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Author Topic: Dating a HIV positive guy, emotional difficulties....?  (Read 5276 times)

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Offline swede

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Dating a HIV positive guy, emotional difficulties....?
« on: July 23, 2012, 12:22:56 pm »
First of all; please excuse my bad English. There are no forums in Swedish devoted to this topic, so i have to resort to a foreign one.. =)

Some time ago, I started dating a guy i met a little over three years ago. We met, we had a dinner together, and I was totally charmed by him, in a way that I've never experienced before. Ever.
At our second date, he told me that he was HIV positive; I gave it some thought and consideration, but I didn't see it as a problem then, and I still don't.
Our dating then ended abruptly for several different reasons; he was rather depressed at the time; and he still had some sort of complicated relationship to his ex that... well, you get the picture...it didn't end well...=/

After that we didn't hear from each other for a long time, until recently; when he contacted me again and invited me for dinner.
As of today; we have been dating for no more that a couple of weeks, and I alreday know for sure that I'm falling in love. Again. And the impression I've got from him is that it's mutual.
I know what I feel: he's a great guy in every way, and I really want a relationship with him, but some things about him worries me a little:

He seemes to withdraw at times; when he looks depressed and in a place far, far, away from me, in a really strange way.  He also talks a lot about HIV, the risk of transmitting it to me, says he's afraid that I might get it etc etc..
Overall, that seems to be a big concern for him, and he can't let go of the thought.

He is on HAART that works really well; with consistently undetectable viral loads over a long period of time; so he shouldn't really be infectious, anf we practise safer sex; I am a medical student myself, and know enough about hiv transmission to know that we are both competely safe, or as close to that as we can possibly get.

In other words, there seems to be no rational reason for him to worry so much; but even so, he can't relax.
I'm a little confused about what to do and what to say; partially I guess, because I don't know very much about the psychological consequeces of having a sitgmatizing illness like this.
Sound advice and insights from people with experience of this sort of problem would be much appreciated; what can I do to ease his feelings, and make this work?

Thanks /M ;)

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Dating a HIV positive guy, emotional difficulties....?
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2012, 01:17:00 pm »
I think I would research a place to go for couple's therapy, but one that is geared towards HIV. That way you can mutually explore his depression issue as it seemingly is centered on transmission, which he should not be worrying about excessively for the reasons you laid out.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline Rockin

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Re: Dating a HIV positive guy, emotional difficulties....?
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2012, 02:57:00 pm »
Hey swede, welcome. I'm sorry about your boyfriend. Couple of questions:

Do you by any chance know what combo he is on? He might be having side effects from medicine. Does he have a history of depression prior to the HIV?

If not, then he should maybe try some therapy. He apparently is not dealing well with his status, so much so that hes not even realizing how lucky he is to have found someone like you who's supporting him through all of this.

Miss Philicia's advice is good, I just don't know if it's a case of couples therapy because apparently is not a problem that is arising from the relationship itself.

Offline swede

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Re: Dating a HIV positive guy, emotional difficulties....?
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2012, 05:20:01 pm »
He's on Atripla. I haven't asked him about depression in the past; so I really can't say..

Offline Rockin

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Re: Dating a HIV positive guy, emotional difficulties....?
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2012, 06:31:07 pm »
He's on Atripla. I haven't asked him about depression in the past; so I really can't say..

Well try to talk more about it with him and where this is coming from.

But at the end of the day it's up to you if you want to be patient and hope that he can work out his issues or not. Regardless of being HIV or not, people bound to depression can be difficult to deal with.

Offline Ann

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Re: Dating a HIV positive guy, emotional difficulties....?
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2012, 05:26:58 am »
Hi Swede, welcome to the forums.

While I totally agree with the suggestions of therapy, I've also got what some practical advice too.

For one, does he know exactly how you feel about him? Have you two had that discussion? I'm wondering because you said, "And the impression I've got from him is that it's mutual." Maybe it's time to lay your cards out on the table and let him know that he means the world to you. Regardless of hiv.

One bit of advice that I've given in the past to nervous negative partners is - test. Test regularly in the first year. Each negative result gives confidence that safer sex works well to keep the negative partner negative.

In your case it's the positive partner who is nervous, but the idea still applies.

Maybe he needs to see you testing negative. Maybe he needs that honesty from you ("I'm not afraid to test because I know we've been safe"). Maybe he needs to see your confidence translated into actions. What do you think about that concept?

I had this in my own life. I was diagnosed while in a relationship with a negative man. At first he was convinced that he'd be poz too - after all, we'd been together for a year and a half and never used condoms.

His first result was negative. We immediately started using condoms and in the first year (after my diagnosis) he tested every three months - and every time the results were negative and every time our confidence grew that we could keep him hiv negative.

After that first year he only tested once a year, for a few years anyway. By the time we split up (not due to hiv), he hadn't tested in several years - because by that time we knew we were being safe. He tested one more time after we split and of course he was still negative.

Sure, those first few times waiting for the results were nerve-wracking, but with each negative result our fears were lessened to the point where they finally disappeared altogether.

I hope you two can get through this and end up having a wonderful life together.
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...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


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