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Author Topic: Many Issues With Positive Partner  (Read 4528 times)

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Offline azgirl

  • Member
  • Posts: 11
Many Issues With Positive Partner
« on: September 14, 2009, 10:10:51 AM »
Hello, My (48 yr old) male fiance is positive and I am a (48 yr old) female negative so as far as I know. I've been living with him for six months now and we've been a couple almost a year. I was tested in Feb. and I should get another test soon.

He is taking Atripla and his Dr. says his CD4 numbers are good. 175 to 200. He takes a multi vitamin, L-Lystine for frequent cold sores, DHEA for his fatigue and low libido, ginseng & red wine extract. None of which seem to be helping. He is so tired all the time. He has zero libido.

I know that a lot of his lack of desire for sex is due to his lack of energy. But a lot of it has to do with his concern for my health and not wanting me to become positive. His lack of energy and probably low testosterone, which I read here is very common in HIV positive men, makes it difficult for him to keep or get an erection. Using condoms further reduces his ability to have a hard erection.

I know he loves me and I have no concern about that. I love him and we are planning to be married in December. I just don't know what the solution is to our sexual problem. Both the physical and emotional aspects of it.

When we first started living together the sex was frequent and great. Then he got a cold or something and was very sick for a couple of weeks in July. He had all kinds of tests and his doctor never did find out what was wrong. But he took two kinds of antibiotics and got better. But for those two weeks we had no sex. Then he had a cold sore on his mouth and I had an out break of genital herpes, which lasted 5 very long weeks! So I had no sex for a very long stretch. I was pleasuring him, but I wasn't receiving any. He didn't like that at all. He didn't want me to do that and be left out. But under the circumstances I didn't mind.

But my outbreak has been cleared up for more than a week and we've only had intersourse once! I'm in the mood all the time. But he is not. He asked me not to be aggressive and let him be the one to initiate. So I do. But he never does. Yesterday I was my usual loving affectionate self, not sexually aggressive at all, but he seems to feel everytime I want to hug or kiss I'm initiating sex, which I tell him isn't so, I just want to hug or kiss him. But he feels I'm wanting more and he pushes me away and tells me "Later". But "Later" comes and he's too tired and I feel sexually frustrated and rejected. The feeling of rejection is the most difficult to deal with. And last night I was looking forward to making love so much and so I initiated sex and he finished before I received intercourse. I was very disappointed and hurt and he knew it. So we had a long discussion about it all.

But I still don't know what the solution is. I suppose we need to talk some more and find one. Viagra, testosteone...I don't know!

It's a nightmare! 

I want him to take better care of himself so he has more energy and he stays healthy because I know he is not feeling well and he tries to hide it, but I know he isn't well.

I don't want to make sex such a big issue either, but I love him so much and I'm so attracted to him I can't help but want to make love with him. Life is so short as it is and I want to love him. I've never loved anyone as much as I do him. I sometimes wish I would become positive because then the worry about him infecting me would be over. But I know if he does give me the virus it would really make him feel terrible about himself and I don't want that. I'm not immortal, I'll die somehow, but hopefully not soon and in the meantime I want a happy, loving & as normal as possible relationship with him.

I don't know how to do that now. 

He loves me and isn't rejecting me. But I know he is scared to have sex with me because he's afraid to give me the virus. But I need him more than I fear the virus.

Can anyone help?

Thank you for listening :)

Offline mecch

  • Member
  • Posts: 11,224
  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Many Issues With Positive Partner
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2009, 01:04:16 PM »
1) If he has an undetectable viral load, it is highly highly unlikely he can transmit the virus.
2) If you have safe sex, he cannot transmit the virus.
So, his fears of transmission must be dealt with through education and therapy and communication.

Even though you say his CD4 counts are "good", in fact, they are low, low enough for an AIDS diagnosis and for many of these other health problems you are reporting.
You would need to post more about his HIV history, and treatment history, to get more insight here about why his libido might be low.

Generally it sounds like you love each other and need to do some couples therapy to communicate and work out the sexual dysfunction.  Would help to do this with someone familiar with HIV but not an obligation. It sounds to me like you both need more information and that he needs more medical attention to his sexual dysfuction, so he can understand if it is HIV related, chemical, emotional, or all the above. 

There are lots of possible solutions, but his inaction and denial and procrastination on the subject will not help either of you.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Assurbanipal

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  • Posts: 2,173
  • Taking a forums break, still see PM's
Re: Many Issues With Positive Partner
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2009, 05:58:08 PM »
Hi

Sounds like he is willing to use supplements to help his fatigue.  So one idea would be to print out the lessons on fatigue for him and suggest that he have his testosterone levels checked --since he is already using DHEA,  supplemental testosterone might not be such a big mental jump.

Here's a link to the lessons on fatigue.
http://www.aidsmeds.com/cn/printView.php?page=/articles/Fatigue_10778.shtml&domain=www.aidsmeds.com

Hope you can find something that helps


Best wishes
A


**edit -- typo
« Last Edit: September 15, 2009, 07:23:34 AM by Assurbanipal »
5/06 VL 1M+, CD4 22, 5% , pneumonia, thrush -- O2 support 2 months, 6/06 +Kaletra/Truvada
9/06 VL 3959 CD4 297 13.5% 12/06 VL <400 CD4 350 15.2% +Pravachol
2007 VL<400, 70, 50 CD4 408-729 16.0% -19.7%
2008 VL UD CD4 468 - 538 16.7% - 24.6% Osteoporosis 11/08 doubled Pravachol, +Calcium/D
02/09 VL 100 CD4 616 23.7% 03/09 VL 130 5/09 VL 100 CD4 540 28.4% +Actonel (osteoporosis) 7/09 VL 130
8/09  new regimen Isentress/Epzicom 9/09 VL UD CD4 621 32.7% 11/09 VL UD CD4 607 26.4% swap Isentress for Prezista/Norvir 12/09 (liver and muscle issues) VL 50
2010 VL UD CD4 573-680 26.1% - 30.9% 12/10 VL 20
2011 VL UD-20 CD4 568-673 24.7%-30.6%
2012 VL UD swap Prezista/Norvir for Reyataz drop statin CD4 768-828 26.7%-30.7%

Offline Ann

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 28,134
  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: Many Issues With Positive Partner
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2009, 05:37:40 AM »
Hi AZ, welcome to the forums.

I'd like to second the suggestion that he has his testosterone levels checked. If it's low, that's probably contributing to his fatigue and lack of sex drive. There's no need for either one of you to suffer these things when it's something that can be fixed. Not all doctors will automatically check testosterone levels, so he needs to ask about it.

I would also like to suggest that both of you ask your doctors about acyclovir prophylaxis for the herpes. (you do know that "cold sores" = herpes?) While L-lysine has been shown to help hiv negative people keep herpes at bay, many hiv positive people need more help. I know, I'm one of those people. I take one pill once a day and never get outbreaks unless I forget my pill. It would also be a good idea for you to also go on prophylaxis as you don't want him to end up with genital herpes as well. Condoms don't always protect against herpes, and you can be shedding the virus when you don't even have an outbreak. Please talk to your doctors about acyclovir. You can read more about herpes and the treatments for herpes by clicking here.

I can really relate to the problems you're having. I'm also with a positive man and sometimes he has zero sex drive, and it can go on for weeks, even months at times. I've learned there's not much I can do about it, other than initiate sex now and then, but I really have to pick my moments when he's like that. Most of the time he has no problem and his sex drive goes in the total opposite direction, to the tune of three or four times a night some nights. (and no, I'm not complaining!) When he's in one of his low-drive periods, I've learned to just give him space. Putting any pressure on him is always extremely counter-productive.

He also has problems with fatigue. I've talked to him about getting his testosterone levels checked, but it's like talking to a brick wall. He likes to spend as little time with his doctor as possible and when questioned how he's feeling, he always says "fine". It's like a freaking macho thing with him or something and I think he's afraid that if his testosterone is low, that would make him less of a man or something. I know, how stupid is that? I hope your bf doesn't have that reaction.

Although my current bf and I don't use condoms, I was with a negative man for eight years and I know how condoms can put a damper on things. But, with a little imagination, they can be sexy too. 90% of good sex takes place in the mind/imagination and that's the key to making condoms sexy. You can make putting one on part of your foreplay. You can put it on him with your mouth. Talk to him about how good it's going to be once you get it on and what you're going to do to him when it's on. Use your imagination!

Something else which may help his condom/erection problem is to get him to start using condoms when he masturbates. This will help him to equate putting a condom on with cumming and is a technique used by some sex therapists to help men overcome the condom obstacle to getting and/or maintaining an erection.

You might also want to look into using the female condom. If you read through the condom and lube links in my signature line, you'll see links in the left-hand column of the aidsmap.com pages that will take you to info on the female condom. I've used them in the past and while they're a little fiddly at first, they're really no more difficult to use than a tampon. You can also put it in before you get to the bedroom, so there's no having to stop to put it in. Or again, you can teach him how to insert it and it can become part of your foreplay. The possibilities are endless when you use your imagination. You might have a difficult time in finding the female condom in shops, but you can buy them online and they are delivered to your door in descrete packaging.

If you want to discuss this stuff a little more privately, once you've posted three times, you can send me a PM by either clicking on my username and going to the "send Private Message" link found in my (any) profile, or by clicking on the little bubble with PM in it next to my post. We're pretty much the same age - I'll be 47 in November and my bf will be 50 in February - and I think we might be on the same wavelength.

By the way, you might want to read through the Lessons section of this website, if you haven't already. Feel free to come back here to ask any questions that may arise during your reading.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline azgirl

  • Member
  • Posts: 11
Re: Many Issues With Positive Partner
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2009, 01:31:35 PM »
Hi, Thank you all for your replies. I appreciate all the input and advice. We talked last night and he agreed he needs to have his testosterone checked and agreed to have his doctor do that. I can relate to you a lot Ann in regards to a lot of what you said. I think I'm more informed about this virus than he is. He's in and out of the doctors office and doesn't ask as many questions as he should I don't think. But I understand. Before I came along he didn't have to concern himself with relationship issues, because he was determined to be alone. But now is is having to face the facts and take care of himself and me. That is hard because he hates this virus and what it does to him. So I'm very happy he is willing to come face to face with the issues and is beginning to see how taking care of himself is going to make me happy too!

Thanks again, going to read the Lessons and link regarding fatigue

Offline azgirl

  • Member
  • Posts: 11
Re: Many Issues With Positive Partner
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2010, 10:36:37 PM »
It's been over a year since I posted this thread. A lot has changed.

My boyfriend never used condoms with me and I was always very concerned about that. I tested neg back in May and I'm going to get tested again in a few weeks because I haven't had sex with him for six weeks.

I have left him and live 2000 miles away now, but we are still "together" and he wants me to come back and be with him or to come here and be with me.

But I do not want to be in this relationship anymore. I feel his lack of concern for my health by having unprotected sex with me was a huge red flag that he didn't care about me at all!

And we have so many issues besides the HIV situation. So many issues and I can't be in a relationship with him anymore.

He is so emotional, needy, manipulative and controlling. I have tried to break it off with him many times. He won't let me go!!! I need some advice please!

Thank you!

Offline mecch

  • Member
  • Posts: 11,224
  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Many Issues With Positive Partner
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2010, 12:49:39 PM »
Sounds like you already broke it off.  Just don't go back to him if you don't want to. If you care about him, tell him you care about him and will stay friends. Maybe thats the best way forward.

Nobody deserves to be in a relationship with a manipulative person, so stick to your guns. It wont be easy breaking up permanently but you say thats what you want so be true to yourself.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2010, 12:51:19 PM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline azgirl

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  • Posts: 11
Re: Many Issues With Positive Partner
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2010, 01:03:09 PM »
I have been trying to break it off permanently for a long time and it is so hard because I care about him. And he uses guilt, money and anything else he can to pull me back and it is the hardest thing to do because I still care about him deeply.

It is so hard...

Offline phildinftlaudy

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,959
  • sweet Ann what you think babe...
Re: Many Issues With Positive Partner
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2010, 01:24:45 PM »
I have been trying to break it off permanently for a long time and it is so hard because I care about him. And he uses guilt, money and anything else he can to pull me back and it is the hardest thing to do because I still care about him deeply.

It is so hard...
Ending relationships and moving on is seldom easy - and usually time is the only thing that really helps (something like a hangover).  Through various experiences, I have found that it is difficult, if not impossible and/or inappropriate for someone to tell someone else what they need to do in a relationship (i.e. stay in it or get/stay out of it). 

I think you have answered your own question(s) about what to do - particularly seeing as you have moved 2,000 miles away and recognized that someone who loves you would not want to put you at risk on a regular basis.  Also, love does not use guilt, money or other things to pull a person back.

Codependency can be rough.  One thing I will tell you from my own experience and own learnings about codependency and counter-dependency:  The codependent person thinks that he/she is weak and unable to be without the other person (when in fact this person usually has more strength then they realize and are actually able to function quite well - and have proven it time and again - without the other person).  The counter-dependent person on the other hand presents outwardly as the person with the strength (convincing the codependent person that he/she doesn't need that person and putting the codependent person down or doing other things that put the codependent at risk) when in fact the it is the counter-dependent person that is the "weak" one and who usually doesn't have the wherewithall to be without the other person (the codependent) --- recognizing this dynamic can help in staying out of this type of relationship, as they typically never turn out well.

Your greatest accomplishments in life have probably happened when you have not been involved with the other person - and any stagnation or regression in your life has probably occurred when you have been involved with the person. (If this seems familiar at all - use it as another method of reinforcing why you should do what is best for you)

Hope this helps - Relationships are both rewarding and challenging - their formation, maintenance and dissolution are the very things that both form and reinforce our character as we participate in this thing called life.

Best to you regardless of how you proceed.
September 13, 2008 - diagnosed +
Labs:
Date    CD4    %   VL     Date  CD4  %   VL
10/08  636    35  510   9/09 473  38 2900  12/4/09 Atripla
12/09  540    30    60   
12/10  740    41  <48   
8/11    667    36  <20  
03/12  1,041  42  <20
05/12  1,241  47  <20
08/12   780    37  <20
11/12   549    35  <20
02/12  1,102  42  <20
11/12   549    35  <20

Offline azgirl

  • Member
  • Posts: 11
Re: Many Issues With Positive Partner
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2010, 06:10:43 PM »
You are so right in everything you said. I really appreciate you taking the time to tell me these things. I know in my heart what I need to do, and it is so very hard. I have been stagnant and lazy and have allowed him to rule me in order to keep me around. This is my fault for letting this happen. I have to do the hard thing and end it and stand up for myself and my needs and stop making his needs the focus of my life! I gave up everything for him and it was still never good enough!

Thank you!



Ending relationships and moving on is seldom easy - and usually time is the only thing that really helps (something like a hangover).  Through various experiences, I have found that it is difficult, if not impossible and/or inappropriate for someone to tell someone else what they need to do in a relationship (i.e. stay in it or get/stay out of it). 

I think you have answered your own question(s) about what to do - particularly seeing as you have moved 2,000 miles away and recognized that someone who loves you would not want to put you at risk on a regular basis.  Also, love does not use guilt, money or other things to pull a person back.

Codependency can be rough.  One thing I will tell you from my own experience and own learnings about codependency and counter-dependency:  The codependent person thinks that he/she is weak and unable to be without the other person (when in fact this person usually has more strength then they realize and are actually able to function quite well - and have proven it time and again - without the other person).  The counter-dependent person on the other hand presents outwardly as the person with the strength (convincing the codependent person that he/she doesn't need that person and putting the codependent person down or doing other things that put the codependent at risk) when in fact the it is the counter-dependent person that is the "weak" one and who usually doesn't have the wherewithall to be without the other person (the codependent) --- recognizing this dynamic can help in staying out of this type of relationship, as they typically never turn out well.

Your greatest accomplishments in life have probably happened when you have not been involved with the other person - and any stagnation or regression in your life has probably occurred when you have been involved with the person. (If this seems familiar at all - use it as another method of reinforcing why you should do what is best for you)

Hope this helps - Relationships are both rewarding and challenging - their formation, maintenance and dissolution are the very things that both form and reinforce our character as we participate in this thing called life.

Best to you regardless of how you proceed.

 


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