Your boy friend comes home & says " im hiv positive". Would you stay?

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    Jan 13, 2012 9:28 AM GMT
    When I 1st found out my "monogamous" partner of 6 years gave me hiv I was ate up with thrush, hardly any cd4 count and a viral load of 500k. My dr told me she didnt know how I was walking & alive much less working 12 hrs a day, taking care of my son & mountain biking & etc.

    That was almost 3 years ago. Ive always been a fighter so I took this disease head on. Within 6 months my thrush was gone, cd4 climbed to 200 and was undetectable. Another miracle my dr states.

    Within that 1st year my bf at the time slipped into a huge depression & refused to accept what he had done. I joined an internet support aids site, started a blog to help others, was on a national podcast discussing the benefits of hiv & fitness, and started a mens social group in my rural southern bible belt town of gay men to support one another including hiv guys with no judgement.

    During all this it has been startling to me the number of guys that have revealed to me that they contracted hiv thru their "monogamous" boy friend and how devastating it is.....which I knew 1st hand. My bf at that time continued into depression due to guilt & shame. Turned to religion to save his soul, but secretly continued to cheat on me.

    Obviously due to those issues I had to leave him.

    But what if the love of your life came home one day, sat you down crying, and told you he was hiv positive......what would you do?

    Its happening everyday. Would you stay? Could u have a sexual, supportive, loving relationship afterwards?
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    Jan 13, 2012 10:03 AM GMT
    1st off, ain't nan nigga going to be walking up in my house telling me some mess like that.

    2ndly, don't you mean refused to accept what 'we' did rather than what 'he' did?

    But finally, I've been in situations like that...and they've known well in advanced. The only solution I had was to end it not due to the fact of them having it, but the fact that I had to find out either from someone else or other circumstances. Meaning, they probably would have not told me...meanwhile attempting to engage in risky sex.

    But, I take some blame in that because I never asked. So if you don't ask, you don't receive (the answer).

    This is just my opinion though, and I'm not here to change anyone's mind, but I think some guys accept too much of their HIV status and go from depressed to waiving it. When I hear things like , "I don't do negatives" or dropping "I'm positive" like a status symbol, I can't help but think some people are owning a report. And they live accordingly despite being in otherwise perfect health.


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    Jan 13, 2012 11:18 AM GMT
    yourname2000 saidIf the love is there...if the "emotional bank account" is well invested, with much compound interest, I think two people can get through almost anything.


    I love this. I think it's true. I don't really know how I would react, I don't think anyone does, but if he still wanted to be with me and the love is still there then I would deal with it. He's my family.
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    Jan 13, 2012 11:24 AM GMT
    Well said yourname2000 - what an inspirational guy you are redbull! So many guys bitch and whine about minor things & yet you are staying positive despite what you have experienced.
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    Jan 13, 2012 1:40 PM GMT
    If I loved him - really and truly loved him - my reaction to what he'd done would be painful, but at the same time secondary to the love I had for him. Like Yourname said above: it would just be a new reality I had to deal with: damage done.

    I'd very likely stay.
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    Jan 13, 2012 1:55 PM GMT
    You don't leave your partner when he says, "I'm HIV+." You do leave when you offer love and support yet he continually cheats on you.
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    Jan 13, 2012 2:17 PM GMT
    Good grief, redbull, I had no idea you've been through that. Yet you are correct, it does happen, and far too often. Thanks for sharing that painful memory and making it real & believable, better than I can with my own second-person experience with this.

    The exact same thing happened to my late partner, contracting HIV from his previous cheating partner. He stayed with him, bankrupted himself caring for him for 2 years, and when the partner died, the mother stepped in from nowhere, not having helped to that point. She barred my late partner from the funeral, blaming him for her son's death (it actually being the other way around), and got a court order to seize all their joint possessions.

    Should my late partner have stuck with his dying partner who cheated? Well, maybe not in that set of circumstances.

    My current partner also lost his mate to AIDS due to cheating. But with his fiery Italian temper he threw the guy out. Later they had a reconciliation of sorts, and my partner took care of him until he needed full-time professional care.

    Living with an HIV-positive partner did not bother me, I choose to do so out of love, so the HIV part of it wouldn't be the main issue for me, except insofar as he'd managed to fuck-up his own life. Rather, I'm not sure how I would take the cheating part, HIV and other STDs being involved or not. I see these as 2 separate matters.

    People are prone to temptation, and I'd want to know the circumstances of the cheating. I might forgive him, I might not, depending upon how much my heart was broken, how much remorse he had, how likely he'd do it again, how much he still needed me. The HIV would be his own punishment, and I could live with that myself, and help him with it, if I could still love him.

    BTW, you likely know both my current partner & I work with the HIV community here, perhaps as a consequence of our own experiences. We find it a way to deal with the lingering feelings we each have, after living with and losing an HIV partner. We stress prevention, so that these tragedies are not being repeated, at least as often perhaps. I encourage others who can to do likewise, for the good of our community.
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    Jan 13, 2012 2:26 PM GMT
    Larkin saidIf I loved him - really and truly loved him - my reaction to what he'd done would be painful, but at the same time secondary to the love I had for him. Like Yourname said above: it would just be a new reality I had to deal with: damage done.

    I'd very likely stay.


    That is a very nice sentiment.

    I don't see how you love a person who cheats on you and gives you a disease. I would be so angry I would probably go off the deep end.

    Oprah interviewed the woman who wrote the book which turned into a movie How Stella got her Groove Back.

    Long story short that young hottie turned out to be gay......they asked her if he had given her HIV what would she have done.

    She said "I would not be sitting her talking to you, I'd be in jail and he'd be dead". That would probably be me.

    I appreciate your story OP.....you have a great attitude and sounds like you are in great health.

    You def taught a guy younger like me one thing....never trust anyone and always use condoms.

    Your ex was especially a dick though because you have kids and he hurt them as well.
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    Jan 13, 2012 2:55 PM GMT
    I provide pro bono legal services to an HIV/AIDS-focused clinic, so I'm painfully familiar with, and have seen first-hand, the emotional trauma that a positive HIV test result can unleash. The most important thing that one can provide to someone who's been recently diagnosed with HIV infection is emotional support. They need to know that they're not alone and that they can rely on the people they love for emotional and other support. People who contract HIV tend to have a lot of guilt and shame, and some of them end of taking their own lives. Another important thing is education. They need to know that an HIV infection is no longer a death sentence. They need to be advised promptly of the medical options available to them, and there certainly are plenty. Finally, it is critical for the other partner to get tested immediately. If my S/O informed me of a positive HIV test result, I would do all the above immediately and without hesitation. Whether I would stay with him for the long haul would depend on a number of critical factors that are too complicated to explain here, many of which are fact-specific. I am certain, however, that his positive diagnosis standing alone would not cause me to abandon him.
  • HPgeek934

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    Jan 13, 2012 3:05 PM GMT
    Am I understanding this correctly? If my boyfriend comes home and tells me he's HIV positive, because he contracted the virus from someone else by cheating on me, his ass is to the curb. I'm sorry but cheating is a major no in my book.

    If I'm missing the point of this thread please let me know but that's what I'm gathering lol
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    Jan 13, 2012 3:07 PM GMT
    First of all, and most importantly, good for you redbull. You definitely made the best out of a really awful situation. You must be a really strong person both physically and emotionally.

    As far as your question goes, would I stay? No, I wouldn't. Once the trust is broken in the relationship, it probably isn't coming back. I may still love him but he either didn't love me or himself enough to be honest in the relationship and he's probably going to continue being this way.

    Maybe over the long term he could show that he's changed, gotten his issues under control so he could be a responsible, honest adult. Then we could talk. But from your hypothetical, I don't need a dishonest guy hanging around when I'd have my own health and welfare (and a kid too?) to worry about.
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    Jan 13, 2012 3:09 PM GMT
    That would be The End. I don't share.

    Values have the most to do with it. Either you see sex as something that happens romantically in the privacy of your own home and is focused on one man...your partner. Or, you see sex as some type of conquest. You have to make sure you're in a relationship with a man who shares your values.

    But even then...I think a lot of cheating happens because of lack of communication and taking each other for granted. I see guys where one or both partners lose his appearance and even personality (gets fat, sloppy appearance, doesn't want to have fun, etc.). A woman can pull this shit and sometimes get away with it because they have kids, and a divorce will cost hubby big time.

    Cherish every day with your partner, and make yourself the best. Go to the gym, wear sexy clothes and romance him. Give him plenty of reasons to get a raging hardon about you.

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    Jan 13, 2012 3:13 PM GMT
    imasrxd saidFirst of all, and most importantly, good for you redbull. You definitely made the best out of a really awful situation. You must be a really strong person both physically and emotionally.

    As far as your question goes, would I stay? No, I wouldn't. Once the trust is broken in the relationship, it probably isn't coming back. I may still love him but he either didn't love me or himself enough to be honest in the relationship and he's probably going to continue being this way.

    Maybe over the long term he could show that he's changed, gotten his issues under control so he could be a responsible, honest adult. Then we could talk. But from your hypothetical, I don't need a dishonest guy hanging around when I'd have my own health and welfare (and a kid too?) to worry about.


    Not being in love right now, my impulse is to agree... but, I feel like if he were the love of my life, he'd get 1 strike.

    Is this a big strike? Yeah... it is. It would be difficult to recover from and difficult to rebuild the trust, if it ever could be truly rebuilt to the way it was. But he was the love of my life I'd have to forgive him... once.

    But only once.
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    Jan 13, 2012 3:19 PM GMT
    If we were in a long term monogamous relationship and he cheated on me and has been having sex (safe or unsafe) with strangers all through, its over. If he told me he is HIV positive, then I know whats coming next. No matter how much I loved him, don't think I can have same feelings for him anymore.
    I can never trust him again and it won't be easy to forgive him too. He is HIV positive because of a choice he made, yes am sorry he has it but more am sorry that I trusted a person like him. It would be over between us.

    If he was HIV positive when we started dating and we fall in love then I will find a way to make it work.
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    Jan 13, 2012 3:26 PM GMT
    Pure said
    yourname2000 saidIf the love is there...if the "emotional bank account" is well invested, with much compound interest, I think two people can get through almost anything.


    I love this. I think it's true. I don't really know how I would react, I don't think anyone does, but if he still wanted to be with me and the love is still there then I would deal with it. He's my family.


    Even if him contracting HIV means he's betrayed your trust once or more times? Even if that says he doesn't love you nearly as much as you love him? icon_confused.gif

    "Love works no ill." That's the founding principle of common law. For your boyfriend to not only betray your trust but then put your life in mortal peril for several years is the furthest from acting in love I can think of, short of him poisoning you or taking a knife to you. A one sided love that will accept even death as a result of the loveless actions of a partner is not a mutual love.

    I'm a guy that loves guys, so I can definitely understand the feeling of wanting to maintain a strong bond with a guy. But even so, that doesn't mean it's right to let a guy take advantage of my feelings for him the way redbull's guy did.
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    Jan 13, 2012 3:27 PM GMT
    I would say.."We will get through this together and I'll always be here for you the bad and good". I have been through this before so I know it can be scary but you have to remember it not their fault. They didn't make the disease. And everyone will and has a cross to bare.
    As in the cheating part. Well you have to take some responsibility for your actions. Just because your in a monogamous relationship does not.mean you stop protecting yourself. Men are physical beings. Cheating or fucking other dudes is almost as common as rain fall. I dont expect complete monogamy from my partner. We are gay that is not traditional. So why are we trying to have traditional relationships? Look of how many of them fail! I read a threesome or group sex with my lover so he can do it in front of me. So I can make sure he safe with them. Cause sex is just physical. It whst happens before and after is what is important. I'm secure I'm #1 and will stay that in his life.
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    Jan 13, 2012 3:29 PM GMT
    Listen, while I preach a lot of live and let live, when it comes to "my house" I am a stern person with clear expectations/boundaries and a vengeful mean streak. If my man gave me HIV due to stepping out (which is the context in which we're answering,) I'd soon be getting my HIV meds from a prison doctor.

    There are a few unforgivables. Raping kids, torture, giving someone a fatal disease, abusing kids, etc etc. Lord have mercy.

    (Of course, for him to give me HIV we'd most likely have to be practicing unsafe sex, which as a product of the 1980s I couldn't do after watching so many people die from AIDS, including my uncle. So I'm purely speculating here that he even gave it to me by some freak accident - broken rubber - between us, though not minimalizing his cheating ways.)
  • rnch

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    Jan 13, 2012 3:29 PM GMT
    As Always, it would depend on the other guy.

    there's no way i could give a blanket answer for a situation like this one.
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    Jan 13, 2012 3:33 PM GMT
    Larkin said
    imasrxd saidFirst of all, and most importantly, good for you redbull. You definitely made the best out of a really awful situation. You must be a really strong person both physically and emotionally.

    As far as your question goes, would I stay? No, I wouldn't. Once the trust is broken in the relationship, it probably isn't coming back. I may still love him but he either didn't love me or himself enough to be honest in the relationship and he's probably going to continue being this way.

    Maybe over the long term he could show that he's changed, gotten his issues under control so he could be a responsible, honest adult. Then we could talk. But from your hypothetical, I don't need a dishonest guy hanging around when I'd have my own health and welfare (and a kid too?) to worry about.


    Not being in love right now, my impulse is to agree... but, I feel like if he were the love of my life, he'd get 1 strike.

    Is this a big strike? Yeah... it is. It would be difficult to recover from and difficult to rebuild the trust, if it ever could be truly rebuilt to the way it was. But he was the love of my life I'd have to forgive him... once.

    But only once.

    It's about time I got to disagree with you. Are you doing this on purpose? I'm all for second chances and giving someone the benefit of the doubt. But you're just focusing on yourself. Relationships are a two man team (yes, sometimes more..focus people). Your partner has not only been dishonest by cheating on you (probably more than once) but he's also given you HIV. He may be the love of your life but you don't seem to be the love of his.

    Maybe I'm going out on a limb but he doesn't seem like a good guy to be dating. He'll probably cheat again and he'll probably continue to be dishonest. He doesn't strike me as someone who has your best interests at heart.

    He'd need to show a significant interest in changing and being more honest with me. There's nothing about that in the hypothetical. In my experience, cheaters don't really want to change. They want to get better at cheating so they don't get caught again.
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    Jan 13, 2012 3:35 PM GMT

    Back before there was HIV or AIDS, I walked away when a lover came home with either a letter or bad news at the Doc's office. Syphilis, gonorrhea to name two. Trust takes two. Blind trust without veracity is a lovely sentiment but ends there, as I unhappily discovered.

    Years later, when I met Bill, we did nothing risky without having first decided on a mutual doctor, permission for that doctor to speak freely and openly about each others' health to one another, and a raft of testing that went on for over a year after we were living together.

    -Doug
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    Jan 13, 2012 3:38 PM GMT
    dayumm saidYou don't leave your partner when he says, "I'm HIV+." You do leave when you offer love and support yet he continually cheats on you.


    Like he did to get HIV in the first place?
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    Jan 13, 2012 3:40 PM GMT
    Animus said
    dayumm saidYou don't leave your partner when he says, "I'm HIV+." You do leave when you offer love and support yet he continually cheats on you.


    Like he did to get HIV in the first place?



    lol, animus, I think he was just answering based on the topic title, which doesn't say when or how infection occurred. icon_wink.gif
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    Jan 13, 2012 3:58 PM GMT
    I'm surprised by some responses.

    The guy you love cheats on you, obviously having unprotected sex with the man he is cheating with and then continues to have unprotected sex with you, fully aware of the possibility that he could be putting you at risk. I feel like it is the ultimate emotional and physical betrayal.

    Cheating is the kiss of death for me. I guess this is a reason to continue using condoms even in a relationship.
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    Jan 13, 2012 4:07 PM GMT
    Animus said
    dayumm saidYou don't leave your partner when he says, "I'm HIV+." You do leave when you offer love and support yet he continually cheats on you.


    Like he did to get HIV in the first place?


    ...and, presumably, pass on HIV to his partner. The fact that the OP continued to show love and support under that circumstance is more noble than many of us would otherwise be, and shows there was some genuine "love of your life" stuff there that transcends the sexual relationship. He's not looking for adulation from his partner in return, simply monogamous companionship as they work through their physical and related life issues together.

    That the partner cannot appreciate that is what gives cause for the OP to depart, not "I've acquired HIV+." Running away from one you love at that one point helps neither person in the least. It's what happens afterwards that determines whether a couple that claims to love one another should truly stay together.

    One can always argue "you should have left him before he gave you HIV+" but that train already left the station. The OP expressed no reason to suspect cheating beforehand.
  • CuriousJockAZ

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    Jan 13, 2012 4:21 PM GMT
    I understand that you really don't know how you will react in such a situation until, God forbid, you are actually faced with it. That being said, I am pretty certain that I could get past and forgive the cheating depending on the circumstances and what lead to it. However, the cheating compounded by the fact that he had unprotected sex with someone else, and then brought that potential danger into our relationship is something I honestly do not think I could get past. Cheating is one thing, but cheating and being absolutely reckless and irresponsible with someone else is quite another. It speaks volumes about the person I am in a relationship with and, more importantly, exposes the serious deficiency that must exist in the relationship for the partner to do such a thing to US and HIMSELF in the first place. Hearing stories like this confirms in my mind that even unprotected sex with someone you are in an LTR with is risky because you just never know if you can truly trust anyone, regardless of how much you may love them. You cheat on me, have unprotected sex with someone else, get HIV, then bring it into our relationship means you have pretty much blown it BIG time and this relationship not only will never be the same -- it's over.