my mind again and again. One day I think I can handle it, the next day I think I can't.

We haven't been dating for 1 month now, because he just couldn't stand my ups and downs anymore. I understand him, he's in love with me and I surely hurted him with my behaviour. He says I must decide, in or out.

Now, I think part of the problem is he didn't tell me about his hiv status earlier, before we had sex. I think somehow this affects my trust in him and also my respect for him. At the same time, it is true that if he told me he was hiv+ at the beginning of our relation, I would have never pushed it any further.

Somehow I feel like he "forced" me to fall in love with him, if you know what I mean.

How do you judge hiv+ people who act like that? I mean, do you think it is "acceptable" not to disclose to people, have sex with them (even if it's safe sex) and then disclosing only when the relationship is becoming "serious"? If you were in my shoes, how would you react?

Sorry if my english is so bad, I hope it's good enough for you to get the point.

A big hug from Italy, you're a wonderful man and I think your partner is very lucky. Well, probably you both are.

Massimo

p.s.: deep kissing is still no risk, right? :)

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Massimo,

I do not agree that your HIV-positive boyfriend "forced" you to fall in love with him. In fact, I think it's impossible for anyone to force someone else to love him.

Clearly you are very conflicted about your partner's HIV-positive status. You state if he had disclosed his status at the beginning of your relationship there most likely would never have been a relationship. However, you also state that since he didn't tell you until two months into your relationship you are having trust and respect issues. This seems like an unfair no-win situation for your boyfriend. Personally I encourage HIVers to disclose their status sooner rather than later. However, this is often easier said than done. Take a read through the chapter on disclosure in the archives of this forum and you'll soon see what I mean.

My advice is that you consider couples counseling to address your concerns of trust, respect, honesty, discloser and fear of becoming HIV infected. That would be the best way to come to a rational decision about your relationship. It would also help your partner understand that if you decide not to pursue the relationship, you are rejecting the virus, not him. The biggest tragedy would be letting Mr. Right get away (or "forcing" him away) for all the wrong reasons. Personally I'm thankful every day that my partner Steve (Dr. Steve, the expert in The Body's Tratamientos forum) didn't "cut and run" the moment he saw my HIV-positive test result. We've now been together for 14 loving years. From personal experience I can tell you magnetic relationships can be magnificently successful.

Dr. Bob



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