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You are all I have right now.
Mar 14, 2000

Dear Father,

Let me begin by thanking you for offering this venue to troubled people, I feel I am in a state of desperation right now and you are all I really have. Here's my story . .

I am a young woman in my early twenties, and I have many good reasons to believe that I am infected with HIV. In highschool, I met the only love of my life who I am currently with right now. However, during about a year long break up, I had unprotected sex with two other men, the only two sexual partners I have ever had besides my current boyfriend. However, since these two short-lived relationships, my boyfriend's and my health has been on a steady decline. I know in my heart it is HIV, though neither of us have been tested, we have both presented several symptoms that are strictly related to HIV. However, my boyfriend believes that during our break-up that I was not sexually active, and did not become involved with any other people. I have been dishonest, and this mistake that I have made has probably cost both of us our lives. The thought of this overwhelms me, it is a feeling of indescribable dread. I know at any given moment, my life is going to come crashing in on me, when one of us discovers that we are HIV positive. I know I have been a sinner, and my dishonesty has probably also taken the life of the kindest, gentlest person I know, and the only person that has ever truly loved me.

Here is where I need your help Father. I was raised a Christian in the Lutheran Church, and have a strong faith in God. However, right now my faith in God is really being tested because I can't understand how God would let this happen to me. Why wasn't he there to protect me, when I was making my mistakes? So many people in this world have made mistakes such as mine, and they never had to face the possibility of dying so young from such an unforgiving disease. I'm so angry at myself right now, but I can't help admitting that I am also very angry with God. I cannot function anymore. I don't have the strength to face this disease, I don't even have the strength to tell my boyfriend that I have probably killed both of us because I know that he is not a strong enough person to face such a brutal reality.

Where do I turn Father, when I feel that God has abandoned me? I can hardly live with myself anymore, because I know in my heart that this disease has already wrecked our lives. We will never have children, which is a harsh enough reality to grasp. But the thought of the pain that I will have caused my family, and his family has become unbearable. I had no right to contribute to the death of the only person who has ever loved me. How can I forgive myself, Father? How can I tell my boyfriend? How can God forgive me, and why is he giving me this horrible punishment? Please help me find answers, and please pray for me and my boyfriend.

Sincerely . . .

Response from Father DeMartini

My dear friend,

First of all, I want to assure you of my prayers in the midst of your anguish and distress. I would like to suggest to you that God gave you and all of us a very wonderful gift as Creator and that is the gift of a free will. In love, God gives us the ability to be responsible and free in our choices while, at the same time, gives us teachings and disciplines to invite us to choose life and good. As you admitted, you made some choices that did not include your boyfriend and these choices may have resulted in a diagnosis of HIV. However, I think that assuming you have this without taking the test is also risky and I invite you to take the test and know what is fact. If, indeed, you have HIV, it is important to be responsible and set the record straight with your boyfriend, your family and any people who you know love and support you. If you anguish over your past choices and shame all by yourself, you will most likely insure misery and stress in your life which is not healthy in general and certainly not healthy in case you have HIV. I think that God still has his arms open to you even though you are angry at him and I encourage you to give him another chance just like you hope your boyfriend and others will do for you. I keep you in my prayers, Fr. Rod



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