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Author Topic: Am I doing OK?  (Read 3043 times)

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Offline bostonprofessor

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Am I doing OK?
« on: May 10, 2014, 08:17:43 PM »
Here's my story....

On March 10 of this year, I had the rapid HIV test at the local AIDS action committee, and it turned out positive.  On March 20, I got the confirmatory results.  On April 1, I saw a new primary care provider, specialist in HIV, who was great and ordered tests.  On April 15, I got the test results and started meds.

The great news is that the numbers were exceptionally good: viral load of 111, T cells 578.  We started Complera, given that the latest research says you should start as soon as possible anyway.  My primary care provider thinks that I should see results in a month, probably even being undetectable.  So I'm having lab work again on May 15 and then will see the primary care provider on May 28.

So.  Here's what I'm thinking:

--I see this mostly in health terms.  It's a manageable disease, like type 2 diabetes.  It can't be cured, but it can be managed.  I haven't freaked out or processed this as anything other than a health issue.

--On the other hand, I haven't told anyone who wasn't already HIV positive.  I am planning to tell more folks as soon as I learn I'm undetectable--so probably that means that there is some residual shame and I'm maybe not doing as well as I would like to think!

--In terms of shame, I wonder how in the world I lived to be 59 years old and earned graduate degrees and then still become positive.  Shouldn't I be past that??  But it is what it is, I'm 59, and I'm newly positive.

--I'm also avoiding all sexual contact.  In addition to being HIV positive, I showed up as having syphilis.  (Finished the six butt shots of antibiotic for that, should be good.) So I'm taking a time-out.  Even giving someone a quick BJ might lead to syphilis or another STI.
     And that's hard.  I find myself longing for physical affection, for touch, for intimacy.  I've put a personal ad here and hope it brings some results, and I read through CraigsList and other sources to see if anyone who's positive has a potentially intriguing ad.  In the end, though, I want a warm body next to me, to kiss and touch and....

--There is one HIV positive guy who desperately wants me.  He's all top, a person of color, a young guy, and well-endowed, all things that make his attractive to me.  However, he only wants to do it bareback, he doesn't kiss, and he doesn't want anything too serious.  (He's willing to go bareback for a while but then pull out before he cums--which doesn't seem interesting to me.  Still bareback!)
     I have so far told him "No," that I needed to find out if I'm undetectable first of all, that this is too new for me.  But the reality is that, long term, I want something steady and monogamous, and short term, I'm horny but I'm afraid of an STI like syphilis.  I think I need to tell him "No" unless he's willing to be monogamous.

So that's my story.  And I come back to my subject: Am I doing OK?  Please feel free to comment on any of the paragraphs above!

Offline mecch

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  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Am I doing OK?
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2014, 10:13:50 PM »
Someone who barebacks runs the risk of STDs. 
Your thinking about this potential buddy isn't too clear.
- Why do you need to be undetectable to have sex with him?
- And if you really want to avoid stds, yeah you need a faithful partner.
- This guy doesn't kiss, has strict rules that don't agree with you, and doesn't want a boyfriend.  So cross him off the list. 

You are only HIV+ a short time. It takes awhile for everything to reset. Your break from sex has been pretty short so far, so maybe you should give yourself some more time. 

When was your last relationship, and for how long?

“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline bostonprofessor

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Re: Am I doing OK?
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2014, 05:33:48 AM »
Thanks, mecch.

I don't need to be undetectable to have sex with him--that was just a sort of boundary I set up.  You're right, I should cross him off the list.  It's just the physical intimacy part.  I miss that, and he's very willing to provide that.

I haven't been in a relationship for a long time.  That too is part of it, part of why I miss the physical part.

Thanks for the response.  I hope to give myself all the time I need.

Offline mecch

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  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Am I doing OK?
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2014, 06:16:00 AM »
For that long time you were not in a relationship, did you want to be? Or did you prefer fuckbuddy type arrangements (like this guy seems to be offering)?  Fuck buddies can be great, there is a lot of variation what needs they can meet.  Still, a lot of fuck buddies are pretty rigid in what they want and will do and won't do.  Also, in my experience of a few decades, i have had one night stands turn into boyfriends but a fuckbuddy never turned into a boyfriend.... 

I totally understand the need for touch and intimacy. I wasn't dating anyone when I got HIV and felt physically alone.  I met some of these needs (the intimacy and support) by drawing closer to a few friends.  I spoke on the phone all the time, saw them al lot, and spent overnights at my friends house. Seeing other people in their routines and being part of something solid and regular helped me a lot. 

Were you content during the long time without a relation?  Was it a choice to be single?

If it wasn't a choice or if you were not content, what were the reasons that kept you out of a relation... Because those constraints would still apply. So you would have to resolve them today if your choice has changed and you do want a relation.

The diagnosis may make you want a relation and the support and intimacy that comes with a relation.  But you have to play the field, make the choices, meet the challenges of finding and keeping a relationship.

I didn't quite understand the dynamic you were explain about the hung dude who wants to bareback?  Have you made up your mind if you want to bareback with other HIV+ or not?  I kind of understood, that you don't want to bareback, but would bareback with him because you wanted him and thats his rule...  The pulling out and all that, kind of confused me.  So I wanted to mention some things to you.

First of all, there is no risk of superinfection or whatever. 

Second, lots of HIV+ guys will only accept partners who want to bareback.  So if you don't want to bareback, or especially don't want to do this casually with fuckbuddies, don't limit your playing field to HIV+ guys... 

Third, don't be stupid like me. After I got my mojo back a few months after getting HIV and then getting on treatment, yada yada, I thought, OK cool, well there's a little silver lining now I can bareback. Well I got some stds like chlamydia and Hep C.  I mention this here and there in these forum threads because a lot of HIV+ people don't really want to hear this and want to have the silver lining bonus - "well at least we can bareback now..."  Don't drink this Koolaid.  Yeah, we can bareback and we're not getting HIV again, but casual barebacking is filled with disease risks, naturally....
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline bostonprofessor

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Re: Am I doing OK?
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2014, 06:41:51 AM »
Thanks, mecch, for all your wise comments and questions.  Those are certainly questions I have to ask: do I want a relationship? am I ready and able to change?  etc.  And thanks for sharing your personal story re: HIV+ and STIs.  I realize that part of me just wants to be wanted--that's natural and not a bad thing, but it can be bad if it leads me to do things that I don't want to do.

I came close to a relationship 5 years ago.  We talked about moving in.  But I asked questions and eventually came to see that he didn't want or wasn't ready for a relationship, just FBs.  And I said I couldn't do that because I liked him too much, I would always be hoping it turned into more when he was upfront that it wasn't going to.  We're excellent friends now, without benefits, and we're OK with that, though part of him still wants FBs and part of me still wants more.  Such is life.

In the meantime, I haven't pursued a relationship mostly because I haven't known where to go.  I've figured it would happen if it was going to.  Now I need to think more carefully about that.

Thanks again for the long honest response.

Offline vertigo

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Re: Am I doing OK?
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2014, 07:23:49 AM »
Hi bostonprof, thanks for your posts and welcome.

You're compressing a lot of territory into your welcome aboard post, from diagnosis to starting treatment to negotiating bb with a potential FB.  Whoa, slow down dude!   ;)

I understand that you want physical companionship.  Also that you want to get laid.  Who doesn't?  And let's face it, bb can be hot.  Most of us are on this board because of it.  But the fact that this guy apparently doesn't even care whether you're UD or not should be a big red flag.  You're just coming to grips with both a syphilis & HIV dx, how 'bout take a break from the risky sex?  You can reassess what your comfort level is a while from now.

Personally, I love the fantasy of dirty bb sex.  But in the two years since my dx, I've had exactly zero unprotected sex.  That's both to preserve my existing relationship, and because I don't need any more bugs to deal with.  Also cuz I don't want to poz up any cute little neg boys.  (Not likely now that I'm UD, but still.)  Is "safer" sex a permanent state for me?  I don't know.  But I would caution you from doing a cannonball right into the deep end of the pool just yet.  There's still plenty of time to figure out your risk/reward profile, preferably with a partner more suitable than your current potential FB.  (Won't kiss?  Forget it!)

And to answer your question -- yes, I think you're doing OK.  Congrats on 59 years staying neg.  You'll still be fine now that you're poz,

Offline bostonprofessor

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  • Posts: 6
Re: Am I doing OK?
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2014, 08:02:39 AM »
Thanks, vertigo.  Affirmation is always a good thing!  I'm not seeing the bb-wanting guy for the reasons you've enumerated--maybe I just need to be told that I'm doing the right thing (which I suspected already).  And yes, I'm not jumping into anything, one-night or FB or anything else.  I know it will take time--maybe I don't like that, but I do know it.

Thanks again.


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