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need to boost newly diagnosed friends spirits
      #3223 - 04/06/00 05:40 PM

Recently found out that a gay male friend is HIV. We have known each other all of our lives. I love him just like a brother. I want to help him in everyway that is possible. I want him to know that I care no mattter what! I want him to find the best teatment available. I want to send him care packages every week to boost his spirits. I want to help his mother and sister cope. What is the best thing that someone has done for you? How can I boost his spirits (in little and big ways), let him know that people DO CARE! That people do live through this and most importantly he is not alone, that I won't treat him any differently and no matter what I will be there for him!!

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Re: need to boost newly diagnosed friends spirits new
      #3224 - 04/06/00 05:41 PM

Hey Spunky,

Your friend is very lucky to have you. To answer your questions, the best way to help him is just to keep being the friend you always have been. I wouldn't recommend changing things that you have done in the past. I know you want to send him care packages, and remind him that you care, but if it's not something that you have always done it will be a reminder that things have changed for him. I know it's very hard to do, but keeping things as normal as always is one of the best ways of helping him deal. Also just be there to listen, do as much research as you can so you have facts about the virus, so when he does talk to you, you will be able to respond with helpfull information. I know you want him to get the best treatment, and to help him in everyway possible, but for a lot of people when they first find out they are positive, their instinct is to ignore it and hope it will go away. Also in the beginning for a lot of people if their viral load and T-Cell numbers aren't bad there is no reason for them to start medications or to change anything that they have been doing. If you try to hard to get him into treatment or to deal with it, you will more then likley push him away. As for telling him that this isn't a death sentence, and that he will be ok, and that everything will work out, it will just take time. Either you or your friend can write to me anytime and I will be more then glad to share thoughts and feelings with either of you.

I found out a year ago that my partner and me were both positive. We started medications just over 6 months ago. There have been very rough times for us in dealing, but we're doing ok and are here to talk to anyone who is interested in talking.

Best of luck to both your and your friend, and again, he's very lucky to have a friend like you.


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Re: need to boost newly diagnosed friends spirits new
      #3225 - 04/06/00 05:41 PM

You can help by finding out about resources--the best HIV specialist with the most experience--telling him about good web sites. But then just be a normal friend and go to movies, etc with him. Don't make him feel like a martian. And don't be over-careful with him. Be as normal as you can. Think deeply about how YOU would feel if the situation was reversed. Be there for him if he needs you--but don't go overboard. HIV is no longer a death sentence! Just a tough chronic disease.

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