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Kinda serious - Loving someone with HIV


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I'm not really asking for advice, just more input. Has anyone out there dated or been intimately involved with someone with HIV. My recent ex, whom I love dearly, just pushed me out of his life. We have dated on and off for about a year and a half, it has never been a smooth ride. He is also a hemophiliac and contracted the virus at age 4 through a blood transfusion, and has been living with it for 30 years. I can see allot of his pains and problems stem from the years of medications and also the hemophilia takes it's toll. He is much too complicated a person to even imagine making a relationship work with, but I have tried over and over to love him.


Has anyone been in a similar situation? I'm not looking to reconcile with him, just be his friend. I realize his issues outweigh anything a normal relationship can fix..but I have tried. I think I'm just grappling with the idea that I failed at loving him...


He could never really open up to me, he finds it hard to love someone, he is scared to love someone...I could write all day..


anyway, just looking to see if anyone is or was in the same boat.

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Tell him how much you care, tell him how you will always be there. But be honest with him. Tell him you have feelings too and can't pulled along only for a relationship with 1/2 the effort (whether romantically or as friends).


Let him know, you can't possibly understand all he is going through but you will try your best. Let him know again and again, the disease does define what you see in him, what you see in him is what you love... and the disease just happens to come along.


If he can't come around, you know you've tried your best. But you are only human, and you can not fail at something when there never was a chance of success.

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I cannot even fathom being in his shoes...all that to think about AND trying to give 100% in a relationship(and I'm not even mentioning the physical toll). Unfortunately you got caught in the middle I fear. I believe you have done everything in your power and more, yet I understand your wanting to be his friend and stay in his life. Maybe it would be too hard for him to have you around even in a friendly capacity-kind of a reminder of what he was unable to do(mainly falling short on giving the effort that he did not have in his possession to give). I was wondering what reason he gave you for pushing you out of his life?

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I've never dated someone with HIV (but I do have HSV, another incurable STD, though not as hard to deal with).

From what you wrote, I really don't feel you should feel guilty or to blame, and that you failed to love him. I think maybe this is a case of him not loving himself, or not seeing himself worthy of loving. It's one of the reasons having an incurable thing like that is so emotionally draining. Hiv and other similar diseases make it hard to feel lovable and lead a normal life, even though he has had it 30 yrs already.

I don't really know how to put it all into words. I can only speak from my experience and what I have read online. From my experience, when I was diagnosed I just felt like I was un lovable and kind of "tainted" due to having an illness which is looked down on. And I almost also pushed my bf away. Having a disease like this makes you feel alone, even when you physically aren't. Along with that you also mentioned he is very complicated.


Perhaps you can reach out to him once in a while, and slowly get closer? You don't have to be REALLY close friends yet, maybe it will take him some time to see that you aren't just going to give up b/c he pushes you away.

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All of your replies have been truly uplifting..thank you. We have been trying to work things out, on and off, for about a year and a half. He would tell me he is giving me all that he could, but it never felt that he was really putting me first or adding me to his life. He has a strong network of friends and family that have been with him most of his life..they are truly his life blood and overly protective. I can't blame him for that, they are at times all he's got. I wanted to forge a life with him. Don't get me wrong, I had definite apprehensions all throughout. My family and friends (the one's that I told) at first didn't want me to continue in this relationship, and then as some got to know him, loved him too. But always very worried for me.


The relationship would always go amazingly in the beginning, but always come to the same conclusion..that he could not give me what I needed..be that time, love, attention.. I couldn't seem to wrap my head around it though because he seems so much to want to have a family and a wife. At times, since this has ended, I feel bitter and angry at him for putting me through so much worry and grief with battles with family and friends..for always towing the line when he couldn't..for truly putting him first, even when I was exhausted, but knowing that he needed or wanted me to be somewhere for him. He on the other hand did nothing to try to compromise with me or try to understand me or my feelings.


And now, even in the end..i feel a great sense of relief and am glad it's over. I hurt for him, knowing the road ahead is not an easy one, and still wanting to be there for him. But it is him that pushed me away and there is nothing I can do about it. He tells me he wants us to take some time and then come back as friends, but I'm too emotionally exhausted to even contemplate that and believe shortly I will want to not be a part of his life at all..and I feel guilty and bad saying that.


He tells me I'm the only person he ever loved and how much he misses me, yet can turn completely cold to me in a split second. That I cannot handle. I can't pretend to understand what it must of been like to grow up with this "secret" or to begin to care about someone and know the minute you tell the the real you, they may run away..


I just need to let this go I believe and begin to heal. I wish I could hate him..

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Read the book "My Pet Virus" by Shawn Decker

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He contracted the virus at a very very young age through a blood transfusion as well, yet he is still living and the book is about his past and his relationship with his wife. It's wonderful and funny and I think woudl be very helpful if both of you read it.

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  • 2 years later...

It's incredible sometimes the timing of things. Having had some emotions resurface as of recent due to my amazing counselor sort of drove me to want to understand my decision making process and to also see if there are other people out there who have also cared deeply for someone with this disease. When I read your post I was shocked. It was as if I had myself written it but 11yrs ago. The exact same story. First I'd like to just say that you must be quite an amazing person. I know full well what it takes to put yourself out there at the behest of family and friends for someone who has this disease and who is also emotionally unavailable. When I was going though this relationship I had no idea what I was doing. I was literally being driven by the emotions of a teenager. I wanted so much for it to work out. It took years after we had both moved on with our lives and on with other people that I understood and sort of went through the different phases of grief. I had been angry, sad, depressed, fearful, all of those emotions. It was tough. The one thing I will say is that if your not opposed to counseling definitely go and go now. I see you wrote this a few years back so many things have probably happened and maybe you've even moved on but I can guarantee that you are not yet fully aware of how this situation will affect other personal relationships in the future. I hope it all works out for you.

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I wanted very much to remain his friend. It wasn't possible because his girlfriend couldn't handle it. In some ways I'll always be grateful to her for forcing us to part ways. I did not have the strength to do it myself. Our relationship was toxic. After I got over some of the issues that arose with them I was able to see the beauty in their relationship. I was pleased with the knowledge that he was not alone. If you can remain a support for him without it being too difficult for you emotionally than you should. He will need it. I work in Nursing and see the aftermath of this disease regularly. For me that is the only hard part now, seeing him in my patients. I have a soft spot for them and I may give extra care because of it. There have been times when one I've gotten to know for a few weeks does pass and I've found myself breaking down in private. It was tramatic to say the least to have that be your first love. Though I think it would probably be hard to say in all honesty that what we had was real love. I realize now how unimportant the hate and anger and resentment are in comparison to what he lives with and what he faces. In my heart I will always feel for him and hope that he will live a long and happy life. He deserves that. We all do.

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