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Thank you so much for this forum!!!!!

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This forum could not have come at a better time in my life.  Thank you so much.

My story:

The last 14 years of my life I have spent in a relationship with Marco. We met when he was 22 and I was 26.  We met at the gym (what a cliche).
Our relationship has been no walk in the park, yet I love him more than anyone in the world.  He is my family, my best friend, my own sympathetic character.  Marco was the one who first believed in me.  He encouraged me to go to college and then law school.  He makes me laugh and sometimes cry.

Last August we had one of a few separations.  I moved back up to the San Francisco Bay area (Berkeley) to take a new job and start a new life.
We hadn't been getting along.  For the past few years Marco had issues related to severe depression and had wild mood swings.  For the previous three months he had been losing weight.  He lost over 30 pounds and had constant digestive difficulties.  The year before I had a scare.  During one of our break ups I had a relationship with a person and had done some risky things.  I had the whole "worry wort" experience.  I tested 16 weeks later and came back "non-reactive". ( Your website was a great help to me during this period in my life, once again, thank you!) During this time I kept telling Marco to get tested.  His response was a strong "I know what I have done and I am not worried."

After I moved he continued to lose weight.  A month ago he finally got the rapid oral test.  He called me that Sunday afternoon and after exchanging a few pleasant words stated "Look, I am going to get to the point. I tested positive today."   I immediately started crying.  He advised me that he would be getting his labs done and the results would be ready in a couple weeks according to the counselor where he was tested.

His results came back his CD4 count is lower than 100.  He was hospitalized for PCP and an allergic reaction to bactrim. 

This last weekend I flew down and saw him.  I did everything I could.  Laundry, dishes, and grocery shopping.  Terrible cook that I am, I prepared a weeks worth of meals for him.  It was so nice to be there with him.  From now on I will fly to Los Angeles on weekends and do these things for him. During this time I felt less helpless, less lost. I hope he did too.

Right now  I am scared for him.  He does not have a resistance to any of the meds and I am hoping that he will respond well.  It is funny how all of the things that seemed so important seem so trivial now.  He refers to me as his "ex" and I don't mind nor do I care.  After 14 years I feel that we are beyond descripton and definition as far as labelling our relationship.  I just know that I want to be there for him.  I want to be a constructive force in his life.  I want to help any way that I can.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity and space for me to share my feelings.  It feels so good to let it out.  This forum is important.  Often times people have relationships that don't fall into simple and discreet categories.  I for one felt that I would be over-stepping boundaries by posting in the "Living With" section.  I also wanted him to have that space to discuss what he is going through.  BTW Marco is not his real name.  I want to protect his privacy, but Scott is my real name.  ( I have never been a very private person ;)).

Any suggestions as how I can be a better and more supportive person in his life will be greatly appreciated.



Lordy, sure reads like you are off to a fantastic start to me!  I'll leave it for others to come forward with ideas about better caregiving.  But suffice it to say that simply having someone you love in your corner means the world.   

If it helps you to feel a little less scared at all, I can testify that I was well below 100 t cells when I started treatment.  My last count (six weeks before I started meds) was 89 CD4's and falling.  I'm undetectable these days and have CD4's in the 300-400 range. 


Scott you sound like a wonderful person and Marco is lucky to have you for a friend. You might suggest that he check out our can be a valuable resource for people dealing with HIV.

Take care of yourself and your own emotional can't help if you become a basket case. As I said before, you have discovered a valuable resource and I hope we can be a source of information and support for you. Don't ever be afraid to ask. Again welcome!!

Proud Cal Graduate Class of 1976


Thank you so much for your response.  Your words are a great help to me.  I have been dropping by the local "Stop Aids SF" and getting a lot of infomration. I have spoken with several people who also had CD4 counts below 100 and are now doing well.  It is great that you have responded so well to treatment, and your sharing this information makes me feel a great deal better.  My hope grows as I hear more stories like your own.

Right now I want to hit the "fast forward" button and have his CD4 count higher.  His viral load is fairly low (around 20,000) and that makes me feel better.  I am so glad that I found this website last year.  I learned so much here and I feel that I have been better able to share information with him due to the great wealth of information that I found year in the previous year.

The internet is an interesting thing.  Often you don't know how many lives you touch or how many people you help.  Your website has personally helped me greatly by providing clear information.  

You don't know how greatly it is appreciated.  

Hi Hal,

Thank you for your kind words.

He has been going here and has received a great deal of support.  Many have emailed him and he really loves this site.  I sort of leave the "Living With" forum as his "territory". 

It is strange how life often works in a full circle.  A year ago I was glued to this site, and found the strength to face my fears and get tested.  I also learned more here about HIV than any other website.  For the second time this place has provided me with comfort.


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