Main Forums > Someone I Care About Has HIV

"Survivor's" Guilt


  A couple of weeks ago, a 'friend with benefits' who I had only known for about 3 weeks tested HIV positive.  I wish I could understand why I can't stop thinking about it.  I have had other acquaintances who were positive, but never an actual friend.  Never someone who just found out they had it.  I have no doubt that I have also slept with other guys who were positive and may or may not have known it.  It's not that I am that worried about exposure, it's just the whole -reality check- of the situation.  Both before my 5 year LTR and since the breakup in Feb 07, I have lived that licentious lifestyle that so many of us gay bois do.  Having sex with numerous anonymous guys, sometimes at the same time even, lol; day in and day out.

  Here this guy comes, just like me.  Talk on the net for a few minutes.  Arrange to met for sex.  Unlike usual, ended up sitting and talking for a few hours.  Did the deed. Talked for a few more hours.  And met every day for sex, sex, sex, going to bar, sex, for a couple of weeks.  No strings attached, no commitment, gay boi fun.  Always tried to practice safe sex when together.  Both asked each other  drug/disease free, and both thought we were.  In every respect, I was looking at myself....well, almost, he is much more gorgeous than me.  Anyway......Then he finds out through the Health Dept, that the blood he donated to the Red Cross a few weeks before that tested positive for HIV.     WHAM!

  It was then that I realized that I had not tested in 3 years, due to the relationship which I thought was monogamous.   If that guy is just like me, I could be positive too, and not even know it.  DAMN!  I was mad at myself~~could I be out there exposing people without knowing it?

  So went to the doctor to be tested to see what my current status was.  I know that it would not show if I had any exposure from my newest friend, but, it just seemed like something that I Had to do.  I Had to know if I was exposing other people.  I Had to be able to show him, that even though at some point he had contracted this from somebody, I did not (or who knows~did) expose him to it as well. 

  So I came back negative, and made appt for 6 wk and 3 month followup which I am confident will be negative also.  In fact, the only reason I am even bothering with the followup, is so I will be getting a kick in the ass to be more carefull.

  Ever since the Dx, I have been very pensive.  Not at all my usual whoremongering self.  The effect is good, but the mental angst soon needs to subside.

  I usually spend my weekends, all day long on the internet, finding anonymous guys to trick with.  Many of us know that routine.  Get on-line, find a trick, hook-up, come home and shower, get on-line, find a trick, hook-up, come home and shower; do this all day until time to go out to the clubs, at which point you may or may not have a fuck-buddy who is going to the club with you come over and y'all do the deed before going to the club.  And by the end of just 1 day, you will have slept with 4 or 5 different partners.  Damn!  It all looks so stupid and scary, and even silly when put into writing.

  So, I have spent my weekends since his Dx with such mixed emotions and urges.  I very much want to go about whoring, but I just can't get his Dx off my mind.  It's all I can do not to get on-line and find a trick.  I have in fact logged onto the all-to-well-known hook-up sites, had some hits, done some flirting, but Damn!  I just can't get past the silliness of it.  I could end up positive just like my friend, because I act the same way that he was. Damn!  I can't say Damn enough.  I have spent a good deal of time on the net, trying to distract myself from the urges.  Have spent some time on this great site, and I must say it has been informative, therapeutic, and fun.

  I guess I am coming to the sobering understanding that HIV is something that I have control over, as does all the other guys.  Even if I go have safe sex with a guy, and I am negative, it still re-enforces the whole concept of the availability of easy, anonymous sex; and who knows, the next guy he meets may not practice safe sex, or may be HIV positive, so on, so forth.  It's a vicious cycle.  I want to be a part of the solution, not a part of the problem.  If I could just get over that gay boi demon inside of me that insists on cruizing everyone 24/7.

  I guess also, this might serve as a message to people who are HIV positive, that those that care about you, are truly affected by it as well.  If I did not care for him, I don't suppose that it would be bothering me so much~?~  Who knows.  It all just really sucks.

  I know, that time heals all, and eventually I will slip back into that whoredom.  I am not ready for another LTR, as I am still grieving the previous one.  So, I will just be an oversexed single gayboi, who really needs to use this wake-up call wisely and learn to cool his fly.

  I don't know that there is much point to this litany, other than sometimes it is easier to put a thing in words in order to be able to move past it.  Yeah, I know I am probably addicted to sex.  Porn.  Internet.  and even nicotine lozenges.  But no, I am not interested in a 12 step program or SG.  Maybe, when he is feeling down, I can direct him to this, so he knows, that his life does matter, and I have thought about him and his situation so much?  In uncharted waters, don't know the course or the destination, just trying to keep a handle on the bearings.

Have to say just a few more times:  DAMN DAMN DAMN DAMN DAMN DAMN DAMN DAMN DAMN DAMN!

There's nothing inherently wrong with having lots of sex:  you can have all of the sex in the world with countless men and remain HIV- and STD-free, provided you do it "right," e.g. with condoms and other barriers.  Using terms like "licentious" to describe yourself and others only compounds the apparent problem regarding complusivity, instead of helping to heal it.

You say you don't want a 12-step or support group, but battling addictions to internet, porn, and sex require collaboration with other people to learn more healthful bevaiours and to keep you accountable to others for breaking the cycle within your life.  There would seem to be a void in your life -- friendship, emotional or physical intimacy, approval, etc -- that you're seeking to fill with hours of hooking up online with anonymous dicks;  and you're not likely to find a healthful means of filling it without engaging others


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