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Hello, I'm new.....I think I am after some advice!

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Doodle:
Hi all,
My story is a bit long so I will try to cut it as short as I can!
Let's start with the fact that my long term fiancÚ has been recently diagnosed with HIV (November last year).
We have been together for 11 years & and have 2 children together.
I don't know when/how he caught it - if it was before or since we have been together - but that doesn't matter, because sits in the past and I can't change it!
It was a very difficult time for me when he was diagnosed & it has taken until now for me to be able to feel ready to come and ask for some advice and support.
From the start he has been very very secretive and in fact lied to me about he diagnosis - his reasoning was that he was trying to protect me - he didn't seem to have any thought or feeling of the fact that I could be infected too, as well as our children and that I needed to be tested.
COnsequently I actually found out by a little bit of detective work (looking up symptoms), checking which clinics were on the days he had appointment etc.
He only actually told me the truth when I asked him straight out if he had HIV and he coulnt deny it anymore, he knew that I knew.
I very quickly got myself tested and was negative, which obviously left me in a very difficult position - on the one hand I still loved him, on the other hand I didn't know how we could carry on - really more to do with the lying/trust issues surrounding the diagnosis - he had hurt me by not telling the truth from the beginning.
After ALOT of talking and lots of tears & arguments we both agreed that we still wanted to be together & that would be best for the children as well.
The last 6-8 months have been incredibly difficult for me & have been a steep learning curve, but I think I am starting to come through the other side now & feel ready for some advice on how best to support him.
He is still very secretive about the whole thing and finds it very hard to talk to me about it - I have not been to appointments with him, but hope that in the future he might want me too, which I think will help him & me.
He is on medication & and says that the docs say he is doing well - but I have no idea about his cd4/viral load.
I really wanted some general advice in how best I should support him now - should I try talking more or leave it until he is ready and wants my support? (I know that everyone is different so this is a hard one to answer), was just wondering what your personal opions were & what if anything helped you when you were first diagnosed.
My other dilemma is that I really want another baby - and emotionally I feel like that opportunity has been taken away from me - I have read about sperm washing procedures - but not sure how I would feel about something like that really - does anyone else have any experience/knowledge of this?
Does anyone know of any other safe ways of me getting pregnant?
Any help or advice would be very greatly appreciated, & thanks for reading.
E x

Ann:
Hi Doodle, welcome to the forums.

While you don't need to worry about posting a "long story", it would help us greatly if you put more space between your paragraphs, like....

...this. When there are no space breaks in text on the internet, it can be very hard on the eyes and difficult to read. Otherwise, write (and vent) as much as you like.

A lot of men can be very secretive about their health. I can't say for sure why this is, although I suspect it has to do with them not wanting to appear weak. You know what men can be like regarding their masculinity! ::)

It's good to hear that you have remained negative. You may be one of those lucky people who possesses a certain gene that make them pretty much immune to hiv infection. However, now that you know his status, you should be using condoms.

Which brings up the idea of having another baby. It is possible for you to conceive again without expensive sperm-washing. When he has had an undetectable viral load for at least six months, and neither of you have any STIs, then it is possible to conceive the "old-fashioned" way. There have been several threads here over the years which discuss this in-depth, but unfortunately I don't have access to my bookmarks for those at the minute. (For some reason my Google toolbar disappeared overnight and I haven't investigated how to get it back yet.)

While I cannot tell you what to do, I can tell you what I think I'd do if I were in your shoes. I would insist on going to an appointment with him. I would tell him that if this were going to work, I would have to be involved at least to the point of being reassured by his doctor about the state of his health.

Would he be open to attending couples counselling with you? Relate is a very good outfit in this regard. Have you heard of them? They have offices in most places in the UK. Look them up in your local phone book or on the internet. They even have offices in the Isle of Man (where I live) so there's bound to be one near you. You could also go on your own, if he won't go with you.

I'll try to get my Google tool-bar back and when I do, I'll post links to some of the threads discussing conception between a poz man and a neg woman. There have been many couples world-wide who have had hiv negative babies without the woman (or child) becoming poz without sperm-washing. You can too.

I'm glad you reached out to us. Hang in there!

Ann

Assurbanipal:
Hi Doodle

Welcome to the forums.  Sounds like you have a lot going on right now.  But, with time, things can get more manageable.

But it takes time, for yourself and your partner.

Here's a link to some of the other threads about pregnancy.  http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=26774.msg332612#msg332612

Be well
Assurbanipal

Ann:
Thanks for that, Assurbanipal. I just got my google toolbar back up and running and re-opened this thread to post the links, only to find you beat me to it. Thanks again!

Doodle, it's a lot of reading, but there's a lot of information in those links. Hope you find it helpful.

Doodle:
Thank you both very much for the replies & the links, which I am in the process of reading through!

(sorry about the lack of paragraphs in my original post - I should know better as I am a regular forum user on various different sites!)

Ann, I am not sure that he would be ready/willing to go to counselling- and to be honest not really sure if I would either - I have always been a very strong person & have my own ways of dealing things.

His status is not the problem in our relationship & in fact on the whole there is not a lot wrong with our relationship - I am getting over the fact that he lied to me and I know that with time that will get easier to cope with - I guess I have no idea what he was going through at that particular time and it was his was of dealing with things.

I will speak to him about me going to an appointment with him as I really feel it would be helpful for us as well as necessary if we are thinking about having a baby - which reminds, that yes we are using condoms religiously, I wouldn't have it any other way!

How I reamined negative after being with him for 11 years I will never know - we had unprotected sex probably thousands of times - like you say I was lucky.

I Am very glad that I have found this forum & I really thank you for your support, I think I will be here a lot because this is such a hard subject to talk friends/family about - in fact very few people know about his status yet (his choice), which I respect - but doesn't give me many people to talk to & and I know that people here will understand & be suportive.

Thank you both again.
E x

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