mikey_101 saidI have accepted that I will probably outlive my partner, will likley have to nurse his ill health, and I know this will tear me apart.
I took this all on knowingly and love him from the bottom of my heart.
Why can life be so cruel.
Life isn't so cruel when a guy has a partner like you. Now listen to the good news:
One day while volunteering at the reception desk of the local Gay & Lesbian Community Center I answered an out-of-state call. It was from a mother in Tennessee, literally crying and not knowing who to speak with, she'd found our number online.
Her 20-year-old gay son had gone to live in Miami a year ago, and just phoned her to say that he had HIV. He was homeless but wouldn't return to Tennessee.
She asked me how long he had to live. And here is what I told her:
If her son only recently contracted HIV and starts treatment soon then his near-term survival chances are excellent. Long term is good today, too, and I gave her some stats. I told her how the medications are constantly improving, and moving toward a true cure. He has a good chance of living long enough to receive that ultimate treatment.
Think of him like the Class of 2008. When HIV first struck, the Class of 1983 didn't do well, there was very little to treat them, and most died. This is what you remember happening, I said to her. That is not true today, there are new medications to manage this, though not yet cure it totally. Your son in the Class of 2008 will see advances every few years, and may be within striking distance of the end of this disease.
But first we must keep him alive to see it, and he must get on those meds right away. I gave her a boatload of contacts for free HIV treatments, counseling, financial assistance, and also shelters that would take him. Not something the GLCC did, but I had other community contacts of my own to make this happen.
But she couldn't reach him directly, only when he chose to call her, so my hands were tied. I never did learn what the outcome was, but she thanked me for easing her mind, and giving her hope.
Your own partner may outlive you yet. He is not a doomed man, but rather perhaps just a few years away from a total cure, so never treat him like a lost cause. And with support from you he could live 30+ years on just the meds he has available today, even if no breakthroughs ever happen.
But it is uncertain, and reality must be faced, that nothing is guaranteed. I could cut my finger tomorrow, an HIV-neg guy, and get one of these antibiotic-resistant strains that will kill me.
Therefore love your man, care for him, treasure him. Watch over him like a hawk, but not oppressively. Are you involved with his doctors? All of my HIV partner's doctors insisted themselves that I be included in office visits, so they could tell me what my responsibilities were. We approached this as a team. And the docs even insisted on testing me, as well, to make sure I presented no medical risk of my own to him. It's a noble and difficult thing you face - all my wishes go out to you.