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Author Topic: Does anyone else think of this.....life expectancy  (Read 1051 times)

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Offline magneticlove

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  • Posts: 15
Does anyone else think of this.....life expectancy
« on: April 06, 2014, 11:16:47 PM »
I almost hate to even bring this up, but its something that I would be almost ashamed to talk to the very few people who know my boyfriend's status....and something that my boyfriend and I have talked about, in a very surface level way....

My boyfriend was diagnosed HIV positive about three years ago (although I've known him for a while, we were not dating then).  I already knew about his HIV status when we did start dating, and it didn't matter to me one way or the other since I'm quite educated. 

But, one thing crosses my mind every once in a while, and I know its morbid....I wonder about his life expectancy.  Now, we are pretty young, and I know that we've been told that he will have a normal life expectancy due to his current state of health, his maintenance on meds, etc., BUT, I can't help but think about how it will end.

Now, yes, I know, we could get hit by respective buses tomorrow, or *I* could die first due to WHATEVER, and so on.  But, I can't help but think sometimes, will my boyfriend die of something HIV-related, even if that is fifty years from now?  Will he die in a hospital hooked up to tubes?  I've even thought about.....will he end up in the hospital, decades from now, and will everyone then figure out his status? 

I hope no one is offended by this post.  Again, I don't have a lot of avenues to be honest about my feelings about this situation.    ???
Boyfriend <3 = positive, undetectable, on ARV's
Me = negative, on Truvada for PrEP

Offline emeraldize

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Re: Does anyone else think of this.....life expectancy
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2014, 11:46:33 PM »
Hi there,

I take no offense to your query and I think whether positive or negative, life expectancy is something most people will ponder at some point.

Sure, HIV might make you think more about the potential for a morbid ending for your partner. However, with advancements in treatment, earlier regimen starts, and so on, better to think about diet, exercise, work, fun, etc.  Focus on quality of living as few of us get to pick quantity.

You know you're both gonna die eventually, but you don't always get to love and be loved by a partner.  Consider your good fortune.

Offline buginme2

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Re: Does anyone else think of this.....life expectancy
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2014, 11:49:54 PM »
Surface question...HIV will have little impact on your boyfriends health most likely although, with life, there are no guarantees.

In depth question.  Based on your other posts in context with this one...do you mind further expanding on your thoughts and fears?   You have mentioned in both threads that your educated about HIV and that this doesn't impact your relationship.  I believe you 100%.  However, you have also mentioned some anxiety's about the HIV, such as the fear you had prior to starting prep and the anxiety you both had when you thought you had thrush, and now your concern about his future health.

I think its absolutely healthy and honest to be experiencing both being comfortable with his status and having fears about it.  Being open to discuss those feelings with us here, a counselor or therapist, or with your boyfriend can't hurt.  You seem to be very in tuned with what's going on.  Hope that's not pry'ing. 

Otherwise, as I'm sure you know your boyfriend has a good chance of living a full and complete life.   Some studies say even longer actually depending on where you live and your access to medical care.  Think about it, hiv positive patients are regularly seen by a doctor at least every six months with complete blood work done.  Anything that arises is usually caught earlier than the general public. 




Offline magneticlove

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  • Posts: 15
Re: Does anyone else think of this.....life expectancy
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2014, 05:02:11 PM »
Thanks both of you for the responses!  :)

Emerald, you are so right.  And I do feel very loved by him.  I am very, very lucky.  I haven't always had such good luck in relationships, that's for sure!!!

Bug, I wouldn't say it doesn't impact our relationship at all, I would more say that it didn't impact my decision to be with him, if that makes sense.  His status impacts our relationship by making me more conscious of his health, and, in the past (say, the first two months), on occasion, it was on my mind that I could contract it.  Those fears have been pretty much wiped away by the  PrEP.    Also, I think he sometimes gets down on himself because of being ashamed that his actions contributed to him becoming positive (unprotected sex/needle sharing when he was using).  I've told him that it was the luck of the draw.....that this was something that could have just as easily happened to me, considering that I'm in recovery too.  And, also, on a positive note, he credits being diagnosed with him getting clean, because it was only after he knew his health was on the line that he started getting serious about his recovery. 

I never thought about it the way that you're putting it......yes, he sees a doctor way more than I do.  And they are on top of him about various things he can do better to improve his health. 

But, I guess, if I were to name my fears....I'm thinking about other people finding out about his status and discriminating against/etc. him, or us. I also hate that I feel like I can't tell people (to get support) because I would feel like I'm betraying him.  He doesn't tell hardly anyone.   I'm thinking about his health deteriorating because of WHATEVER, and me losing him earlier than I thought.  I also think about us having a child (or more than one) and disclosing to the children his status....    And I think about my boyfriend's mental health.  He struggles with some depression issues sometimes, and I worry about the impact his status has on that.  I don't think about these things a whole lot (I'm too busy working, LOL), but when I slow down, these things come to mind.  So, while I'm comfortable with being with him, if I'm being honest, there are a few things that I get concerned about occasionally. 
Boyfriend <3 = positive, undetectable, on ARV's
Me = negative, on Truvada for PrEP

Offline mecch

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  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Does anyone else think of this.....life expectancy
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2014, 05:20:14 PM »

Now, yes, I know, we could get hit by respective buses tomorrow, or *I* could die first due to WHATEVER, and so on.  But, I can't help but think sometimes, will my boyfriend die of something HIV-related, even if that is fifty years from now?  Will he die in a hospital hooked up to tubes? I've even thought about.....will he end up in the hospital, decades from now, and will everyone then figure out his status

I hope no one is offended by this post.  Again, I don't have a lot of avenues to be honest about my feelings about this situation.    ???

Er, not offended.  But take from someone 50+.  I have been with a few people dying in hospitals hooked up on tubes and NONE OF THEM WERE HIV+.   Dying happens that way...

2ndly, who really cares decades down the line if someone knows why someone else is dying?  HIV infection seems to matter to you, now.  Care to discuss why?  Is it you personally? Your culture?  Can you imagine a day when an HIV-related death isn't scandalous. 

Really when death is near, if people are gonna worry about the cause of death and be scandalised, DO YOU CARE they are scandalised?  Small minded people, to be distracted by such nonsense.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline drewm

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  • Posts: 1,114
Re: Does anyone else think of this.....life expectancy
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2014, 05:38:31 PM »
Hi. Interesting post. There is nothing you can do about ignorant people. There has been and will always be a degree of discrimination. May I suggest counseling? Your fear of how people might react goes with a never-ending list of "what if" situations. Speaking for myself, I disclose on a need to know basis (healthcare professionals mostly) and others who who are close enough to me to care. It's an opportunity to educate.

Also, it's entirely possible that by the time you, your boyfriend or any of us "check out" HIV status will mean less then it does even today.
Diagnosed in  May of 2010 with teh AIDS.

PCP Pneumonia . CD4 8 . VL 500,000

ATRIPLA - VALTREX -  FLUOXETINE - FENOFIBRATE


Numbers consistent since 12/2010 - VL has remained undetectable and CD4 is anywhere from 275-325

Offline magneticlove

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  • Posts: 15
Re: Does anyone else think of this.....life expectancy
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2014, 07:49:50 PM »
2ndly, who really cares decades down the line if someone knows why someone else is dying?  HIV infection seems to matter to you, now.  Care to discuss why?  Is it you personally? Your culture?  Can you imagine a day when an HIV-related death isn't scandalous. 

The area I live in (suburban) tends to be pretty judgmental and uneducated.  So, would I want my family (whom I am generally not close with) or acquaintances know my boyfriend's status, now?  No, not really.  Now, maybe if HE were more comfortable with it (he's not, and he hasn't even told his family -- his mother found out from someone else when his confidential information was broken), I would be too.  But he's fiercely protective over his personal information, and, so, thus, I am too. 

I wouldn't want to be judged by ignorant people.  I've already had some negative reactions from healthcare "professionals", and, one "friend" who had I had spoken to in the past about being in a relationship with someone HIV positive. 

I guess I was just throwing out an occasional fear I have. 
Boyfriend <3 = positive, undetectable, on ARV's
Me = negative, on Truvada for PrEP

Offline mecch

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  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Does anyone else think of this.....life expectancy
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2014, 09:17:26 AM »
Well I'm sure its annoying and angering to live in a hostile feeling environment.
Also, all the secrecy doesn't help anyone but you do have to respect his wishes.
Try to remember not to project into the future the current situation.  Over the years perhaps he will evolve about being open about his status. Public opinion may shift, as well.
Most importantly, in this scenario of the future you are imagining, don't forget, that means you will have spent a long time with your love.

The point of a relation is the pleasure, comfort, security, and love that you have together -- and not exterior idiocies. 

When a loved one is dying, the last thing a person puts at the TOP of the priorities is how idiots around may continue their bias and smallness.

i can tell you a story.  One time I had 1 precious year with someone I loved who had HIV. This is the 80s.  Im sure you can imagine the judgement and ignorance and fear and bias around that person and by extension a little bit applied to me. But really, it was not at the top of my concerns.  Frankly I found it laughable many times.

And I was still getting some grief from family about being gay.  And when my bf got an AIDS diagnosis, I marched to my parents house and pretty much told them the reaction I needed in this time of crisis for my bf, and for me. I just said listen, the man I love is suffering and dying so you keep all your judgements  and show your support. Line in the sand and strong words from me.  It worked.

I am not a pollyanna -- I know you could say that to some particularly hateful, ignorant, or stubbornly biased people and it won't produce the behaviour and words you would like.  But thats another reason, in a time of crisis, to cross these people off your list of those who are helpful.  They are who they are and what they say doesn't really matter when the chips are down. And you can't change them. Its just not important during a time of death.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2014, 09:21:12 AM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline magneticlove

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  • Posts: 15
Re: Does anyone else think of this.....life expectancy
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2014, 07:25:58 PM »
Thank you so much, Meech, that story really puts things into perspective. 
Boyfriend <3 = positive, undetectable, on ARV's
Me = negative, on Truvada for PrEP

 


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