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Author Topic: Passed it On  (Read 2422 times)

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Offline cph9680

  • Member
  • Posts: 325
Passed it On
« on: August 23, 2006, 09:23:03 PM »
I found out today that someone I care a great deal for was recently diagnosed.  That being bad enough, the only way it could possibly get worse, is that he got it from me!
I don't know how I could have been so cold and stupid.  I've known for almost 3 years, but having not told him I tried to be as safe as humanly possible.  All our activities were low risk, but I guess there's never such a thing as low enough.  I can barely grasp the concept, much as I could barely understand when I first found out.  But far worse is that he knows who gave it to him.  He can ask how I can be such a cold heartless bastard and do the things I did!
So now in his eyes I'm the most hateful evil bastard there ever was.  And maybe he's right.  I've always had a flair for hurting the people I've loved most, but I never destroyed anyone's life before!
I don't know what else there is to do now.  I did something illegal, I've lost someone that I cared about tremendously, and all I have left is terrible guilt.  I guess guilt is enough to live with so that I'll think before I ever act again

Offline Life

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,388
  • Member 2005
Re: Passed it On
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2006, 09:48:21 PM »
Cph... I am not your critic or your salvation..  I feel disclosure is an important factor in peoples lives living with HIV.  But as you say you were as "safe as humanly possible & furthermore,low risk?"  I am not sure how you can equate that it was you and not someone else.  Always playing the devil's advocate.   I am sorry you are having to go through this feeling of guilt.  It is a hard thing to live with.  If your friend wishes to have nothing to do with you, well, you can't change that overnight.  I would however, recommend being there for him in the eventuality he reaches out.  Meanwhile, be good to yourself and allow the dust to settle and take a clearer and closer look at this, and yourself, again....  In time..

Love
« Last Edit: August 23, 2006, 09:51:35 PM by Eric »

Offline Jeff64

  • Member
  • Posts: 255
Re: Passed it On
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2006, 09:53:31 PM »
I know this is crude, but shit happens.
Things could be worse...we are only human!

Offline cubbybear

  • Member
  • Posts: 510
  • Joined August 2005.
Re: Passed it On
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2006, 09:58:05 PM »
Disclosure is a very personal thing and I am sure you had your reasons for not telling him.  However, you did say you were safe as was humanly possible, and as long as you were doing your part in protecting him from the virus, he then had to do his part.  Having safer sex takes two parties, and ultimately its not for you to play safe sex minder for everyone you have sex with.  Everyone has to take responsibility.  Like Eric said also, who's to say you infected him?  He could have been infected longer than he thinks, and from someone else.  Don't beat yourself up about it.  He has as much responsibility to protect himself from the virus as you do from not passing it on.

Cubby
There's a bear in there!
Positive since 2000
Diagnosed 17/9/2005 CD4 35 VL 293,000
Meds 23/9/2005 Sustiva/Truvada
Currently CD4 232 VL Undetectable

Offline Eldon

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,664
Re: Passed it On
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2006, 10:38:15 PM »
Hello Corey, it is Eldon. First of all I commend you for having the inner strength and courage to be open and honest to talk about this situation. It seems as though your friend thought of you enough in order to share the disturbing news with you that he has tested HIV positive. His initial reaction to the matter involved you as you (2) two were having sex together over the past (3) three years.

Although you did not disclose to him your status, you both had practiced safe sex on each occasion. However, it is quite possible for your friend to have gotten HIV from another unknown sex partner. This doesn't mean that it was necessarily you who transmitted HIV to him. Please keep this in mind as you are beating yourself up over something that is of an unknown orgin.

The BEST thing you can do at this present moment in time is to give your friend as much support as possible when he is ready to accept it from you.

Offline RobT

  • Member
  • Posts: 319
Re: Passed it On
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2006, 10:58:06 PM »
cph9680-
Sorry to hear about this, but I understand what u r feeling as I recently rushed one whom I cared about to the ER to receive PEP. I, like urself, was as safe as humanly possible. I do not know how u came to that conclusion; but I am not one to judge.
Take care of urself and let the dust settle. Be there for him just in case he decides to reach out. That is all u can do right now. I wish that I can offer more advice.

RobT

9/27/2005-1st test results
Viral Load >1,000,000
CD4 204
CD4%age 18
CD4/CD8 ratio .23
11/24/2005- Sustiva/Truvada
04/18/2006
Viral Load 140
CD4 402
CD4%age .21
CD4/CD8 ratio .39
06/27/2006
Viral Load 42
CD4 409
CD4%age .21
08/01/2006
Viral load- undetectable
CD4 493
CD4%age .33

Next lab: 09/01/2006


Current meds: Atripla
VL: undetectable
CD4: 630

Offline Rightbrain

  • Member
  • Posts: 54
Re: Passed it On
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2006, 11:58:58 PM »
cph9680,

I had the rare oportunity to meet the guy who infected me.  Get this-it was at a church Bible study.  You see, I had shared with the group that I needed their support because I had been recently infected.  I knew he was there and was shocked to see him.  After all I had been through, there he was.  I never blamed him, though.  He said the following week "I want to thank you for sharing your hiv status with the group.  I've been infected for 15 years."  I said "I know, I got it from you."  the color drained from him and he said "I knew you looked familiar."  So we went outside and talked a bit.  He broke down and cried and asked if I could ever forgive him.  "Forgive you?  I was there too."  I told him that he is my brother and we should go back inside to worship together.  I put my arm around him as we sang the rest of a hymn.  I know it sounds a little too Hallmark, but I wish I could extend the same grace to you. 

I don't think you can make it through this life without hurting someone deeply.  My wife has forgiven me for the infidelity-something I can't understand, but she has.  We are even closer now. 

I know we usually stay away from religious topics here, but I think it's fitting to say May the grace of God be on you.  I wish I could give you a big hug.

brother joe


If there's a cure I hope I can have all the leftover Sustiva.

Offline newt

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,877
  • the one and original newt
Re: Passed it On
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2006, 04:35:20 AM »
Hello, sorry to here about you difficult situation

For me the key word here is "All our activities were low risk" - he may well ask how you can be so heartless but I may well ask, gently of course, how he could be so sure of his safety and quick to blame.  It takes two etc.  Whether, having told him in advance, (a) your collective actions would have been different (b) he would be less angry right now are moot points, and the answers will never be known.

- matt
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"

Offline Cliff

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,645
Re: Passed it On
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2006, 05:59:28 AM »
All our activities were low risk, but I guess there's never such a thing as low enough.  I can barely grasp the concept, much as I could barely understand when I first found out.  But far worse is that he knows who gave it to him.  He can ask how I can be such a cold heartless bastard and do the things I did!
HIV is a difficult virus to transmit.  I think you need to give yourself some time to digest all that has happened.  But going forward one key issue, I believe, is for you to understand what constitutes low/nil risk.  If y'all truly participated in low risk activities, then I would seriously consider the likelihood that you were in fact the one who transmitted HIV to him.  If you did not participated in safer sex, (but only assumed you were), then this should serve as a wake-up call, for both of you, in terms of learning what is truly considered safer sex (or low risk activities).

There is too little information here to go on, but what I hope doesn't happen is for you to consider that having sex with condoms doesn't offer protection from transmitting HIV, based on this event.  You weren't around your friend 100% of the time and you have no way of knowing if he has consistently used protection with everyone he has been with sexually.  If he did not, then the origin of his status may not be as clear cut as he think it is.  If he recently found out his status and he only recently found out yours, then he may be simply assuming that you were the one who infected him, because that is an easy conclusion to come to.  But that doesn't mean it is the right one.

Also, as you mentioned, this issue can be a criminal matter (rarely).  While I do not know the laws of HIV transmission in your jurisdiction, I do believe it is safe to assume that you should be careful in what you say to others.  For example, I wouldn't go around telling folks you gave someone HIV, if in fact you really don't know for sure that this is the case.

Cliff

Offline kentb

  • Member
  • Posts: 75
Re: Passed it On
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2006, 09:39:54 AM »
I have noticed over the years that some people who are newly infected seem to get some justification for being able to properly place the blame of infection on someone else.  As if because they got it from this particular person that hey have no personal responsibility.  The same is also true of people who will never admit that they had any high risk behavior that put them in danger of becoming infected... if there's no explanation then no one can pass judgement because I had unprotected sex and got infected!  Also however unfortunate your friend got infected I suspect that he has probably had sex with other partners whereby he was not safe, it just sound s better for his conscience to be able to blame you.  You don't say what the extent of your activities was and how protected, but I don't think there are many people who became infected by not having protected sex that had a single such encounter.

Kent

Offline aztecan

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,382
  • 29 years positive, 56 years a pain in the butt
Re: Passed it On
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2006, 10:00:10 AM »
I have to agree with what others have said. Assuming the blame without certainty is dangerous both for you and for him.
I don't know who infected me. I have a suspicion, but it really doesn't matter. I have probably passed the virus along to others. The early 80s weren't known for safer sex or monogamy.

I would heed Cliff's advice on this.

HUGS,

Mark
"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline bobik

  • Member
  • Posts: 315
    • My worksite
Re: Passed it On
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2006, 10:10:04 AM »
Hello,

from what you wrote I understand you have been regular partners sexually, I think the anger of your friend is mainly because you didn't disclose to him. What would have happened if you did? Would he have wanted sex with you? Would you have been just as careful? If the answer is yes, the only difference in the situation is that you didn't disclose.

I'm sorry that you have to go through this. It is a nasty experience to find out that even though you have safe sex, sometimes things go wrong, and it hurts when that happened.

hug

Coen
Coen Honig at Facebook

Offline Lwood

  • Member
  • Posts: 797
  • Here's Lookin At You....
Re: Passed it On
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2006, 11:03:58 AM »
WOW,   Kentb really hit the nail on the head, at least  with an issue that Ive been smacking around for awhile.
Other than the 'Who Was It"  issue, there is the maddening " Did I Give It to Anyone " question,   both of which  or neither of which, some of us kinda have never come to terms with....
"Fortunately, I Keep My T Cells Numbered For Just Such An Emergency"
  -Either Foghorn Leghorn or Johnny Cash

Offline Batboy

  • Member
  • Posts: 7
Re: Passed it On
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2006, 03:02:24 PM »
If you were being as safe as possible, you can't totally blame yourself. There were two people involved here. If this guy was playing safe and contracted the virus from you, he could have just as easily gotten it from someone else. Come on, we all know that we take a risk when having sex, even safer sex.

When I was diagnosed I couldn't believe it. It was impossible because I had always been safe. Once i thought about it and all the pieces fell together, I realized that the way I became poz was by doing something that had like a one in a million chance of infecting me but, there is always that one person out of the million. This time it was me. I couldn't really blame the guy I was dating at the time since it seemed that as soon as he must have found out, he abruptly ended our relationship. He never told me but, I guess it didn't matter much. I took a risk.

So, stop taking 100% of the blame. It sounds like you did what you could to protect him. if you had told him and he chose to continue having safer sex with you, the outcome would be the same.

It's really ridiculous that as the people who are positive, we take all the responsibility and blame. Sex is always a risk to some degree and the best we can be expected to do is to be as safe as possible to minimize that risk for others.

I was diagnosed shortly after I started dating someone new. I immediately told him. The sex between us didn't change. It remained as safe as it always had been. He realizes that there is some minimal risk involved but chooses to take that risk. Four years later he is still negative but, if that were to change, it would be because he made that decision to put himself at low risk.

That may sound harsh but, I've seen so many people take on the guilt of having infected someone else even when they had no idea yet that they were positive. It's normal to feel some amount of guilt when you find out that you may have been the person to infect someone else but, part of the responsibility has to lie on the other party. It's not as if you knew and purposely set out to infect others or carelessly had unprotected sex knowing you were positive.



 


Offline cph9680

  • Member
  • Posts: 325
Re: Passed it On
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2006, 03:19:29 PM »
Well, I don't think I was very clear last night.  So I went and checked the lessons on here to see if my definition of "low risk" is the same as the established experts.  And it appears to be kind of a gray area.  All we did was oral, and I'd always heard that unless the person's walking around with open sores in their mouth and drooling blood all over the place then it might be considered risky, but not otherwise.  The lessons on here say it's a hypothetical risk.  So maybe I was safe, maybe i wasn't.  Guess it's too late to worry about coulda, woulda, shoulda and all that.
Still doesn't make it that much clearer.  He coulda got it from me, could've gotten it from someone else.  But I don't think this dude had much of an active sex life, and he knew that I had it before I even had to fess up and tell the truth.  So still, who knows...
I guess this isn't the end of the world, I've learned to live with it and accept what happened, and I'm sure the person who gave it to me, whoever they are, could really have cared less what happened to me, so perhaps there will come a time when my friend can be more forgiving.  And I guess guilt isn't something that'll go on forever, but it's tough enough to deal with considering he says he loves me one minute and then the next says that compared to me, Hitler was a saint!  Guess I've done all I could, and now just have to wait it out.
But thanks everyone for all your kind words and support, it really is a comfort!

Corey

Offline Cliff

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,645
Re: Passed it On
« Reply #15 on: August 24, 2006, 03:39:42 PM »
How did he know you had it, before you fessed up?  If he knew, then why are you worried about not disclosing something that was already known?

In any event, you are right, what's done is done.  He can't change his positive diagnosis, anymore than you can.  You (he) probably won't ever know for certain who was the source of his infection.  But given what you just said (re: oral sex), I would not be so quick to point the finger at yourself.  Anal sex is much more risky than oral sex, and it is very plausible that he has had unprotected sex with others in the past and currently, (despite his innocent/sexless appearance).  Unfortunately, you just so happen to be the one who he has slept with, when he found out his status.  It would be natural for him to assume, incorrectly, that you are automatically the source of his HIV infection.

Good luck buddy.

 


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