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Dealing with old "friends" post diagnosis...

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AM community,

I guess I'm looking for a little advice here.  I'll try and make this as concise as possible.

My closest friends prior to having HIV are not my cloest friends anymore.  In fact I believe that about one month after my diagnosis they all pretty much abandoned me.  They returned phone calls sporadicly, wouldn't reply to emails I sent them and basically left me alone to deal with my diagnosis.  I'm loathe to go into all the details, but let's just say that I spent many upon many nights alone dealing with this with nobody but me.  And when I needed someone to hold me up I would call, but nobody would answer.

Thankfully AM was there to push me forward.

Now I'm unsure how to deal with these various people.  Most continue some form of contact with me.  They may call once a month or less.  Considering how often I spoke to them prior this is vastly diferent.  Just a phone call from them just reminds me of being so alone in the worst days of my life. 

I don't know what I should do with these people.  Cut off as much contact as possible?  Try and salvage the relationship?  Confront them?  I guess I've done all of this to varying degrees, but in the end all I can think is that I think very little of these people. 

Occaisonally I will call them and hang out just to have someone to hang out with...just because I'm bored.  But it's hallow.

To add some perspective...none of my closest friends prior to HIV had a clue that I had to start medication a month ago.  They've checked out, and I have to feel they either don't care or are too scared to deal.

Recently an old friend has been emailing me and calling me alot.  She bailed during the worst six months of my life?  What to do?  I can't bring myself to answer her calls.  I've written some small emails back to try and keep things nice, but I'm reluctant to try and "re-connect".  I don't want to be a big drama queen and tell her that she utterly failed me.  I just feel stuck.  I'm just not sure what they could do to redeem themselves even. 

I don't necessarily consider them horrible people, but I just don't think much of them.  They just seem so clueless, and is it my job to spell out the obvious to them?

Please...what are your thoughts? 

much thanks,

    I am so sorry you are going thru this with so called Friends.  I think that you need to evaluate and see how much these three people really mean to you.  If you could get back the friendship you had, would you be willing to forgive and go on?  Everybody deals with HIV different wether infected or affected.  Not trying to make excuses for them but could it be possible that they were afaraid to say or do the wrong thing so they just disappeared for a while?  Again not making excuses(playing the advocate) Anyway if you feel these people may be worth your wonderful friendship, I would suggest you talk to them and let them know how they made you feel and take it from there.  Pretty much I figure they are not really there now and if it doesn't work out you are not really losing much because they were not there when you needed them., and like always if it doesn't go good we will be here to catch you.  With much Love  Rachel

Hi Brian,

Pointing out to someone that they abandonded you during the worst six months of your life is NOT being "a big drama queeen", it's simply being honest and calling a spade a spade. The ones who respond to your honesty with heartfelt apologies might be ones worth salvaging a friendship with. Those who respond with more silence or lame excuses, well, why would you want them in your life anyway?

True friendships are based on honest communication. You'd be doing yourself a disservice to hold back on this one. That's my feelings on the matter anyway.

Whatever happens Brian, you've always got friends here.


The ones who respond to your honesty with heartfelt apologies might be ones worth salvaging a friendship with. Those who respond with more silence or lame excuses, well, why would you want them in your life anyway?

Hi Brian,

I was going to say the same as Ann did. In my own life, my close friends didn't abandon me, but I abandoned all who I considered acquaintances. Why you might ask. Well, in the simplest of terms, my time became more valuable to me after diagnosis. I no longer wanted to waste it on socializing with people who I didnít feel close to.

Iím a pretty self-sufficient individual. Always been more of a loner. I donít feel the need for a large circle of friends, just a few very good ones.

If there are any of your friends who you feel might be able to actually bring something of value to a friendship now under your new circumstances, then by all means, check them out and see if thatís a possibility. If not, then let bygones be bygones. I wouldnít waste a minute on regrets about whatís gone before. Time is too precious for that.


Hi Brian,

I agree with what everyone has said already. 

After my husband was diagnosed, those closest to me were there for the news.  Then when I was diagnosed, they were still there.  Those friends are still here with me today.  However, it was some of the friends I told post diagnosis that I thought were good friends, that disappeared off the face of the Earth.

I believe it's just a matter of them being worried about how to "act" around you.  They are afraid because they don't know what to say, or how to react.  The one who is trying to get back in touch with you, be honest with her.  Let her know she let you down, but you are willing to forgive because you understand that it's a difficult situation.  It sounds to me that she's trying to find a way to let you know that she's ready to pick up where she left off.  Now it's up to you to be able to forgive her.

And Brian, don't waste too much energy and effort on those who are not ready to reciprocate.  But it sounds to me that you have at least one who is ready to reciprocate.


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