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Family and Friends >> My Loved One Has HIV/AIDS

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Anonymous
Unregistered

my brother is HIV positive...i have some questions
      #177842 - 03/01/06 04:37 PM

last year (april), my brother was diagnosed with HIV...it litterally tore our family apart. i will never forget the day i found out, it was one of the worst days of my life. when i found out, i went hysterical...the first thing i thought was "he is going to die". that is all i kept saying over and over in my head was "he is going to die"...it was all that i could think of for days. everytime i would see him, i would run away crying. i know he needed us (the family), but i just couldn't bring myself to to talk to him. i just couldn't...what would i say??.....do i talk about him having HIV??....do i not?? do i act like i don't know anything?? i didn't know how to react, so instead i just backed off and was kind of distant towards him. he stayed in bed for a few days, i guess to let reality sink in. i'm still not sure if it really did sink in for him yet. i can't imagine trying to cope with something like that. I am just so scared that with him having HIV that somehow I could catch it. I know that you can only catch it if you have sexual intercourse, share a needle, or come in contact with bodily fluids of someone who is infected with the HIV virus, but what if he uses my razor?? What if my toothbrush and his are in the same cup in the bathroom?? If i drink out of the same cup?? Or say we use the same bar of soap or something??...I know these questions are probably crazy, but i need to know. I took an HIV text in late December (2005) and it came back negative....but I am still scared that I might come in contact with it being that I live in the same house with my brother and he is infected. I don't want to be that person who pushes him away because of this terrible disease. I want to be able to hug my brother and not be thinking "what if I catch something??"...You have no idea the things that go through my head. If he has a little scratch or something on his arm....i won't touch anything that he touched because of it. I think that "ohh, maybe I can catch it from that". The other night, we ordered food....I wanted another chicken wing, and he took it out of the bag with his fork.....as much as I wanted it, I didn't eat it because he picked it up with his fork. I don't want him to think that I don't want anything to do with him...I just want some answers to my questions to help me a little. This is the first time my family has ever been through anything like this. Although it's made my family a little closer, I still do not feel like I can totally accept this. It's not easy....I'm so glad that there is a site where I can communicate with others who are going through the same thing. Please, if anyone can answer my questions, I would GREATLY appreciate a reply. Thank you for listening to my story....

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Monchhichi
Guru

Reged: 02/07/05
Posts: 248
Loc: Florida
Re: my brother is HIV positive...i have some questions new
      #177855 - 03/01/06 06:33 PM

I am neg and my husband is pos. If this answers your question we french kiss, eat after each other and have even accidentally used the same toothbrush. (The last part is something you shouldnt do) It is not THAT easy to contract. Try talking to your brother. He needs you. Do research with him. Have him help you. It would be a sad thing if you lost your brother while still alive. Something else could end up taking him, you never know.

--------------------
Never forget: Life is too precious to take for granted.


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franfrog
Legend

Reged: 01/05/06
Posts: 1342
Loc: NJ
Re: my brother is HIV positive...i have some questions new
      #177860 - 03/01/06 07:31 PM

I am poz and my husband is neg. To answer your questions you can not get it by sharing a fork with him or eating off of his plate. When he has a blood spill use precaution if it is just a simple little cut and it is scabbed up you are safe. You should really not try to ask a few simple questions but educate yourself on this disease completly. Since your brother is still pretty new at this whole thing you can learn together. Be open with your brother right now he needs the support and needs to know you support him.



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Survivor
Legend

Reged: 10/30/05
Posts: 3256
Loc: Get off the fence and live again!
Re: my brother is HIV positive...i have some questions new
      #177865 - 03/01/06 08:15 PM

Please love your brother... Please get educated about HIV. Your brother can live just as long as you if he does what he is told and is LOVED.. The virus does more of a job on peoples mental states than the condition itself. Dont distance yourself from your brother. You will hurt him further by being the way you just put in words.. STOP IT! Learn and Love... Educate your family.. He needs YOU more than ever right now... I know... My family is behind me every step of my journey in HIV... Do the same for him... HE IS YOUR BROTHER FOR CHRIST SAKE...

Love

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firefly
Guardian

Reged: 01/22/06
Posts: 431
Loc: Orange County, Calif.
Re: my brother is HIV positive...i have some questions new
      #177866 - 03/01/06 08:40 PM

I wish my brother was still around to hug. I'd whisper in his ear...."everythings gonna be alright" ! I'd giggle over something silly with him. I would let him cheat at scrabble. I would cheat on my diet and share a piece of pie with him.We would share a fork. We would probably fight over the last chicken wing though.They are my fav ! Hug your brother ! Tell him you love him !

--------------------
You are a diamond in the rough !

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LILsis
Newbie

Reged: 02/19/06
Posts: 3
Loc: Oklahoma
Re: my brother is HIV positive...i have some questions new
      #177898 - 03/01/06 10:57 PM

Well, a year ago or even a month ago I might have done some of the things you are doing. My older sister has HIV/AIDS, she has had it for many years now but we did not live in the same house until recently, and I came here with many of the same questions that you have. you were right when you said that you can only contract it through sexual contact, sharing needles, blood transfusions, and open wounds ( both of you must have open wounds that are bleeding), you can not get it from hugging your brother unless you BOTH have open wounds, not from the same tooth brushes touching, drinking after each other, those are things that people thought back when this was first becoming known to the public. I still have a hard time looking at my sister and trying to talk about it, and like you I was so afraid of my big sis dying, however, you need to pay attention to things like does he take his meds, is he trying to take care of himself, all those things make a big difference on how long they will be around, my sis my out live me she is that healthy. I needed my sister, and you need your brother, if you are haveing a hard time talking to him face to face then tell him about this forum and post what you want to say to him here then let him read it and let him know that your not ready to talk in person about it just yet he will still love you and it will hopfully bring all those myths to a stop, and it might even bring you two closer, I know it has for me, trust you brother he does not want you to have it, and he would not doing things to take that chance, and have faith in GOD.

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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: my brother is HIV positive...i have some questions new
      #177911 - 03/02/06 12:47 AM

First of all, you can not catch HIV/AIDS. It is not transmitted by a bar of soap, drinking after the positive person, or eating after him. One person in so many billion "caught" hiv with a razor and one person in a billion from a toothbrush. So, put your toothbrush in a plastic brush holder and your razor. Hug your brother, for God's sake. If you love him, show him, listen I slept, yes, we had sex, no rubbers, for 5 years and I didn't get hiv. It is not that easy to get. First, let's say he has a cut and it is bleeding. You have to have a cut as well, then somehow his blood has to get inside your cut and go into your blood stream, and it would have to be ZOOM fast, because hiv dies when it hits the air. Salive does not contain enough hiv to give it to you, you can drink out of his cup, kiss him on the lips, give him a back rub, lay down next to him, tickle him, give him a bite of your food off your fork, take a bite of his food off his fork, and you can not ---- I repeat, CAN NOT get hiv this way.

Oh, by the way I am not NOT suggesting anyone have unprotected sex, I am saying only my experience, so please do not anyone take this risk because of my, I am sure, rare experience.

I certainly noticed my own brother, when I told him about being exposed and waiting on my {first} test results to come back, he gave me a paper cup to drink out of and wiped his hands after touching something, and then said I'm only concerned about my wife getting it. I decided right then that if I found out I was positive I would not tell him. It was very noticeable and I would have very much appreciated him saying, I'm not sure how you catch it, I need to learn about it, and deal with my fears and initial shock. There are counselors for families to learn about and become educated about the illness, and this website is awesome as well.


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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: my brother is HIV positive...i have some questions new
      #177951 - 03/02/06 09:28 AM

first of all, that is why i am on here....to get educated. i don't want to be like that towards my brother...i do love him. i am behind him...but this is hard for me to deal with...i'm sure it's not as bad as what he is going through, but it is hard for me. you're making it seem like i WANT to be distant from him, and that is NOT the case....

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Survivor
Legend

Reged: 10/30/05
Posts: 3256
Loc: Get off the fence and live again!
Re: my brother is HIV positive...i have some questions new
      #177957 - 03/02/06 10:15 AM

Nothing then has changed.. Go love your brother some more..

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Survivor
Legend

Reged: 10/30/05
Posts: 3256
Loc: Get off the fence and live again!
Re: my brother is HIV positive...i have some questions new
      #177962 - 03/02/06 10:53 AM

Lastely, there should be no fear in your relationship with your brother. I think the way we came off was interpreted wrong by yourself. We know you love your brother. I have been through horror storeis where entire families disowned their family members, banished them forever. Bought head stones before their loved one was even dead. The mental anguish your brother is feeling right now is beyond your measure. You have to be there to understand. You have to be in his shoes. Put yourself there.. How would you want to be treated if you were diagnosed HIV? Dont let your family be a statistic thats not positive. Go to the library, get your hands on information. By all means continue to share your concerns here. Just dont let a virus get in the way of love... Thats what we are all saying to you... You have to get past the stigma. Walk around it, kick it out of the way, but dont let a stigma that was founded 20 years ago continue.. Its unwarrented, unhealthy, unwise and extremly hard on your brother if he experiences it.

Love

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franfrog
Legend

Reged: 01/05/06
Posts: 1342
Loc: NJ
Re: my brother is HIV positive...i have some questions new
      #178027 - 03/02/06 07:07 PM

We are not trying to say you are not. I think it is great that you are asking questions. What I was trying to say and I am sure many here were was not just asking those questions. Find out ALL the facts. It will take you forever coming on here and asking a few questions at a time. We know you love your brother and that is why you are here. Love him. Don't fear him. HIV is not as easily transmitted as some may think. It will be hard at first while you are learning but do not think eating out of the same bag of wings or even the same fork you have something to worry about. Your brother needs your love and compassion now. Do not take me or any of us the wrong way, we are trying to help. Good luck.

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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: my brother is HIV positive...i have some questions new
      #178100 - 03/03/06 12:04 AM

I'm negative myself and by no means am I trying to be judgmental, however if I think back maybe I distanced myself the first few weeks or so, however it was because my husband had not disclosed his status. I ran from the room when I found out he had lied by omission or whatever. I was more hurt than afraid to be eating after him and such. I found out that support and not rejecting my husband even though he had done a not so nice thing and of course, we slept together, and I tended his physical needs. He had lesions, open oozing wounds so when I would give him a massage I would wear thin gloves because I have so many cuts on my hands and that made him feel rejected. Of course I hated to have to wear stupid gloves to clean up vomit and blood with him watching, I could see in his eyes how it made him feel so bad, untouchable. Don't think the positive person is not ultra aware of your behaviors and I beleive it causes undue stress on them which can aggravate the virus, causing further problems on immune system. the mind and emotions are a powerful thing with hiv, stress in other words. Love and acceptance are key, family support, not feeling isolated or "untouchable"-------think Mother Teresa.
In other words most of your fears are unfounded, so PLEASE for your brothers sake, educate yourself and do stop treating him this way. It seems rather cruel.

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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: my brother is HIV positive...i have some questions new
      #178185 - 03/03/06 04:15 PM

i would just like to say that even though i've only been on this forum for about 2 days now, you have ALL helped me out A LOT!! i feel that i can talk to people and get advice....even if it's some thing that i don't want to hear. for the first time in a long time, me and my brother actually talked last night....no arguments, no being sarcastic and nasty to him, and it actually felt good. i finally felt like i had my brother back...even though i was the one who was having a problem dealing with it. my brother lives his life as he always did....i don't know if it's because he's still in denial or what, but if he could continue living as he did before, then so should i. he is still my brother, no matter what he has. i accepted him when he told us that he was gay.....and i've now learned to accept that he is HIV positive. thank you all for your advice...take care.

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