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HIV, I really do hate you.

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Cojo:
There was a time, just over two years ago when life was much different. My partner and I were gitty with the  freedom of spontaneous, uninhibited sex and frolic. I prided myself as being transparent to the world of who I was, open about my sexual orientation.  I felt as coming out was an act of liberation and activism. I never really worried about my health; I was mindful that heart disease and diabetes ran in the family, but that was it. I never dreamed that hooking up could equal criminal activity.

HIV turned all of this upside down in the two words " you're positive". My sex life with my partner has been almost nonexistent and very tense the two times it has happened. I am back in the closet and few people know - and I am terrified they will. It is like I am reliving all of the pain, shame and fear that I experienced 20 years ago when assumed straight and played right along.

I know that the drugs work and I have been detectable almost a year now. Maybe it's some deep rooted fear that cannot be quashed with reason or science, and the vulnerability of the what ifs that could bring this treatment off the rails ever looms.

I have a frightened partner and I am falling into anxiety / depression. I hate you HIV.

spacebarsux:
Sorry you're going through this Cojo. "HIV hate" is something I can relate to. To put it bluntly "it sucks".

From your post a lot of your HIV hate seems tied to your self-image post diagnosis and to how your infection has impacted your relationship. Perhaps couple counselling (in addition to solo therapy) isn't a bad idea? It can sometimes go a long way in addressing the mental angst, as well as bring some clarity and forthrightness between you and your partner.

Coming to terms with HIV emotionally can be a back and forth process (it has been for me); I guess we just got to make sure we're moving forward even if it sometimes makes us move 3 steps forward and 2 steps back.

You'll get through this.

Best

Jmarksto:
Hey Cojo;

I hear you loud and clear - I hate HIV too for many of the same reasons you noted.

I think it is important for us to be able to vocalize our challenges and fears, but make sure that we not succumb to anxiety and depression.  As spacebar noted, couples counseling can be useful. 

The other element of your post that hit me (probably because I have some of it too) is the "deep rooted fear that cannot be quashed with reason or science".  Having that fear is understandable, although the reason and science are what we need to help manage that fear.  Anyway - that fear could also be addressed with counseling (couple or individual).

Take care,
JM





NY2011:
I hate it too. I feel very boxed in as a result of HIV. But, I also blame a lot of shit on it, too. I think now is the time to make some strides in your relationship.  I think that you've got to talk, and start asking the tough questions.  Does he want to break up with you?  Does he think he will ever get to the point of being intimate with you without being freaked out? Can he honestly see himself in a relationship with you that will, in all likelihood, never involve unprotected sex ever again?  I recently saw a billboard that read "Women get prostate cancer too." I think it would be safe to say that HIV has adversely affected him too: his dreams, hopes, and expectations.

 There's no guarantee in any relationship that things are going to continue to run smoothly.  My relationship changed recently, too.  My bf lost his job, and he has been stressing about money and his future. I've reassured him that things will be fine, but he feels like it's his dilemma.  Problem is, it's impacting my expectations for our weekends, ski trips, dinners out, shows...you know, the shit we did when we didn't have to think twice about it.  We talk about it, but it is always a work in progress. 

Cojo:
Thanks for the replies folks and I am glad (sadly) that it has some resonance with others as I don't feel so alone.

I honestly thought I was doing well with this, and maybe I still am, but this is where I am now as articulated in my OP. I know through studies that grieving and bereavement are cyclicall and can be one step forward, two back. I am also mindful that the holiday season is here which brings all of its own stress - being uber social, the expectation of joy etc.

I am happy that this forum exists not only for info and venting, but you folks really do get it....

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