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HIV, sex drive and recovery

Aug 26, 2012

Hello, maybe you can help me. I am a 40 something HIV+ man, in perfect health and single. Years ago, I had a serious drug problem and sex addiction which resulted in my becoming HIV+. I'm much more stable now, but my interest in sex disappeared. It's almost as if I'm frigid, which makes dating that much harder.

I'd still like to find a partner, because intimacy is what turns me on. I guess I'm wondering if you could point me toward any books or other resources for men in recovery from sex addiction or struggling with unconscious fear about their status. I know I'd make a great lover, I just want a normal sex life without going overboard.

Response from Dr. Fawcett

Thanks for writing. I assume that your physician has ruled out any physiological causes for your low sexual desire. Given that, it is not unusual for persons who have been involved with substances (particularly amphetamines) and/or sex addiction to "fuse" their sexual desire with the compulsive behavior. When that behavior is removed, one's sex drive often goes with it. In many cases sexual desire will return with time. When it doesn't, it is obviously of concern.

If you aren't already familiar with them, check out the various books by Patrick Carnes. They can provide guidance and healing. You don't say if you are a gay man, but if so, you might also find Robert Weiss' book Cruise Control helpful.

In my work with clients struggling with this issue I have found that an ability for intimacy is key for recovery, so in that you have an advantage.

Good luck,


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