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appletini:
My bf has just been tested + on Monday and it seems that my world has just came crashing down.I'm negative at the moment but will go back in 3 - 6 months time for my second check.We're both in our mid to late 20s.

I live in Southeast Asia (don't even know if it's safe enough to announce to the world which country I'm from,but at least we're living in the capital city) where facilities and medical care are still not as professional and credible as they should be.I'm devastated but mostly worried, for him as well as for me (a she).

I've read the lessons and this forum pretty extensively and has found much info and support from here.
But the social stigma that surrounds HIV in this part of the world is still so profoundly big that my head just reels when I think about it.There's no way that he can be out and still be accepted for it.

I have decided that I want to be with him,but at the same time am very worried if my parents or family members might suspect of something.In this part of the world, family member's opinions matters greatly. What I mean is,will he have any outward signs that will show that he has HIV?I don't intend to disclose this to members of my family,is it possible that they won't suspect of anything?

Apart from that,I'm also very worried about his deteriorating health.He has been having diarrhea for months now (and has just discovered why).But at least in spirit,he's even stronger than I am (or he only appears to be).Today will be the second time I meet him after we discovered that he's poz,I hope I don't break down in front of him.I still cry on and off to myself,but I guess it's something that I have to deal on my own.I've heard that even psychiatrists here have big mouths (unprofessional),even though I'm tempted to bring both of us to one,I don't know if I can risk it.

I'm also worried about his status as a poz in this country.As an expat, would his poz status be a problem for visa extension/renewal? I've read online that all positives will be reported to some government body (forgot which), but I don't know if that info is updated.

As for medicines and health care,he plans to fly to Singapore (nearest country for good resource for HIV).It's going to be costly and I plan to help him on that (don't know if he'll allow me to though).He has been to the main HIV clinic here and the facility appalled him a little.

And another question,why is it essential for pozzies to tell their dentists that they're positive?I fear that he might be turned away if his status is disclosed (remembering how unprofessional doctors can be here).

Please,can someone say something or provide any info that may allay my fears and worries?
I'm sorry I'm jumping here and there,but there are so many questions in my head right now.
I know we're in this for the long haul and I want to be strong and knowledgeable enough to take care of him, but at the same time so many fears,so many questions....

I feel very alone living in this part of the world.If I were living in a more advanced Western country where professionals are professional, and there are ample supply of good medicines,and someone I can talk to...Perhaps I can handle this better...

BirdBear718:
I am sorry I do not know information about your part of the world, or I would be able to suggest something.
I do not know what the doctors are like and if they will be confidential.  You could help your boyfriend search for an AIDS support group or organization.  They would know better which local doctors you should trust since you are concerned about disclosure.

Just know you are not alone.  I am glad you are being supportive and loving to your boyfriend during this time when he is newly finding out his diagnosis.  Remember to support him while he supports your emotions.  It is new for both of you.  The people are here to support you and your boyfriend.

Hugs to you and to your boyfriend.

next2u:
social stigma aside, getting meds is of the utmost importance if your boyfriend is sick. the situation you are in does not sound very conducive to his condition. what are the possibiilities for you if he is expatriatred? would you be able to travel with him if that were the case? it is true, in most countries  you cannot stay for extended periods of time or become a citizen if you are hiv positive. there is a thread in here with a link to a european travel site that lists countries where hiv people can travel or live. it might be of help.

appletini, you sound like a good person with a strong heart. i hope the answers you are looking for find you soon. there are members here from asian countries, i beileve komneas is one. maybe he & some others can provide you with a great starting point.

keep us informed of your progress. your story is very compelling and i wish you the best on your journey. my only advice is to get meds. if possible, maybe you can order some books. i have 2 great hiv books, the first year hiv by brett grodeck and the guide to living with hiv infection by john g barlett and ann k finkbeiner.

stay strong, keep us posted, and take care of yourself.

(damn it, wtf happened to spell check?)

komnaes:
Hey Appletini

There are a few of us from Southeast Asia - I am from Hong Kong (and at least 2 others), and a few expats from Thailand and there's Jinghau from Malaysia that have openly posted here.

What's important now is to get your boyfriend the treatments/tests he needs. If he's flying to Singapore for treatments, is he a Siingaporean? A much cheaper option with more sympathic doctors and medical staffers is Bangkok. Have you guys investigated this option, as I know it's very expensive even for citizens to get meds in Singapore?

You haven't said which country you're from, so we cannot tell you about visa status. Most countries in Asia require expats on work visa to test regularly or at least for renewal. It includes at least Singapore and China. Hong Kong is probably the only place that does not require a health test for work visa, so wherever you are there's a good chance that HIV test is required for work visa application/renewal.

As for his health, you will know from reading here that new meds are helping a lot of us to stay healthy longer. So as long as he's getting the treatments and meds he needs, all things considered, there'd be no visible sign of any illness. One of the more noticeable side effects though is lipodystrophy, which will change our physical and facial features. Depending on what meds your boyfriend is/will be taking, it may or may not be a worry at all.

What is important now is how you guys are feeling! I know coming out to families is not an option, how about friends, his and yours? Have you done a search on local support groups? If you want you can PM me as I can ask around for you as we have in Hong Kong some of the best NGOs on HIV/AIDS in Asia outside of Thailand. The friends I have there are regularly going to other Southeast Asian countries to treat local social workers.

You just need to be brave and get the best from where you are. As you read more threads here, our friends in say the US have their own issues to deal with. Not all Western countries are necessarily better.

Best wishes, Shaun

appletini:
Hi all,
Thank you for all the encouragements and help offered.
We both currently live in Indonesia and he's a European.Does anyone know about the visa renewal regulations here?

He's getting his 2nd test results back (the one which shows viral load etc).I'm hoping they're not that bad.
I've been searching online for more information about travel/immigration bans and many websites lead me to
http://www.aidsnet.ch/linkto/immigration for a more details but I can't seem to open that webpage.Anyone has any websites they can lead me to?

Many people have been encouraging support groups.I doubt that there'll be any available in Indonesia,but this is one surprise that I will certainly welcome...
This is what I found on applying for working permit visa in Indonesia http://www.bali-expat-business.com/indonesia-visa.php?p=3. It doesn't say anything about any medical tests.I wonder who is the best person to ask regarding this info.

I don't doubt that he would get his meds here.It's just that Indonesia is not very well known for their professionalism and many Indonesians who can afford it would rather go overseas for medical care.Would Thailand be a better option than Indonesia? Or are they about the same?If it is,I'd advice him to go to Thailand instead of Singapore.

I'm trying to be brave about this,I really am.I try not to dwell on it and I try to see the brighter side.But I guess I'm still in shock and still adjusting to this new situation.There are so many many many things to consider.

Can anyone tell me......What do I have to prepare myself for emotionally? Or do I even want to know now??
Physically,I know I should be more careful and such.We've always had protected vaginal sex,but not oral sex (which is something that I'm also worried about in this window period).

But thank you so much everyone for replying.I hope I will come back to you with better news...

p.s. I'm trying to pm you komnaes but I can't seem to find the "pm" button.Can anyone tell me which one it is?

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