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My wife has been living with HIV for over 30 years and I’d like your thoughts…


I’m brand new to this forum and I’m hoping it can help me and my wife.  We have been married for 11 years.  My wife has been living with HIV for over 30 years.  She takes her medication regularly and has been undetectable for the last 15-20 years.  Her physical health is great!  Her mental health on the other hand isn’t great.  She suffers from depression and I completely understand why.  Back when she was diagnosed, in the 90’s, HIV had a really bad stigma.  She got the virus from her boyfriend at that time.   He passed away in the late 90’s.  My wife almost died from it and was even told she would not see her newborn son’s 5th birthday.   Her son is now 32.  She also has a 22 year old daughter.  Neither of her children are HIV positive. 

My wife is 50 and to this day, she has never even told her daughter about her HIV.   she has tried talking to therapists, but she does not like to talk to them.   She feels they don’t understand how she feels and therefore cannot help her.   I certainly do not fault my wife for feeling the way she does but it’s so hard for me to see my wife in this mental condition.   Obviously I cannot force her to talk to someone and feel better.  I thought I’d look for some kind of online forum that maybe she can talk to others that really DO understand her situation.  I truly feel that if she’s able to “openly” talk about it, even if it’s on an online forum, that it could help her a lot.   I also believe she has a lot to offer to others that are HIV positive.  She’s a great success story for anyone that feels it’s a “death sentence”.  I feel like she’s trying to keep this secret and it’s really taking a toll on her mental health.  I know she feels so ashamed and it breaks my heart.  I tell her everyday how beautiful she is and how much I love and adore her.  I tell her how she has absolutely nothing to feel ashamed about, but I know my words are just that… words.   I just want to see her get to a point where she can be a happy beautiful woman, and not feel like “just someone living with HIV”.  Just wondering if anyone else here has been in a similar situation and how you got to a point in your life where you were “ok” with living with HIV.   Her Dr has told her over and over, she will not die from HIV.  her blood work is always great.  Thank you for allowing me to be here.  Any advice would be appreciated. 😊

Dear DNK

 sorry to hear your wife is going through this struggle.

All I can recommend is with 37 years of living with the virus and probably 47 years or so of struggling with self worth and depression is that  talking and medications can both help.  I'm not sure how old your daughter is, but I'm sure she's love to know that your mothers HIV is well controlled and that she is being well cared for.

 It'll be nice to see her here

Thanks for the reply.   Yeah I would love to see my wife get involved with it.  I really think she could help others and that would in turn help her a lot.   

Her Daughter is 22.  They are very close and I believe my wife’s biggest concern is that her daughter would become very worried and she doesn’t want to stress her with it.   

I hope to get my wife in here too!  Her talking with other people that share the same stories would be really good for her I think! 🤞🏼


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