Partner with HIV

Question

My partner and i have been together for 3 months. He knew coming into this relationship i have been living with HIV for 16 years. He is now saying he can not deal with it. he does not know if he can handle it. Are there any books he can read and /or should he talk to someone. He says he loves me and does not want to to hurt me. He is also going through alot of other stress. Can i help him or is this a choice he has to make on his own?

Answer

There are books and other written materials out there on the topic of HIV mixed (serodiscordant) couples, but I am not aware of an easily accessible one that I can say would help you and your partner directly. But you may want to do a little searching on the Internet and see if something strikes you. More importantly, it may be very useful for your partner to speak with a counselor or therapist about his feelings and concerns. What he is experiencing is not unusual. Being allowed to express his feelings is very important. And it is important for him to sort through his concerns that may be specifically about HIV from his "other stress." It may also be useful for both of you to speak with a couples counselor together, at some point down the road. The best way for you to be supportive of him is to give him space to explore what he is feeling and thinking. You cannot do this work for him. And if needed, find other support for yourself as well.