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Author Topic: Your thoughts? Poz friend  (Read 5059 times)

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Offline paintergirl

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Your thoughts? Poz friend
« on: December 31, 2006, 02:41:00 PM »
I know there is a forum for HIV- folks with HIV+ friends, but this forum seems more active and I want the opinion of someone who's poz. I have a friend who is HIV+, but he doesn't know that I know. We spend a lot of time together, travel together, and I've basically figured it out based on things he has said, my own knowledge of how the virus works, and finally I saw some of his meds.

I love him, and want him to know I will support him always - no questions, no doubts. Should I tell him I know? Or wait until/if he tells me? He beats around the bush enough that there's almost no way I WOULDN"T know by now - I'd have to be an idiot.

I admit, part of why I want him to know I know is selfish. I don't know how long he's been poz, what his Tcell counts are, etc, and so I don't know if he's sick or doing well.

I want to do the right thing. What are your thoughts, please?

Offline aupointillimite

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Re: Your thoughts? Poz friend
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2006, 04:27:57 PM »
I wouldn't tell him that you know... I think that just continuing to be his friend is the best thing.

Every poz person handles it in different ways... me, I told all of my friends on no uncertain terms because that's what was best for me... but that's just me.

I think that unless you're having sex with him, it's up to him to decide when he wants to make it your business too.

I would continue just being a good friend to him... when he's ready to bring you in to that part of his life (and it really is a very personal area), he will.  But if he's that sort of "beat around the bush" type... directness with such a private matter could be interpreted as very offensive, no matter how good your intentions might be. 
Your tastebuds can't repel flavor of this magnitude!

Offline Queen Tokelove

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Re: Your thoughts? Poz friend
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2006, 04:31:25 PM »
Paintergirl,

Hmmm, that is a good question, I'm sure you will get some responses to it. So, you just put things together and figured it out. Why not just start a conversation about hiv with him? I know I'm subtle as a brick but that's just me. I usually do this with certain people just to see what response I will get out of them. Usually by that, I will  know if it is ok to disclose to them due to how they respond to the question. I wish I had better advice to give.
Started Atripla/Ziagen on 9/13/07.
10/31/07 CD4-265 VL- undetectable
2/6/08 CD4- 401 VL- undetectable
5/7/08 CD4- 705 VL- undetectable
6/4/08 CD4- 775 VL- undetectable
8/6/08 CD4- 805 VL- undetectable
11/13/08 CD4- 774 VL--undetectable
2/4/09  CD4- 484  VL- 18,000 (2 months off meds)
3/3/09---Starting Back on Meds---
4/27/09 CD4- 664 VL-- undetectable
6/17/09 CD4- 438 VL- 439
8/09 CD4- 404 VL- 1,600
01-22-10-- CD4- 525 VL- 59,000
Cherish the simple things life has to offer

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Offline Ann

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Re: Your thoughts? Poz friend
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2006, 05:26:38 PM »
Hi Painter,

Normally, I'd tend to agree with aupointillimite, but something you said makes me wonder:
Quote

He beats around the bush enough that there's almost no way I WOULDN"T know by now - I'd have to be an idiot.

It sounds as though maybe he's been dropping hints, but backing off?

Would it be possible for you to ask him, when he's "beating around the bush", as you put it, to ask him if there's something he is trying to say, or wants to tell you? You'd want to choose a quiet and private time, when you're both relaxed. You don't want him to feel interrogated, you want him to feel safe to share - or not, as he sees fit. If he replies "no", you'll have to let it go. At the end of the day, it's his choice to tell you or not.

Ann

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 aupointillimite

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Re: Your thoughts? Poz friend
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2006, 05:29:53 PM »

Would it be possible for you to ask him, when he's "beating around the bush", as you put it, to ask him if there's something he is trying to say, or wants to tell you? You'd want to choose a quiet and private time, when you're both relaxed.

I really do agree with this... I should have thought about that.  It sounds a bit like he wants you to know...

There are a lot of ways to ask him without making it seem like he's in the hot seat.
Your tastebuds can't repel flavor of this magnitude!

Offline paintergirl

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Re: Your thoughts? Poz friend
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2006, 05:52:11 PM »
Thanks for the input, guys. I'll wait until he brings something up again, then ask if there's something he's trying to say. It comes up often enough - we go to fundraising events, have another poz friend, joke about our medication regiments (I have my own problems, though not as serious).

I just want him to know I love him, and "knowing" he's positive won't change that in any way. I hope he decides to trust me. I will do anything for him, but I don't know what (if anything) he needs if he won't tell me.

Offline Queen Tokelove

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Re: Your thoughts? Poz friend
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2006, 05:54:27 PM »
See, I totally missed the point that Ann brought up. I never thought he could be leaving hints. Let us know how it goes...
Started Atripla/Ziagen on 9/13/07.
10/31/07 CD4-265 VL- undetectable
2/6/08 CD4- 401 VL- undetectable
5/7/08 CD4- 705 VL- undetectable
6/4/08 CD4- 775 VL- undetectable
8/6/08 CD4- 805 VL- undetectable
11/13/08 CD4- 774 VL--undetectable
2/4/09  CD4- 484  VL- 18,000 (2 months off meds)
3/3/09---Starting Back on Meds---
4/27/09 CD4- 664 VL-- undetectable
6/17/09 CD4- 438 VL- 439
8/09 CD4- 404 VL- 1,600
01-22-10-- CD4- 525 VL- 59,000
Cherish the simple things life has to offer

The Royal Blog

Offline Ann

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Re: Your thoughts? Poz friend
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2006, 06:01:03 PM »
Painter,

Disclosing our positive hiv status can sometimes be more difficult to do with people we care about than with total strangers. We feel rejection looking over our shoulders and the more we care, the more we stand to lose.

You want him to know you love him no matter what and the simplest way to accomplish that is by... telling him.

Wishing you luck...

Ann
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 paintergirl

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Re: Your thoughts? Poz friend
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2006, 06:07:34 PM »
Yeah, "hints" for sure.
Examples: He wanted me to know where his will, etc, is so I can handle things if "anything happens" (and he's not the type to worry about what-if accidents). I teased once about us being old and grey together (him older and greyer :) ) and he says "I won't be around by then". He tells me when he has "important dr's appts" and gives a general good/bad report, but nothing more. He forgot his meds on a recent trip, and had them shipped down to him - told me later how crucial it is for him to take them on time because resistance can build up.

Part of the problem is everytime it comes up, I freeze or panic - can't come up with anything to say. So maybe he's taking his cues from me and doesn't think I can handle it, but doesn't realize I've known for a year now!

Well, we'll see how it goes. Thanks again for listening/providing advice. I really appreciate it!

Offline paintergirl

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Re: Your thoughts? Poz friend
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2006, 06:08:59 PM »
Ann - Great point - thanks. He's definitely that kind of person. The more he cares about someone, the more careful he is around them.

Thanks for the insight. Sometimes we forget what's right in front of us.

Offline marco23

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Re: Your thoughts? Poz friend
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2006, 06:30:08 PM »
You had mentioned you would do anything for him and when the time comes for him to tell you, it will be such a great comfort to know he has your full support....he's very lucky to have a friend like you.
Lots of love and good luck to you both!
Don't hide your hurt, pain and feelings inside..for they will harden your heart.

Offline GSOgymrat

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Re: Your thoughts? Poz friend
« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2006, 06:41:03 PM »
Personally, I wouldn't want someone to bring it up. If I feel like discussing it with someone I will bring it up.

Offline Longislander

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Re: Your thoughts? Poz friend
« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2006, 06:49:08 PM »
I guess we're all different. Even when I was grappling with being gay, I always wished someone would've just asked me. It would have been so much easier, especially if it came with the " I love you no matter what' disclaimer
infected 10/05 diagnosed 12-05
2/06   379/57000                    6/07 372/30500 25%   4/09 640/U/32% 
5/06   ?? /37000                     8/07 491/55000/24%    9/09 913/U/39%
8/06   349/9500 25%              11/07 515/68000/24     2/10 845/U/38%
9/06   507/16,000 30% !          2/08  516/116k/22%    7/10 906/80/39%
12/06 398/29000 26%             Start Atripla 3/08
3/07   402/80,000 29%            4/08  485/undet!/27
4/07   507/35,000 25%            7/08 625/UD/34%
                                                 11/08 684/U/36%

Offline hjeffs

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Re: Your thoughts? Poz friend
« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2006, 07:11:00 PM »
I think telling is up to the individual to tell. There are different ways to tell someone something and we assume that most people would come right out and tell us something we want to know.
I would respect the individuals privacy, as much as I love the person, and let them tell me in there own time and way. This still puts me in the position of loving them and supporting them as I would always do.
As for the hints, when some one asks me about a will I could always ask, Is there something I should know? This provides a space and time for a question to be answered without you prying or saying something anyone is uncomfortable with.
So, you know.......you still can care and love without the rest of the information. It's not the question if you know or not, you do know. The question is when its right for your friend to know you know. It will happen when its right, be patient.

Best to you
Jeff

Offline lostboy

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Re: Your thoughts? Poz friend
« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2006, 08:04:32 PM »

I am afraid I disagree with most of the advice here. IMHO, If you know that he is positive you should tell him.  Otherwise you are both concealing from each other.  If someone knew my status, I would definitely want to know that they knew.

Of course that is just my 2 cents. 

Best wishes on a wise decision.
"There is no gene for the human spirit"

Offline Eldon

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Re: Your thoughts? Poz friend
« Reply #15 on: December 31, 2006, 09:41:51 PM »
Yes, I AM Supporting You!


Hey Paintergirl...

In this scenario, you friend is highly sensitive due to his current confition of his health. You will want to not to approach him with his status. In his own time he will disclose this to you if he wishes to do so. I know you want to HELP.

You are doing that already. Continue to be a GOOD friend that you are to him and support him in every way that you have been. Give it time and your love for him will shine.

Don't You Dare Give Up... Don't You Dare Give In...
BECAUSE It IS ALL Within YOU to WIN!!!

Offline DanielMark

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Re: Your thoughts? Poz friend
« Reply #16 on: January 01, 2007, 06:52:58 AM »
I just want him to know I love him, and "knowing" he's positive won't change that in any way. I hope he decides to trust me. I will do anything for him, but I don't know what (if anything) he needs if he won't tell me.

Paintergirl,

Hi. Sounds like you are deeply committed to this friendship and thatís a beautiful thing.

I believe the answers to your questions are in what you wrote (above). The fact that he hasn't yet come forth and told you directly tells me he's not yet ready to. I would just keep on letting him know the first part (I just want him to know I love him) by your friendship, and let time decide if and when he needs to ask the second part from you (I will do anything for him).

Really, I'd say that's the best approach at this point.

Daniel
MEDS: REYATAZ & KIVEXA (SINCE AUG 2008)

MAY 2000 LAB RESULTS: CD4 678
VL STILL UNDETECTABLE

DIAGNOSED IN 1988

Offline blondbeauty

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Re: Your thoughts? Poz friend
« Reply #17 on: January 01, 2007, 10:08:31 AM »
Maybe he is trying to figure out what would reaction be if he told you. If you let him know your reaction is going to be good, I am sure he will disclose.
If you both have another poz friend let him know what you think about it.
The only member in these forums approved by WINBA: World International Nail and Beauty Association.
Epstein Barr +; CMV +; Toxoplasmosis +; HIV-1 +.
Counts when starting treatment:
V.L.:80.200 copies. CD4: 25%=503
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Last V.L.count (Oct 2013): Undetectable
Last CD4 count (OCT 2013): 52%= 933

Offline Ann

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Re: Your thoughts? Poz friend
« Reply #18 on: January 01, 2007, 10:43:26 AM »
Painter,

After re-reading this thread today, I'm now wondering if your friend doesn't assume you already know? Speaking for myself, I would never ask someone who wasn't aware of my status to take care of my will. Maybe he keeps things general (like details of his doc visits) because he thinks you don't want to know the details. And if you're shipping meds for him... I certainly wouldn't let someone handle that for me if they didn't know - and I didn't WANT them to know - my status.

Maybe this is a bit of a comedy of errors and assumptions? The more I think about your situation and what you've told us, the more I think your friend thinks you already know.

Ann
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 bravebuddharich

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Re: Your thoughts? Poz friend
« Reply #19 on: January 01, 2007, 10:46:16 AM »
Of course, tell him that you know! I'd even ask the questions you want to ask. I wish you were my friend, you seem to be a good one!

Offline alisenjafi

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Re: Your thoughts? Poz friend
« Reply #20 on: January 01, 2007, 10:56:38 AM »
I would agree with Ann, but at the same time let him know that you are his friend whether he wants to say something or not - it won't change a thing.
Between the finding out and the medical maze and fear of rejection from others our feelings of self empowerment are chipped away. This is one of the only cards we have. Again just make sure he knows that  nothing changes!

When he is ready, he will disclose, the best thing a friend can do is just be supportive!
Johnny
« Last Edit: January 01, 2007, 11:00:15 AM by alisenjafi »
"You shut your mouth
how can you say
I go about things the wrong way
I am human and I need to be loved
just like everybody else does"
The Smiths

Offline paintergirl

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Re: Your thoughts? Poz friend
« Reply #21 on: January 01, 2007, 11:55:25 AM »
Thanks for all the great input, folks. Obviously there's a wide range of opinions. I think I will lay low for awhile on this, and just see how things pan out when the topic comes up again.

Thanks again everyone, and Happy New Year!

Offline Christine

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Re: Your thoughts? Poz friend
« Reply #22 on: January 01, 2007, 11:58:29 AM »
Hi paintergirl,
First I want to say that your friend is lucky to have you in his life. Someone who cares about him, and wants what is best for him.

I can tell you what happened with myself, and my two friends. I did not disclose to them for years. I was afraid they would leave, think less of me. I wanted to protect them from the painful truth.

My friends at some point figured out what was wrong, and every now and then when we were having a kind of serious how-is-my-life-going kind of talk, then would just say: "You know you can always tell me anything, and I would still love you and support you..."

I knew that they knew, but I just was not ready to actually say it.

Your friend will tell you in time when he is ready. I did, and it all worked out okay, and I am glad I told them. But, I think if they would have asked me directly it would have been much more stressful for me.

I needed to say it on my own time and terms.

Just keep doing what you are doing. Love him, support him. Tell him you will be there for him if he needs anything. Be kind and patient towards him.

Christine
Poz since '93. Currently on Procrit, Azithromax, Pentamidine, Valcyte, Levothyroxine, Zoloft, Epzicom, Prezista, Viread, Norvir, and GS-9137 study drug. As needed: Trazodone, Atavan, Diflucan, Zofran, Hydrocodone, Octreotide

5/30/07 t-cells 9; vl 275,000

Offline Strayboy74

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Re: Your thoughts? Poz friend
« Reply #23 on: January 02, 2007, 11:09:44 AM »
I know there is a forum for HIV- folks with HIV+ friends, but this forum seems more active and I want the opinion of someone who's poz. I have a friend who is HIV+, but he doesn't know that I know. We spend a lot of time together, travel together, and I've basically figured it out based on things he has said, my own knowledge of how the virus works, and finally I saw some of his meds.

I love him, and want him to know I will support him always - no questions, no doubts. Should I tell him I know? Or wait until/if he tells me? He beats around the bush enough that there's almost no way I WOULDN"T know by now - I'd have to be an idiot.

I admit, part of why I want him to know I know is selfish. I don't know how long he's been poz, what his Tcell counts are, etc, and so I don't know if he's sick or doing well.

I want to do the right thing. What are your thoughts, please?

I would tell him that you know.  He probably feels isolated from you, and knowing that there's someone else out there who can accept him and love him no matter what.  I'm interested to know how this turns out.

-joseph

Offline ACinKC

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Re: Your thoughts? Poz friend
« Reply #24 on: January 02, 2007, 11:20:13 AM »
Hi Painter,

Normally, I'd tend to agree with aupointillimite, but something you said makes me wonder:
It sounds as though maybe he's been dropping hints, but backing off?

Would it be possible for you to ask him, when he's "beating around the bush", as you put it, to ask him if there's something he is trying to say, or wants to tell you? You'd want to choose a quiet and private time, when you're both relaxed. You don't want him to feel interrogated, you want him to feel safe to share - or not, as he sees fit. If he replies "no", you'll have to let it go. At the end of the day, it's his choice to tell you or not.

Ann


I say let him know.  I did this very same thing to a friend of mine.  He KNEW i had it, (Thanks MOM), finally we got REALLY drunk one night and I said you dont know everything I'm dealing with and he was all like YES i DO.  And he told me he knew.  It was shocking and hard at first (and by at first I mean like for about 2 days) but NOW we are even closer friends.  My wife was just commenting the other day how much MORE we talk NOW than ever before.

I say go for it.
LIFE is not a race to the grave with the intention of arriving safely
in a pretty and well-preserved body, but, rather to skid in broadside,
thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming--WOW! WHAT A
RIDE!!!

Offline skeebo1969

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Re: Your thoughts? Poz friend
« Reply #25 on: January 02, 2007, 11:46:20 AM »


  I agree with the others on approaching him on the subject since it seems he is looking for your support in a round a bout way.   Reassure him and tell him to never doubt your support as a friend.
I despise the song Love is in the Air, you should too.

Offline ACinKC

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Re: Your thoughts? Poz friend
« Reply #26 on: January 02, 2007, 11:52:10 AM »

  I agree with the others on approaching him on the subject since it seems he is looking for your support in a round a bout way.   Reassure him and tell him to never doubt your support as a friend.

Then just get really drunk and play truth or dare.  It sometimes doesnt have to be as dramatic as we make it!
LIFE is not a race to the grave with the intention of arriving safely
in a pretty and well-preserved body, but, rather to skid in broadside,
thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming--WOW! WHAT A
RIDE!!!

Offline Strayboy74

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Re: Your thoughts? Poz friend
« Reply #27 on: January 02, 2007, 12:09:46 PM »
Then just get really drunk and play truth or dare.  It sometimes doesnt have to be as dramatic as we make it!

YAY!!!!   

I love you! :)

Offline ACinKC

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Re: Your thoughts? Poz friend
« Reply #28 on: January 02, 2007, 12:16:23 PM »
Can you say.....



At least thats what it sounds like to me.
LIFE is not a race to the grave with the intention of arriving safely
in a pretty and well-preserved body, but, rather to skid in broadside,
thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming--WOW! WHAT A
RIDE!!!

Offline Cliff

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Re: Your thoughts? Poz friend
« Reply #29 on: January 02, 2007, 01:16:31 PM »
I agree with AC.  It sounds like he already thinks you know or he really, really wants you to know but is just having a hard time saying the words.  Next time he drops a hint, (and telling someone that if they stop taking their meds, they'll get resistance is as big of a hint as you can get), just tell him you know and that you still you love him and will be there for him. 

Personally I'd rather not have someone tell me that they know, but sometimes I will just dance around the issue until I'm forced to say something.  This sounds a lot like this situation.

Either decision is good.  It's nice of you to be there for him and to not see this is as a huge deal.  It's important but he's still the same friend that you've always had.

Cliff

Offline Jeffreyj

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Re: Your thoughts? Poz friend
« Reply #30 on: January 02, 2007, 02:30:09 PM »
I have always had good luck with telling the truth. It really does set you free. I'de be up front with him. good luck!
Positive since 1985

Offline manchesteruk

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Re: Your thoughts? Poz friend
« Reply #31 on: January 02, 2007, 02:52:03 PM »
From reading what you've posted it certainly sounds like he suspects you might know but sometimes it's so hard to just say those words.  I find it much easier to disclose now as i've done it quite a few times but when I told my parents at the beginning I was shaking and I actually felt physically sick because I was so worried about their potential reaction.  I personally think if a moment ever comes where you think it might be a good time to let him know go for it.  Being aware that people know about your status and are supportive and want to help means A LOT.
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Offline Queen Tokelove

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Re: Your thoughts? Poz friend
« Reply #32 on: January 07, 2007, 02:26:08 AM »
Painter,

I know you said you were going to lay low but was just curious if the discussion presented itself or if he is still continuing to drop hints. Too bad Hallmark doesn't have a card for such an occasion... ;D
Started Atripla/Ziagen on 9/13/07.
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11/13/08 CD4- 774 VL--undetectable
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Offline ChaplinGuy

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Re: Your thoughts? Poz friend
« Reply #33 on: January 07, 2007, 09:39:04 AM »

Agree with many of the posts here, paintgirl. I am certainly not "open" about my status, but if someone were to confront me and ask me outright - especially a good friend - I would not shy away or feel angry about responding with the truth. It sounds like he wants you to know, but is having a hard time saying anything directly. I am a big advocate of being direct, and believe that true friends will respect and appreciate your honestly and concern.

Bottom line: no perfect answer or solution, just good sound judgement. Good luck.

 


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