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Starting over
Aug 4, 2010

I am a 40 yr old female that contracted HIV from my husband about 16 years ago. We divorced about 2 years ago and I met someone. I just told him that I'm HIV+ before having sex with him to give him the choice. Understandably so, he is torn. He really likes me as well but has several fears/concerns.

The obvious one of getting infected-which we discussed the solution being wearing condom. Which leads into 2nd concern of ALWAYS having to wear condom. Then his fear that if we were to fall in love and get married - that my chances of getting sick and dying were higher and he would have to go through losing me. So, he told me it would prob be better if we didn't see each other anymore. I told him ok and left it at that. Two days later he called and told me he had been thinking about me but was still very torn.

I told him either way I would respect his choice but I did respond to each of his concerns. I told him that if we found in each other something that we were looking for in a partner that maybe the issue of having to wear a condom would be considered worth it. As for my getting sick & dying sooner, I told him I am on medications daily and my load count is undetectable. That I am very healthy despite this and am no more prone to leave him alone than he is to leave me alone.

I know this is long-winded and I'm sorry. I guess what I am asking (since I know there hasn't been a question yet), is there something more I can tell him medically to ease his mind than what I have?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

I think you are handling the situation just right. BRAVO! You disclosed your HIV status at the right time, provided sound answers to your partner's inevitable questions/concern and then gave him some space to process the new information and his feelings. As for any additional information to ease his mind, I would suggest:

1. Encourage him to do a bit of research by visiting reputable HIV-information Web sites, such as The Body. You could start by even reviewing some information together if he prefers. For instance The Body has a chapter entitled "Mixed-Status (HIV-Positive/Negative) Couples" that includes a variety of articles, research reports and first-person testimonials. Also there is a chapter in the archives of this forum devoted to magnetic couples. There he can also learn about harm-reduction strategies for magnetic couples. Also in the archives of this forum he'll find extensive information about HIV prevention, safer sexual practices and other related topics.

2. Invite him to come to your next visit with your HIV specialist physician. (Advise your doctor he'll be coming.) Encourage your boyfriend to bring a list of all his concerns and questions to discuss openly with your doctor.

Then just give him space and time to see if he makes the right decision or if he'll be singing "The One That Got Away Blues" years from now!

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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