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Author Topic: Intro/I can't seem to talk to him about his health  (Read 19 times)

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Offline koala

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I'm a negative female (22) in a relationship with a positive male (27). We started dating a year ago and had a lot of unprotected sex. Having lost my virginity only that year, I was worried about STDs and asked him if he had any. He said he had oral herpes but nothing else, and insisted on not using protection. I moved in with him almost immediately and never thought about anything being wrong.

A few months later while I was cleaning I found a bottle of his medication. I told him what I had found and asked him why he didn't tell me. He told me that it was because he had never told anyone before and he'd be conditioned by his parents not to let anybody know (his parents got HIV through drug use and he was born with it). I felt shaken up and violated because he had lied to me while we had a sexual relationship, but I forgave him and stayed. I told him that I wanted to be there for him and asked if he could be open with me from now on to which he agreed.

Every day since then I have reminded him to take his medicine because he forgets to. It's not in a mean or naggy way. I usually just bring it to him with a drink and snack (and a hug and kiss). The medicine has gotten him from an almost non existent CD4 count (he was diagnosed with AIDS about 5 years ago and nearly died because he wasn't on treatment for a few years) to a level where he can manage everyday tasks and have energy. His CD4 levels are still not optimal but they are steadily rising. He doesn't like to talk about his health with me beyond my reminding him to take his medicine. He avoids doctors appointments and doesn't believe in therapy (he says they never really help him).

Because of his treatment he's undetectable. I've gone against my own rules and had unprotected sex with him almost every time (with the exception of anal where we always use a condom and lubricant). I guess I'm always a little bit worried. Sometimes I try to gently bring it up and it starts a whole thing, which brings me to last night.

He initiated sex and I went happily along with it except for the fact that I was wishing we could try using a condom. Already knowing that he'd say "I lost the mood" I kept it to myself and just had sex. Afterwards I was acting a bit funny and he asked what was wrong. I told him that I want to start using condoms. He told me for the first time that condoms ruin the mood for him not only physically but because it is a reminder of what he has. He said "I'm wondering if it would be easier if we were just celibate". I asked him what that meant and he said he thought about us a year, 5 years, 10 years down the line and if this would constantly still be an issue. To me it sounded like he felt I was ruining a perfectly good day/night by discussing personal health. He said he shuts down whenever I bring that up.

I don't know what to do. I apologized for not listening and not fully appreciating what he does disclose to me (discussing medicine and his status with me), but part of me feels like this is a lost cause. He promised me that he would use protection when I found out and now I'm being shut out whenever I want to use a condom.

I can't claim to understand what he's going through, but I want to be on the same page with him. I have suggested therapy groups for serodiscordant couple (VERY difficult to find, but my therapist tracked one down for me) and he's not interested.

Does anyone have any advice?

Online JimDublin

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Re: Intro/I can't seem to talk to him about his health
« Reply #1 on: Today at 07:48:48 PM »

If I am honest I am split what to say and not sure if I should say anything at all.

In short, he is pressuring you into something, and its a risk you don't want and he is simply not very good at being adherent with this meds. That's what i get from this and to top it off he is unwilling to talk or work on this with you.

Hate to say it but you have to look after yourself and if he is not willing or capable of seeing that then perhaps its time to move on. Other than that I will say use condoms, consider PrEP. In my signature there are links to information on PrEP should you need it.

Wishing you both the best.

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