kmusselman saidA casual friend just found out he's positive. He's young (33), not out and has no real gay support network (which is why he called me and my partner). He's totally freaked out - and we want to help him. Any advice - both for him and for us to help him deal with this?
Stress to him that it's no longer an immediate death sentence, but a chronic disease. It's still serious, and needs constant attention, but I personally know men who are approaching 20 years with HIV.
Since he's the HIV "class of 2008" the odds are much improved that a cure will be found for him. The latest medical data is now saying early and aggressive treatment is best. Previous wisdom said do nothing, until viral load and T-cell counts went bad. He needs to find an experienced HIV/infectious disease specialist, not a GP, to manage his care.
Having lost a partner to AIDS when things weren't so optimistic, my thoughts and prayers are with him. Help him to realize he's got a good chance at a good life ahead of him today, that improves all the time.