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Author Topic: My 19-year-old brother is HIV Positive.  (Read 9069 times)

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Offline helpmecope21

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My 19-year-old brother is HIV Positive.
« on: June 28, 2012, 10:11:04 AM »
It's so hard for me to type, even though I have several times over now and it's even harder to say aloud. I really dont know where to start. My body is shaking as I type this. My brother left for the Army on May 28, only to find out on June 21st that he had to come back home due to being Positive.

The most horrible detail of this situation is that I fucking predicted this was going to happen, even befor he left. Do you know how very scary that is? To have got th news and not been in shock because you literally saw it happening Down to the very detail of the phone call? It's driving me absolutely insane. Making me question if my constant over thinking and LONG term fear of HIV that I've had all my life caused his Infection!! Why did I just know this was going to happen? Yes I knew my brother is gay and I knew that before he left he had come to be promiscuous when he was out, I knew he's didn't like to wear condoms with this 17 year old boyfriend. But he insists in his letter to me that he wore condoms for all his other escapades and that he doesn't really see his boyfriend being the one who infected him. I don't see it either. I feel like my polluted and fucked up mind did this. I feel like I I had just stopped thinking of HIV and him so hard this would not have happened. I almost can't live with myself let alone do I know how I am going to live with him. How can I ever tell him that I thought this would happen? How can I tell him that I am petrified of HIV and think everyday of a different scenario where I could be at risk? I will tear his heart out and that is the last thing he needs to lose because it is what makes him so amazing to me.

HIV is not a newcomer in my family, as his own mother (he is really my adopted cousin who my parents took in when he was vey young) died of AIDS in 2010. This disease is haunting me and now it has my brother. Please help me I have literally lost control.

Offline helpmecope21

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Re: My 19-year-old brother is HIV Positive.
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2012, 01:53:32 AM »
anyone there?

Offline ImisstheOldTimes

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Re: My 19-year-old brother is HIV Positive.
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2012, 04:14:11 PM »
Hi HMC,

I think even though you may have "predicted" your brother's diagnosis, I do not think that causes it. Most people who are fearful are fearful of contacting it themselves...it's hard when someone in your family gets the virus, but it had nothing to do with your fears. My father contacted HIV/AIDS, and at one point in my life I was fearful about getting it, around 1997. My fathers diagnosis was just this past February...did I have anything to do with it? No, it was a result of my father's choices. The moderators here will tell you the main way of getting HIV/AIDS is unprotected anal/ vaginal intercourse.  We (outsiders) have nothing to do with it.

Hang in there, with the right treatment, people with HIV can live pretty normal lives :) be there for him now, chances are he needs your support
Life is a BANQUET, and most poor suckers are starving to death!

                             ~Auntie Mame

Offline karry

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Re: My 19-year-old brother is HIV Positive.
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2012, 06:24:27 PM »
Hi
I dont think you could possibly "think" your brother into getting HIV. I know its very hard to accept that someone you love is positive, but what your brother needs now is your full support.
...It no longer matters how he got here, all that matters is that he is here now and he has to live with it. His "promiscuous" or not promiscuous pass does not matter.

Educate yourself about HIV. Your unfounded fears are going to do nothing but ruin your relationship with your brother. If you really care about him, you should forget about yourself for a moment and think about him...he is the one infected, he is the one who has to live with the stigma of people constantly fearing that having him near them puts them at risk.

If you dont intend to have unsafe sex with your brother, share needles or have him bleed on your open wounds, I dont think you have to worry.

I have been positive for more than 5 years, my friends know....and they still bring their babies for me to babysit.

Goodluck
Karry
Take it a day at a time....and be positive about it too!

Offline helpmecope21

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Re: My 19-year-old brother is HIV Positive.
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2012, 07:19:25 PM »
I do truly care about him hence why I am trying my best to put a way my, as you say, unfounded fears. It is difficult since I have always had an HIV phobia and dealt with very real risks before that he was aware of. In all my years of fear I never thought of it happening to him until before he went to The Army. And then it did :(

I still have some hope that maybe he didn't get a confirmation test back yet? Or what if they are just telling him he tested POS because they know he is gay and don't want him around? I've read stories on how brutal they can be to homosexuals in The Army. And also, one of my brother's first letters to me started off by him telling me he didn't think he would be there long because some guy who stood behind him every mooring in Formation was threatening to kill him.


What am I saying? I know that can't be right...you can't just tell people they have HIV and it not be true. I néed to accept this....

His boyfriend texted me yesterday to tell me he recieved a letter from ng brother. Right now he is in a room with another guy who couldn't complete training due to a bad back, and he says he will be home but doesn't give a date. He told his boyfriend to get tested and to find treatment centers that are free. Sigh, are there even any such places? His boyfriend is beating himself up pretty bad, and scared to test--he's blaming himself as if he knows for sure he's the one who infected my brother. I told him that he might not ever know for sure, and I'm trying to help but you know that I am so irrational myself.

I feel better today, but I still wonder how much worse the road that lies ahead is really going to be? I dont think I will be able to watch my brother get sick or be In the Hospital.

Online Jeff G

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Re: My 19-year-old brother is HIV Positive.
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2012, 07:32:16 PM »
I feel better today, but I still wonder how much worse the road that lies ahead is really going to be? I dont think I will be able to watch my brother get sick or be In the Hospital.

Sorry about your brother ... There is a good chance with treatment your brother will be OK so you are kind of jumping ahead with the getting sick and hospital thinking . If you possibly can try calming down and get some perspective and realize that your brother is the one who just tested poz  , not you ... if you can do this maybe you can be there for him as a source of support instead of being full of fear about things that haven't happend yet . I'm wishing you both the best of luck .

Offline karry

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Re: My 19-year-old brother is HIV Positive.
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2012, 07:49:52 PM »
Hi Helpmecope21
I think you ought to seek help for your own issues. After reading your posts, I dont think its about your brother anymore. I just think you need to get help ASAP and you should seek it.

If I were your brother, I wont want to deal with your extreme phobia at a moment when I am trying to handle an HIV diagnosis.

Get help...or you may only hurt your brother in the long run. I am not sure he needs that.
Thanks.
K.
Take it a day at a time....and be positive about it too!

Offline helpmecope21

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Re: My 19-year-old brother is HIV Positive.
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2012, 08:22:49 PM »
Big update, I just got off the phone with my brother. He is being held in Colombus, GA at some kind of military "jail" where people from all branches of The Military are held when they are being sent home. He sounds well, albeit very confused. The conversation between him and I flowed the same as all of our conversations have, I made him laugh and we talked just like normal, as If nothing happened. :) it proves that I will still be able to do that, despite myself and I know I can putt away my fear at least around before him.

He expressed to me that he is very confused about the testing. He says that on December 15th, at MEPS he was found to be negative. He tested POS on the May 30th test, apparently but they only informed him on Jun 21? Pretty weird, and he also says he has no IDea whether they got back the results of his confirmation test or whether he even had one done. He says the took him to The Hospital to check the virus progression, and some woman told him he could still have antibodies from his mother in his body that cause false positives? What? These people sound pretty misinformed. How unfortunate would it be if they were sending my brother home for no reason? What do you guys make of all of this?

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: My 19-year-old brother is HIV Positive.
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2012, 08:02:19 AM »
There is nothing for us to make of the situation until he knows that he has had or has a confirmatory western blot test.

So far there are no clear details for us to respond to.
Andy Velez

Offline Ann

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Re: My 19-year-old brother is HIV Positive.
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2012, 01:13:55 PM »
I really rather doubt that the US military would discharge a soldier because of hiv unless the diagnosis has been confirmed with a Western Blot.

We have one or two members who were diagnosed while serving in the US military - maybe one of them will see your posts and tell you about the process one goes through when testing hiv positive in the military.
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 helpmecope21

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Re: My 19-year-old brother is HIV Positive.
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2012, 06:14:28 PM »
Is it possible...

My brother could have been infected all his life since his mother had it? I mean, I know it probably couldn't be since he tested negative in December but he tells me that at whatever hospital he went to they are saying it is a possibility.


I haven't spoken to him since the 4th. He informed me he will be Honorably Discharged which is good? I mean, will he have benefits and be able to pay for Meds easier now?

I have trouble deciding whether or not I should be honest with him about my own phobias. I was advised I should be up front and tell him I probably don't néed to be around him until I straighten my own shit out....but to me telling him that seems way more selfish than just keeping my HIV anxiety crap to myself when he's around. I do a good job not to talk so much about it during our phone calls.


He seems acceptant of his diagnosis already; he even went as far as to tell my mom he doesn't care about it anymore because he knows he will live. So why can't I accept it?

They were wrong about my counseling  being free, and I definitely can't afford the shit right now. I just don't want to be horrible sister or person anymore; my mom is already acting like she's walking on pins and needles and my brother hasnt even come home yet. I dont want to be like that....

Offline mecch

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Re: My 19-year-old brother is HIV Positive.
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2012, 07:36:17 PM »

I have trouble deciding whether or not I should be honest with him about my own phobias. I was advised I should be up front and tell him I probably don't néed to be around him until I straighten my own shit out....but to me telling him that seems way more selfish than just keeping my HIV anxiety crap to myself when he's around. I do a good job not to talk so much about it during our phone calls.


Tell your brother you have extreme anxiety and irrational thoughts about HIV.  And then, yes, try to control your self from indulging all these rolling thoughts around him.  Honesty is the best policy. But you don't seem to be out to lunch completely, considering what you just wrote, you are very aware of your irrational thinking, and also concerned to support your brother correctly.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: My 19-year-old brother is HIV Positive.
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2012, 11:51:15 PM »
Your local health department (and your doctor's office might even be able to refer you) has access to psychological counseling, almost always on a sliding scale. It might be free, or ten or twenty dollars a session.

Trust me, you need it. Under NO circumstances will you be any help to your brother, especially not in person.

Telling him does not make you selfish. NOT telling him and setting yourself up for a traumatic situation IS absolutely selfish.

If you want to get your shit together, as you say, you will find a way. There ARE means at your disposal. Will take some legwork and effort to put them into place.

You might want to call that ASO you mentioned before and explain the entire situation. Maybe they have a referral they can offer.

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline helpmecope21

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Re: My 19-year-old brother is HIV Positive.
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2012, 07:54:36 PM »
My brother's boyfriend just tested negative. My brother is still in Georgia and insists he only slept  unprotected with his negative boyfriend since his own last "negative" test. Could it be that Richard just didn't seroconvert yet? Either way, now it's clear my brother got infected from someone else/through some other way. He is pained and I'm confused! And honestly still afraid. He says they showed him the test so I need to kick this whole idea about them just waning to kick him out the Army out of my head. This is real. But how. Why?

Online Jeff G

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Re: My 19-year-old brother is HIV Positive.
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2012, 08:09:54 PM »
My brother's boyfriend just tested negative. My brother is still in Georgia and insists he only slept  unprotected with his negative boyfriend since his own last "negative" test.

You might have to just resign yourself that your brother is now HIV positive and realize its not important for you to know how he got that way . Until your brother is ready to talk about this aspect of it you are going to have to respect his privacy .

Is it really important for you to know how he contracted the virus or is it your HIV phobia that's fueling your desire to know ? .   

Offline helpmecope21

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Re: My 19-year-old brother is HIV Positive.
« Reply #15 on: July 18, 2012, 08:29:41 PM »
It's my phobia, entirely.


And he comes Home Thrusday. I am going to wait to see him in person to tell him, I'm fucked up and can't help him right now but this is the thing; I was advised not to be around him and he lives in my house!  What am I supposed to do? I don't want to scare him anymore, he's already seemingly surprised his boyfriend is negative. He said "it's awkward" let alone Him come home and I'm all on the edge. I have absolutely NO ONE to talk to about this shit.

Online Jeff G

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Re: My 19-year-old brother is HIV Positive.
« Reply #16 on: July 18, 2012, 09:15:19 PM »
It's my phobia, entirely.


And he comes Home Thrusday. I am going to wait to see him in person to tell him, I'm fucked up and can't help him right now but this is the thing; I was advised not to be around him and he lives in my house!  What am I supposed to do? I don't want to scare him anymore, he's already seemingly surprised his boyfriend is negative. He said "it's awkward" let alone Him come home and I'm all on the edge. I have absolutely NO ONE to talk to about this shit.

Please know I'm not attempting to be glib or trite about something that is important to you , its not my intention . This is one of the hard things in life that's just a tough one to deal with for you .

You have been over the transmission routes of HIV with the best of the best the internet has to offer with the experts here so worrying about that aspect of your brothers diagnosis is something you already know the answer to .

If you are feeling anxious being around your brother honesty is probably the best option you have at this point , tell him how you feel and how much you love him and try to work it out from there . In my book being honest with someone about something uncomfortable is better than uncomfortable and insincere . 
 

Offline helpmecope21

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Re: My 19-year-old brother is HIV Positive.
« Reply #17 on: July 18, 2012, 09:30:21 PM »
Okay. Its just I feel like he is counting on me to be the ultimate utmost support to him. And I'm not ready. No way, no how. Ugly as it is to admit, I can't get over all these what if's concerning myself and it kills me that my LIFELONG fear had to happen him. He is one of thE most beautifUl people I know....and I'm not and all I do is think for worst and he knows I've always had HIV phobia. So it's not going to be new news to him that im still scared--what will be new news is that I can't be here for him Right Now. I can't be here for the one person who's bent over backwards for me his entire life because i'm afraid of what??

I just don't Want things to be different. I almost want to harm whoever did this to him, but who knows of they even knew? I want him to Inform the other people he's slept with. But he hasn't said whether or not he's going to do that yet.

None of this is my place...

Online Jeff G

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Re: My 19-year-old brother is HIV Positive.
« Reply #18 on: July 18, 2012, 09:38:03 PM »
Your Phobia does not make you a bad person but it is something to work towards dealing with . If my brother had an HIV phobia and he thought enough of me to do the work to overcome it I would be very proud of him .     

Offline helpmecope21

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Re: My 19-year-old brother is HIV Positive.
« Reply #19 on: July 19, 2012, 12:51:45 PM »
Thank you.

Offline helpmecope21

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Re: My 19-year-old brother is HIV Positive.
« Reply #20 on: July 25, 2012, 10:03:47 PM »
My brother came home last night. It's almost as if he had never left despite all the stories he has to share about his short experience at basic training and RHU (the military "holding" center before they send you back home.) Our bond is exactly the same, our interactions. My mother was the only person to bring up his HIV status today and when she did, his story changed from what he orginally told me. She (my mom) asked him that if his boyfriend is negative, who does he think he got it from. He now says he only had sex unprotected with his boyfriend and one of his female friends during a threesome with another guy before he left. ...

Although I know it's not my place, it's hard to know what is appropriate for me to say to him. I really wonder if he is going to call and inform this girl and whoever else he's been with of his status, out of just good human nature to get them to test too..stop the spread ...or leave them in the dark. I want to suggest he says something, but I'm not sure if that's way out of line. I want to ask him if he intends to go get treatment and counseling anytime soon, but right now all he is doing is getting drunk with his friends just the same way as before he left. He was there last night before he came in today and he's there now. I just don't really understand.

Then we're sharing my room because my oldest brother has the couch. What is appropriate to talk about in terms of all of this and what isn't?

Offline Rockin

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Re: My 19-year-old brother is HIV Positive.
« Reply #21 on: July 30, 2012, 03:47:57 PM »
She (my mom) asked him that if his boyfriend is negative, who does he think he got it from. He now says he only had sex unprotected with his boyfriend and one of his female friends during a threesome with another guy before he left. ...

Hey man...first time commenting on your thread but I have to ask: does it make any difference to you how he got it? It's not gonna change anything. Maybe your brother forgot to wear a condom with someone, who never did that? Everyone slips up eventually, sex these days can be a russian roulette...some are lucky, some not so much.

I want to ask him if he intends to go get treatment and counseling anytime soon.

I wouldn't think there's any problem in you asking your brother about treatment. This is a natural concern of yours. Unless he's not comfortable talking about it, then you should wait for the right time. You both are having to deal with this news and each person handles it differently.

"inform this girl and whoever else he's been with of his status, out of just good human nature to get them to test too..stop the spread ...or leave them in the dark".

That's really up to him and, again, why dwell on it? It takes two to tango. Those people were just as responsible for whatever happened as he was. Who's to say the girl wasn't the one who infected him in the first place? Sure, it would be very mature and responsible of him to inform these people but do not demonize him if he doesn't.

but right now all he is doing is getting drunk with his friends just the same way as before he left. He was there last night before he came in today and he's there now. I just don't really understand.

How drunk are we talking about here? Binge drinking? He's 19, isn't he? Hanging out and drinking is normal for guys his age, especially in smaller towns. If he's binge drinking then that might be a problem but that's not clear.

And what kind of behavior are you expecting from him? Crying all the time? Being depressed? When I found out I had it all I wanted to do is keep going on about my life as normal as possible.

I think you are very concerned with your brother and the best thing would be for you two to have a good, serious conversation. Tell him how you feel. Even if you end up arguing. 

 


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