Been 6 years.....frustrated!
May 18, 2011
I was diagnosed in 2005 and have been on ARV since. I have since felt very healthy - blood work every three months have been pretty good. However, the only thing that has not been the same since my diagnosis is my sex life. I have not had sex since - I have been self abstaining. As a result of getting infected, I have been afraid of passing on my infection to another person. As a result I have not had a real realtionship since then - sexual or physical. Everytime I have had the time to be close to someone I just push them away due to the fear of hurting them. I cannot see myself bringing on this burdomsome trouble to someone else. By the way I was diagnosed when I was 23, which makes me 29 now. I have never had a real relationship and I do know if I could ever have one now. My questions is - could this have a negative impact on my future health? Lately I have been feeling very angry and frustrated and as a result I have been feeling very depressed. I am afraid that this will have negative implications on my health, which has been relatively good since my diagnosis considering I have the virus. I am on Atripla and have been since diagnosis.
Can you please lend any thoughts on this? I feel like I have been losing the best years of my life.
Regards, FRUSTRATED AND DEPRESSED
Response from Dr. Frascino
Hello Frustrated and Depressed,
No sex for six years??? WOWZA! No wonder you're frustrated and depressed. I would explode from spontaneous combustion if I went even half that long without some horizontal mattress mamboing!
Your self-imposed abstinence is indeed the problem. I would recommend you talk to your HIV specialist physician and get a referral to an HIV-knowledgable licensed mental health practitioner. Psychotherapeutic counseling should help you come to terms with your unwarranted fears about transmitting the virus to others. You may also need help coping with your anger, frustration and depression. If the depression is clinically significant, a switch off Atripla may be warranted, as we tend not to use Atripla in folks who are clinically depressed. As you are only 29, I don't believe you have wasted the best years of your life, but I do think it's time to come to terms with your virally enhanced status. You should also be very encouraged by the recent news regarding the decreased risk of HIV transmission while on antiretrovirals. See link below.
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