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Reged: 06/21/13
Posts: 1
My younger brother was diagnosed yesterday
      06/21/13 12:27 PM

My younger, 18 year old, brother came out several months ago. Since then hes moved out of our parent's place and to the same city as me.

I've played the roll of supportive big brother during his transition, even providing him with a place to stay until he could get a steady job and enroll into the local community college. He wasted no time finding two part-time jobs and getting enrolled. He eventually found his own place and room mate. Hes been doing very well on his own and to say I'm proud is an understatement...

However, I often found it was difficult to balance being supportive vs being an older brother. All of a sudden, hes showing me pictures of guys he thinks are hot, guys hes flirting with on Facebook, twitter, Jackd, <insert social media here>. All of a sudden, hes talking openly about his sex life, what he does at clubs, etc... I finally decided to have "the talk" with him, regarding safe sex and making good decisions. I reminded him that the gay community in our area is much smaller than other places, making it more likely he could contract an STD if he wasn't careful. He assured me hes always used protection and that hes always been smart about it. I felt I did a good job handling the situation, so I left it alone.

Several days ago he came to visit and had been complaining about very swollen lymph nodes in his neck. He made an appointment with a doctor and the results came back yesterday. He called me and confessed that he had been diagnosed with HIV, and that it was likely transmitted sexually. He was very matter-of-fact in our conversation, and couldn't understand why I was so shocked. "Its my body, and life goes on" were the exact words he used. I was told never to tell anyone..Not my wife, our parents, my other siblings, etc..

This mad me angry, and I'm still angry as I type this. I restrained myself and calmly, patiently tried reasoning with him to no avail. I let him know that we are his family and will support him. I told him that his body would also respond better to treatment with a strong support system. The argument always comes back to "its my body and my decision".. He says he would rather die alone than have his family know he contracted an STD. To say I'm angered by this is an understatement..And its not just anger. I'm filled with an overwhelming fear and sadness that's multiplied by the fact that I'm sure hes feeling the same some where deep down. Hes only 18 for God's sake!

I could go on forever about how incredibly selfish, shortsighted, and immature his attitude is. But I really need to know how to handle his decision to keep this from my parents and other siblings..Out of respect for his decision, I haven't told anyone (though my wife is aware something is bothering me). Am I helping or hurting him by keeping this information to myself? I cant help feeling like this whole situation is partly my fault for being to lenient or giving him a place to stay. . Maybe, had I told him what I really thought of his loose lifestyle, he would have thought harder.

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Subject Posted by Posted on
* My younger brother was diagnosed yesterday adnoctum 06/21/13 12:27 PM
. * Re: My younger brother was diagnosed yesterday DaveSF   06/27/13 08:17 PM
. * Re: My younger brother was diagnosed yesterday anotherday   06/21/13 02:45 PM

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