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chuntzu
New User

Reged: 01/16/06
Posts: 2
negative boyfriend/sex question
      #169923 - 01/16/06 03:09 AM

In November I cheated on my boyfriend and was subsequently diagnosed as positive. He has stayed with me, to my surprise, and things are very stable right now. In addition to being positive I am also an alcoholic and am struggling to quit. The night I cheated on him and contracted HIV I was so drunk and high it was unbelievable, and disgusting. I never thought I would cheat on anyone, especially this one...who I do truly love. But, when I drink I don't stop and I make the worst possible decisions.

But, anyway, he's still here and we're still in love with each other. I've only been positive a little over two months now and I'm so confused, numb would be a better description. I don't know how I'm supposed to feel about my health, future, sex, and my relationship with my boyfriend. Both of my parents are alcoholics so denial is an inborn trait, and I've gotten by pretending that everything's the same...but I know its not, especially when they take a gallon of blood from my left arm everytime I go to visit the doctor.
The drinking has to stop, that'll kill me way before HIV will I know that...but knowing is not good enough to force the change it seems. The real reason I'm writing though is that I feel so conflicted. I'm the same person, but things are different in a very deep way. There is something in my blood trying to kill me everyday; which I'm reminded of by the seven pills each afternoon that I have to strategically take with the right food at the right time in the right amount. I have no drug resistance and am otherwise healthy so I know long term my chances are good, but I don't feel like I'm doing enough. I don't eat well enough, I don't exercise enough, I stress out too much, etc. At 23 I've started to actually consider the long-term consequences of my actions and its a bit unsettling to me. So, I guess what I'm asking for is guidance, a place to vent and reassurance.

Also, the big question is, ever since my diagnosis my boyfriend (who is negative) and I have had no sexual contact. We've been together over a year and are as committed to each other as two 23 year old homos can be...but I don't know how to talk to him about this because its his health at risk, not mine. If I bring it up I feel selfish. Should I wait? Its only been a couple months anyway, but I feel like something needs to be said. I just don't know how to do it.

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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: negative boyfriend/sex question new
      #169929 - 01/16/06 07:14 AM

i am also an alcoholic, and like you i make the most horrible desicion when drinking. if you want to vent out about it,and hiv issues, post your email addy, i will write you.
good luck.

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AIDS2HIV
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Post deleted by Becky new
      #169934 - 01/16/06 09:02 AM



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AIDS2HIV
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Post deleted by Becky new
      #169935 - 01/16/06 09:05 AM



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Anonymous
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Re: negative boyfriend/sex question new
      #169950 - 01/16/06 12:51 PM

Go without drinking for three days and reward yourselves with great sex. Then make it four days.

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Anonymous
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Re: negative boyfriend/sex question new
      #169990 - 01/16/06 06:46 PM

Thanks for your advice and I am working with a good set of doctors right now, I'm on kaletra and truvada....which has been alright after the first week. I am going to start going to AA meetings this week and have only drank four times I think since starting meds, but I know that is still too much....I can tell by the way my body feels the next day. I have to stop, its just that its all I've ever known and such a strong compulsion. Thank you again

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Anonymous
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Re: negative boyfriend/sex question new
      #170038 - 01/17/06 09:02 AM

I am also in the process to stop using alcohol, it is tuff. been in a battle with it for 6 years now. i drank before but never was to get drunk and passed out. now, that is what i do, even though my drinking is in binges. meaning, i drink once every 4 weeks or 3 weeks, or even months, but when i do, i become so irresponsible that i jeopardize everything.

yes, i have cheated, and made many mistakes, so you are not alone in this.
I still have to wait 2 more months to get tested again, I still have my partner, which luckly loves me.

post you email addy, if you will like to keep in touch out of this forum.
God Bless

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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: negative boyfriend/sex question new
      #170191 - 01/18/06 02:00 AM

Gee - story sounds familiar. Alcohol and drugs have killed more gays than HIV/HepB&C or anything else. Glad you see that, and are working for a solution. Keep working on it. Surround yourself with support. You can do it.

My addiction counselor said to me finally - "face it. You may not stop drinking all at once. But you will." From that day on, even though I would do binges, I made sure to avoid problems, and then, after a couple of years, drinking & the cravings were/are gone.

You may find that the meds and some side effects will substitute for a hang over. Then especially, drinking will not sound attractive. The combination is murder on your liver and pancreas.

I started where you are about 21 years ago. Alcoholic, HIV+, Hep B+. Nearly died once (HIV related). Still here at 46, attract attention and am working. There were not the meds back then there are now. Do not underestimate the need to exercise - resistance training is faster and great for keeping various toxicities down.

My best to you on your journey.

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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: negative boyfriend/sex question new
      #170346 - 01/18/06 11:16 PM

first of all, something doesn't add up in your story. you said you cheated on your boyfriend in November and now you're on Kaletra and truvada. But you normally would not be on meds for a number of years after you were first infected. so is it possible that you've been infected for some time? if so, maybe you don't have to carry a burden of guilt that you got infected while cheating on your boyfriend.
but what I want to respond to is your lack of sex since your diagnosis and the inability of you and your boyfriend to address these issues. As you know, it's pretty tough to keep a LTR together, especially for two 23 year old homos. It will take a lot of work on your part and his to keep this thing alive and vibrant.
I am a couples therapist, as well as poz, as well as in a relationship. I want you to know it is extremely common for guys to have sexual problems after they are diagnosed. As many of these problems come from the person infected as from the partner who may not be infected. For example, in some cases the infected partner lives with a fear, partly rational and partly irrational, that he will infect his partner, that his semen is now "bad seed," that he will potentially "kill" the man he loves. In other words, there are all kinds of anxieties that make for bad sex. And if you two don't address your lack of sex, it will eventually destroy the relationship.
Look, you've got a lot on your plate. And so does your partner. So why don't you both get into couple counseling with a good therapist so you can identify your issues and address them?
Good luck with your health. Good luck with AA. And good luck with establishing a solid relatioinship with your special guy.

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MarkinNYC
New User

Reged: 01/12/06
Posts: 4
Loc: New York, NY
Re: negative boyfriend/sex question new
      #170358 - 01/19/06 02:06 AM

My spouse and I have been together for some 18 (going on 19!) years now. When we met were were sero-opposites. Then the unthinkable happened. My partner became poz. While it was almost a relief to me, it was one hell of a shock, to both of us. This summer it will be 20 years since I was diagnosed. We've found that talking is the key. We keep trying to talk it through. Sometines we fail and get into an argument - but most of the time our effort to talk about it (whatever "it" is) works out. We were in our late 30's and early 30's when we met and now I'm in my mid 50's and he's in his late 40's. Funny how the time passed so quickly. The health has held up for both of us. The medical care we've had has been some of the best in LA/ SF/ NYC. So the point is that talking about this stuff in context of your relationship can preserve your relationship. We didn't start with two decades. We did it one day, and sometimes one hour at a time. Yes - marriage counselors when needed, a shrink for both of us on occasion, and a willingness to try. The virus is not going to win. It's that simple. We've had one hell of a good time together - and intend to have a lot more.

As for your discussing your feelings about the risk(s) to your BF, and your sexless marriage, etc. - if you don't talk about these things with him and talk in great depth and with total candor and honesty with him - you'll end up destroying your marriage. The choice is yours. This is playing for keeps. It's a hell of a way to grow up - however it's happened and you cannot change that fact now. So you'll do what we all do - you'll do your best and you'll both cope. But above all -talk talk talk with him! Love will cary you thru. It did so for us.

Oh - one more thing - get some help with the drinking problem. That will kill you far fast than AIDS ever will, if you ignore it. And let go of the concept of "cheating" - almost none of us can maintain a monogamous relationship. You have enough "other" stuff to contend with now. You don't need this outside 'guilt' about how you may have gotten the virus. Fact is you've got it now. Now you have to worry about today. You will survive this virus and with luck, your marriage will survive too. People do meet, grow up together, and grow middle aged and beyond together. This is called "living" and you are to be commended for trying a relationship at 23. Most of us do not manage to do even that! (At least til much later in life.) You've made a hell of a start and got a hell of a blow to contend with, too. But today HIV disease is a long term yet managable chronic disease. Life is not over. Hell, it's just beginning! For you and for us, too! <grin>

All the best...

Mark & Don in NYC.

--------------------
Mark in NYC

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Anonymous
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Re: negative boyfriend/sex question new
      #170359 - 01/19/06 02:11 AM

This is chuntzu, I'm having trouble loggin in

hello again,
I know I was infected from the particular cheating episode. I had been with my boyfriend for many months, then cheated....got the flu like symptoms and went to my doctor knowing (based on knowledge of ARS and the sluttiness of the two guys I slept with while cheating) that I might have HIV. My antibody test came back negative, but my viral load was positive, so it was a recent infection. Thank you all for your advice. I think counseling will help. I don't even know if I'm ready for sex at this point myself, I don't exactly feel sexy or worthy of that kind of that kind of intimacy after what I have done. I'm happy just being together and having him still there for me. I think the sex will come, its just that I am afraid to raise the issue. I guess its denial, because I know talking about sex will include talking about my HIV status.

right now I just take some pills and live a healthy life. I've taken medication for depression for four years now, so its no big deal to add some more medication into the mix....so being on daily drugs isn't hard for me.

And, my doctor placed me on medication right away because she believes in beginning treatment during the acute stage of infection.....even thought thats not completely proven as any better than waiting. I had a viral load of 500,000 to start and no treatment resistance if that helps anyone's understand

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STUDIO 54
Unregistered

Re: negative boyfriend/sex question new
      #170392 - 01/19/06 10:42 AM

Dear Chuntzu,

First of all, take a deep breath and try to relax about being +. I'm positive since 1999 and I know how difficult to deal with this situation. I know too HIV/AIDS is no longer a death sentence. I think you must share this situation with your partner, but don't suffer a lot about this problem for it'll become a big problem, right? Take care yourself (body and spirit). Your reaction is YOUR reaction and if your partner, friends, family love you in truth, I'm sure they'll will uderstand and help you. Believe in life in spite of being HIV +. And if you want to talk more send me a mail. My e-mail address is: reboucas73@hotmail.com

Take care man!

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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: negative boyfriend/sex question new
      #170526 - 01/20/06 09:25 AM

these r all false hopes my dear key to survival is natural remedies n spiritual support drugs r very toxic tto liver n kidneys delay treatment until u r sickest pharma industry funding lies sold to people so keep dis in mind n save ur partner frum slow n agonizing death before time its a lesson fur hiv neg people

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antibody
Member

Reged: 01/28/06
Posts: 27
Loc: san diego, california, usa
Re: negative boyfriend/sex question new
      #172238 - 01/29/06 02:56 PM

i stoped drinking right after my diagnosis 2 years ago. and i feel much better for it. i mean i still feel like shit everday all day but i could only imagine how i'd feel if i was battling a hang over too. no ARV's but i need meds for the other symptoms. like peusdofed for my pluged but nose and benedryl for itchy skin. vicodin for pain, marijuana so i can eat. so adding alcohol and over working my liver would kill me quick. alcohol is a depressant too and i don't need to be anymore depressed than i am and i have good numbers cd4 700 VL 11,000. so i dont know why i am depressed. but keep going to AA if it helps. it's time to thinka bout everthing that goes into your body for here on out!....

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ReikiMasterPA
Unregistered

Re: negative boyfriend/sex question new
      #173322 - 02/04/06 01:31 AM

Chuntzu,
Ive been poz 23 yrs now and tho ive been thru some pretty serious near death close calls, i can still say today at 42 yrs old, im healthier in both mind and spirit, a well as body than most of my hiv neg contemporaries, probably not attributable to any great character trait on my part, more to the fact that when yr hiv poz, ya have llittle choice about takin care of yourself. Ive lived with a rampant alchoholic bf, (we split for other reason about five yrs ago) and believe me, nobody knew it more than him that if he didnt stop the drinking, his immune system would stop it for him, ... by failing, and leading to h is death, which sad to say, is exactly what happened eventually.
we did manage however to get him clean and sober for the last five yrs of his life, and tho by then the damage toh is liver was extreme, he still no less redeemed himself, you can too.
its just a bitch of hard work to succeed.
as for boyfreind issues, partners who are one positive and one negative are called sero-divergent couples, i can think of no worse, more clinical a term for a relationship lol. my bf today (one year) is hiv negative, and aids has NOTHING to do with our sex life. the way i look at it, some men like to be tickled, some dont. its no big deal, some guys like some stuff, some guys like other stuff. we just decided to accept the things we CANNOT do sexually, as we would any other preference, like the tickling example above. no big deal.
we just sorta act like the things we cant do are things we dont want to do anyway, and this temporarily freed us from the pre occupation with those things, and in time, we forgot all about THOSE things, and built our sexuality based on the things we CAN do safely.
as for advice?...
the best way to approach this subject between you and your guy... why not just go to him and say, " Damn man, I know we need to discuss some of these things, but i have no clue where to start, period!"
you mite be surprised to find that jumping that hurdle will pave the way to all sorts of discussions.
the very worste thing you can do is avoid and deny and avert, since youve already said denial is somehting that h as come easy for you given your upbringing.
plunge on in and just SAY SO.... " I dont really know how to approach these topics with you, but i love you, and i guess maybe we can FIND OUT HOW to approach these topics TOGETHER"....
he may be pleased you acknowledge that this is a 'together' issue, and not HIS problem, or YOUR problem, etc.
and as is true for the many couples ive known in 20 years, when ONE of them becomes poz and the other not, it takes a while for sex to resume. this is normal. how would you feel if HE came poz, and you were not?....
be sensitive to his position, never punish yourself, reality has a funny way of bringing us the experiences we need for our higher development, and keep keepin on.
as for drinking, well, i can only tell you a simple truth about the 1000's of men ive known who did nott survive the eighties.... those of us long term survivors who gave up the drugs and alchohol far outnumber those who didnt, and the far greater majority of the men ive seen pass away, died more because of drug and alchohol abuse than hiv.
hiv is survivable.
chronic alchoholism isnt.
help is just a matter of asking for it.
seems like your bf is already willing to at least TRY to stick it out with you... this is a blessing for you, many men would NOT offer th is for you, so step up, get in his face, and if y a dont know what to say, then just SAY THAT..." i dont know what to say"
he may have more to say than you reallise, as well. YOU need to start that ball rolling!
best of luck.


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