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Worried about daughter. Help Please!

Oct 30, 2001

My daughter has been going out with this guy for over a year. I must specify that it has not been a serious relationship in the sense that this guy told her he just came out of an 8 year relationship and does not want to get involved emotionnally with anyone at this point.

So basically, their relationship has been and still is a purely sexual one. And they do not use protection since he does not like wearing a condom.

Now what concerns me is the fact that this guy has been seen with several girls behind my daughter's back. And since they have been together, every week, this guy has some sort of health problem. He often has a fever that rarely goes away before a week. He is always on some sort of antibiotics. He has trouble swallowing and breathing. He is also always very tired. And lately, he has been diagnosed with a tonsilitis. He has missed numerous days of work since she knows him. He has also been very depressed since the beginning of the summer but did not confided in my daughter as to what was causing his depression.

Now, my daughter has started to have severe headaches during the part 3 weeks. She also had to miss several days of work due to severe vomitting. But she's not pregnant. I told her to consult a doctor, but keeps postponing it, hoping that it will go away.

Based on these symptoms and facts, is it likely that her boyfriend may have contracted HIV?

Thanks in advance for your responses.

Response from Mr. Kull

It sounds like you've done a good thing in encouraging your daughter to see a doctor. It's important for anyone that is experiencing ongoing symptoms to have a check-up with their primary care provider.

It is too difficult to speculate about the cause of your daughter's and her boyfriend's symptoms. It sounds like you are concerned and uncomfortable with your daughter's current relationship, and that anxiety is leading you to look for signs of HIV infection. It is very difficult to determine someone's HIV status without a definitive result from an HIV antibody test.

You obviously care very much about your daughter's health and safety. Beyond giving her support and accurate information about safer sex, you are going to have a difficult time influencing change in her behavior. Respecting her autonomy and ability to make decisions about her own health is a difficult, but important, task.

RMK



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