Peer Counselor, New York City, N.Y., Diagnosed in 2002
For the first time in my life, I have found somebody that I can actually see a future into my 90s with.
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It's not smooth sailing. It's not like Fantasy Island, Blue Lagoon love, but it's the love where we talk about our issues. We both have various issues. We're both very different people, very complicated. When something comes up, we talk about it and figure out how we move forward from that point. And it is actually the most adult relationship I've ever been in.
We met as a hookup, as a casual sex thing, and became friends. The sex faded out, and then over the years, we realized that we meant something to each other and said, "Hey, why don't we see how this can move onward?"
He's negative and I'm positive. A lot of times, people who are HIV positive will get frightened by every little thing. Like if they get a cold, they'll get very frightened. "Oh my God. How bad is this going to get?" I tend to not allow myself to get that way because I feel like the stress can make things worse than they really are.
Because we've only been together as a couple for about a year and a half, he has that element of when something happens [with my health], he tends to get a little bit afraid of where it might go. It's something that I deal with, and I try to let him know that it's probably not a big deal. And since I work in HIV, I know more about what is going to be a serious thing or what is not. But that's still another one of the ticks that we have to deal with.