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How did you get HIV and how did you handle it at first?

I have a dear friend who is HIV+. He rarely talks about it, but, triggered by the death of his ex-partner last weekend, he talked and talked with me on the phone about that dark period in his life.

He got infected about 12-13 years ago. He was doing meth and other drugs, and had stopped successfully for over a year. He found a partner he loved, and everything was going great. He took an HIV test and found he was positive--he knew exactly when it happened, a meth fueled weekend when he stopped demanding his tops wear a condom.

The positive test freaked him and his partner out. His partner left him (My friend got home from work and his partner was just gone, as was all the furniture). He went deeper into depression and started up with the drugs again. He did nothing but have sex constantly with everyone and everything. He's still amazed that he kept his job although he showed up to work high sometimes. He would just tell everyone he was sick. (It was this ex-partner who died recently from pancreatic cancer. They hadn't talked in years and had only started communicating again about 6 months ago, spurred by Covid.)

After about a year of that, he pulled himself together and started taking care of himself. He stopped the drugs and paid much closer attention to his health. He said that the drugs and sex actually got so repetitive and boring that it was no longer doing much for him--he also was so close to start injected them and knew that would be one step too far. I met him about 5 years ago at a half-marathon, and we became fast friends.

Hearing all this made me wonder if many people go off the deep end when they find out about an HIV-positive diagnosis or do some become celibate.

What's your experience, DL?

by Anonymousreply 1111/21/2020

The younger generations no longer see it as a life-ending disease the same way that previous generation had, so there’s that. For what it’s worth, I’m happy to see that 20-year-olds can still live a relatively normal life for years and years and years even after infection. Getting HIV used to mean losing your friends, family and social life; now, the biggest change is probably adding more medications to your daily routine and more doctor visits to your calendar. It’s more manageable than ever before.

by Anonymousreply 111/19/2020

A friend of a friend who is in his 60s seroconverted in the last couple years. It's odd that this guy made it through the 80s and 90s and went risky so late in the timeline and contracted the virus. The friend in the middle between this guy and me is pretty disparaging about his friend's situation. The positive guy has availed himself of services and housing based on his health status and is doing relatively well.

by Anonymousreply 211/19/2020

Two friends went on sex/drug binges. One got terribly addicted and took 10 years to get out of it. Unfortunately he neglected his health and that took alot of time to heal too.

I think the shock makes people go to extremes, at least for a while. Another acquaintance separated himself from friends and became like a monk

by Anonymousreply 311/19/2020

I know a guy who absolutely hated himself for years for being HIV+. No one would touch him.

Now that it's known that, if controlled, it can't be spread and PrEP, young guys are knocking down his doors to bareback. (He does run into the "fake" bug chasers--"Cum in me with your infected load!!"--yet they know full well that no one will get infected.)

He's enjoying himself and remains baffled by the entire turn of events.

by Anonymousreply 411/19/2020

The friend is you OP.

by Anonymousreply 511/19/2020

In the throes of addiction I had a boyfriend that seroconverted, and was in the final stages of syphilis when he finally was convinced to go get tested and was HIV positive. He blamed me.

It turned out I didn’t have anything and sadly if he had been treated earlier for the syphilis he likely wouldn’t have gotten HIV. He was an illegal immigrant and couldn’t tap into any HIV assistance. I broke up with him because he had put me at risk and he also had a lot of anger and frustration I couldn’t help him with.

I got sober and actually fell in love with a guy, and he was very up front about being HIV positive. It’s a nonissue for me, and we’ve been married for five years now.

by Anonymousreply 611/21/2020

Nobody would write such a text about "a friend". You are pathetic, OP. It's you, or you've made it all up for some reason.

by Anonymousreply 711/21/2020

R6 here again- I am not HIV positive, but would defend my husband’s rights with my dying breath- BUT even as an ally- I cannot truly know what it’s like to be HIV positive.

I often wonder what would happen if there was a cure, would everyone take it? I’m thinking not because there’s an entire community of people living with HIV that would completely evaporate.

by Anonymousreply 811/21/2020

R1 - that's how it is presented, but it isn't as inconsequential as you think. I hate that all of these commercials have this spin of - just one pill a day. Ok - fine. But also higher risks of cardio-vascular disease, lung disease, cancers, liver disease and I know several people who have had to get hip replacements because the HIV pills do damage to your bone density.

I wish younger people had a more complete view of HIV, but the drug makers have spent millions to make HIV look like it's no big deal.

My partner has HIV - he got it shortly after he came out about 10-11 years ago. He admits he was reckless, but on the upside, it was the shove for him to finally divorce his wife and live authentically. She did not get it. And no, she was no victim - she's a horrible person and screwed around on him constantly. Her own sons don't want much to do with her - so don't chime in with disparaging comments about my partner and his ex-wife.

by Anonymousreply 911/21/2020

There must be a staggering amount of poz Americans if about 40,000 seroconvert every year, statistically.

I stopped having sex several years ago because I just don't want to tap into that. It's an ongoing plague.

by Anonymousreply 1011/21/2020

You stopped having sex because you are frigid, ugly and unfuckable by the men you pine for, damaged and PTSD, or OCD, not because of the risk of getting HIV.

by Anonymousreply 1111/21/2020
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