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just diagnosed-best friend stopped talking
Apr 26, 2008

29 yo male from NYC, got infected only a few months ago, still trying to come to terms with it. I am in medical school, finding it extremely hard to concentrate lately, my profs think I act like an alien, not knowing what's happening to me. There are many unknowns, will I keep my sanity and get out of school successfully, will I respond to treatment, will I eventually develop a fatal cancer ? The worst is my best friend stopped talking to me. We had the best time of our lives ever since we met in a downtown gay club 4 years ago, we shared everything, moved in together, emailed and texted each other 100 times everyday, I did so many things for him, always been there for him. We were going to move to California together eventually. He told me he would always be there for me when I told him about my infection but over time he started talking less and less to me. When I ask hi what's up, he just says he is busy. He has never been this busy in the last 4 years, he has not called or emailed me for the past 3 weeks almost. before we would talk everyday. If of all the people he does this to me, how can I expect to be in an intimate relationship ever with somebody else let alone have a boyfriend? Thanks for being there Dr. Bob. There is nothing you can do but at least I know you read it and you understand what I am going through.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

It's time for a heart-to-heart talk with your best friend. Maybe he really has just been busy (doubtful). Maybe he's mad at you for getting infected, but is unable or unwilling to share that feeling with you. (This happens more often than you might realize.) Maybe he just can't handle the fact you are HIV positive. There are many reasons people may suddenly distance themselves from someone else once HIV enters the equation. Since this friendship obviously means a lot to you, I think it's worth trying to find out what's going on. Hell, maybe you really are acting like an alien. Also, maybe this guy really isn't "best friend" material after all. Why not show him this post and my response and just ask him to level with you? But, be prepared. If for whatever reason he can't handle your being "virally enhanced," realize that he is rejecting the virus, not you!

I also think you need to widen your support network considerably. How about confiding in close family members or other friends? An HIV-positive support group may also be worthwhile.

Getting an HIV-positive diagnosis is a shock. A period of adjustment to your new reality is to be expected. Your medical training should be beneficial in helping you put your HIV disease into perspective. Start by getting more informed. Read the information in the chapter "Just Diagnosed" that can be easily accessed on The Body's homepage under Quick Links. Then expand your knowledge base by perusing the wealth of information on this site, its archives and its related links. From there you can review the information in your medical school textbooks and maybe even consider doing some of your rotations on an HIV/AIDS ward or outpatient clinic.

I don't know if you know this or not, but I've been HIV positive since January 1991. Let's get through this together, OK? I'm here if you need me. Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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