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Help for the HIV- partner - Thanks!
Aug 28, 2011

First, thebody.com and your answers are the first place I've found any help/advice/solace on being the HIV- partner in what I've learned is called a "serodiscordant couple". Since I learned the other day that my partner of 8 years tested HIV+ and I tested HIV-, I've been trawling the internet for information to help him and me figure our way through the possible coming mess of problems, latest information, doctors, tests, medications when I realized that everything is geared toward helping the poor dear who contracted the disease through screwing around, and nothing about the one who didn't. I almsot feel selfish and I probably risk being lashed out at from the PC crowd by wondering aloud "What about me?" I live outside the US (third worldish) so we don't have "support groups" for serodiscordant couples with an 8-month old adopted baby (yes it seems my partner contracted HIV - of course from a one-time encounter - right after the baby was born as if there wasn't something else to be doing at that time...but I digress). I love him so much and with some work repairing our problems and all the understanding I can muster up I'm sure we'll be together for a long, long time to come. Since tooday, being HIV+ is almost "manageable", focusing 100% of all the attention/support/care/concern on the positive partner seems unfair to the negative partner. Thanks for being the only place I've found where some consideration being given to "me". (Please don't everyone stone me!)

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi.

No one will lash out or stone you here, I promise. When HIV finds its way into a relationship it definitely affects both individuals, even if only one is positively charged. I absolutely agree we don't spend enough time discussing issues from a "negative" perspective. These concerns are many, including not only fear of becoming infected, but also issues related to fears of the positive partner getting ill or dying, survivor guilt, how to interact with friends and family, how friends and family will interact with you once they know, etc. You and your virally enhanced partner should read through the information in the chapter devoted to magnetic couples in the archives. In addition check out Dr. Steve's podcast: "A 'Negative' Outlook: Dr. Steve Natterstad Shares Secrets to a Successful Magnetic Relationship" (August 10, 2010). Steve is the expert in The Body's Tratamientos forum. He also happens to be my legally wedded spouse and the negative component in our 17-year relationship! The good news is that Steve and I can speak from personal experience: happily-ever-after is indeed possible, despite being a magnetic couple.

Good luck from one magnetic couple to another. We're here in case you need us, okay?

Dr. Bob



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