A friend just found out he's positive for HIV, how would you respond"?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 10, 2010 7:22 PM GMT
    When my friend told me he was HIV positive he was embarrassed, devastated and was so upset I didn't know what to say. I told him I loved him and would be there for him as long as he needed.
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    Mar 10, 2010 8:00 PM GMT
    ASGCville said When my friend told me he was HIV positive he was embarrassed, devastated and was so upset I didn't know what to say. I told him I loved him and would be there for him as long as he needed.


    That's all you really can do
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    Mar 10, 2010 8:04 PM GMT
    That about covers the basics. Now hook him up with Project Inform for the best available treatment information and help him find a good ID doc as his primary.

    Help him move past embarassment; that's not going to keep him healthy and its not particularly useful. HIV is a virus, just like H1N1 or the Flu or Hep C and people can be careful and still be exposed. It happened; now he needs to move past that and focus on putting his care into perspective with the rest of his life.

    He needs to understand that this is a health challenge and it may feel unique and unfair, but everyone will have their own challenges to deal with in due time.
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    Mar 10, 2010 8:14 PM GMT
    Make sure they have contact to deal with it, but they give you all this kind of stuff, in counseling when you find out this devastating news that your life has been cut short, and you know have all those new health challenges to deal with.

    Then I would treat them the same as I always had. But then this is something that has been affecting my life now for a fucking long time via other people being infected. It saddens mew that with all the education we have on this issues young peole are still being infected in the gay community; when will we learn?

    Sorry the whole thing saddens me. I would make sure they have given information, then go on as I always had. But dealing with the change that may come over them may be hard.
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    Mar 10, 2010 8:48 PM GMT
    ASGCville said When my friend told me he was HIV positive he was embarrassed, devastated and was so upset I didn't know what to say. I told him I loved him and would be there for him as long as he needed.

    You did the right thing, and my respects to you. Now help to get him in touch with HIV/AIDS organizations in his area, to ensure he's getting good treatment & support right away. You might also get in touch with them, to learn how friends can best help those who are poz. He'll do best with a knowledgeable support network of friends around him.

    If you can't find any local HIV/AIDS support, get back to me via RJ email. I work with the largest HIV/AIDS agency in the state of Florida, I will put his problem on the desk of their COO, a dear friend of mine, and she will find an answer, I promise you. You do this today, OK?
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    Mar 10, 2010 8:55 PM GMT
    Totally the right thing and the fact he confided in you is a sign that he trusts you. He is going through the hardest part right now. Simply be there for him whenever you can. Key word right now is friend. He needs them.
  • Up4itAll

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    Mar 10, 2010 9:18 PM GMT
    Bravo!!! A true friend in deed!!

    Love, support and understanding is crucial.....and never judge. When your friend is ready to talk about it.....be ready to listen.
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    Mar 10, 2010 9:22 PM GMT
    Well that's a tough one, and a particularly sensitive issue when I hear about situations like this. NO ONE at least NO ONE in their right mind wants to hear the word "Positive" after getting tested for HIV/AIDS. That is a hard and bitter pill to swallow. I understand that the need to protect yourself is always a concern and a precaution. But sometimes things like becoming "Positive" for HIV/AIDS is something that can happen, whether careful or not. In my opinion whenever your sexually with someone, regardless if you are monogamous or not you are taking a risk. I think given I've personally almost been a statistic a few times over with extreme "close calls" in my past with others, I would imagine how horrible a person must feel after the BAD news. I would bet the first thought would be, "Oh God, I'm gonna die!" Then feelings of embarrassment and whatever else your friend is going through follow suit. The scary part is, after the initial shock is over, and the understanding as well as acceptance follows through in the emotional cycle of knowing your new "status" many choose to go ape shit or buck wild and just have sex with any and everyone! Unprotected. To me when this happens, the person feels a sense of desperation and the need to get the most out of life "sexually" as much as possible. I just hope with the support that your friend may have with you and others will help him to be steered in a better direction than the typical cause and effect that I had stated a ways up. But from this point on, it's his choice as it's always been. Just hope he makes the right ones for himself. icon_cool.gif
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    Mar 10, 2010 9:25 PM GMT
    My best friend told me he was HIV Positive while we were out drinking at the bar. All i did was say that he is still the same person, and asked him what kind of shot he wanted [cuervo, chilled btw]

    i mean, thats all you CAN do when that happens; being supportive helps alot.
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    Mar 10, 2010 9:40 PM GMT
    To be honest I have no idea how I would respond. Given this day and age with the all of the information that's out. This is not the 80's. If he has been positive for about 15 or 20 years that's a diffrent animal. I would be there for him and would assist with the notification process. I would be at a loss for words really.
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    Mar 10, 2010 9:49 PM GMT
    ASGCville said When my friend told me he was HIV positive he was embarrassed, devastated and was so upset I didn't know what to say. I told him I loved him and would be there for him as long as he needed.



    That was very important. He needs to know that you will not disappear. He is going to need all of the support of those close to him. When I found out, my friends rallied around me and gave me the strength that I needed to get going again. His next step is to get all of the information he needs and a good doctor who understands. There will be challenges and he will need someone to talk to...so be there for him.

    And thanks for being a good friend.
  • Space_Cowboy_...

    Posts: 3738

    Mar 10, 2010 9:50 PM GMT
    You did the best thing icon_biggrin.gif You're a great friend I'd like to find some like you icon_razz.gif Def. give your friend a hug and just squeeze (not too hard though) Thats what a friend did for me when I thought I got herpes; it helped and I tackled her and made out with her the night I found out I didn't icon_twisted.gif
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    Mar 10, 2010 10:04 PM GMT
    Up4itAll saidBravo!!! A true friend in deed!!

    Love, support and understanding is crucial.....and never judge. When your friend is ready to talk about it.....be ready to listen.


    Kudos to you.....you sound like a true friend!!!! Love the listen part!!!!!
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    Mar 10, 2010 10:16 PM GMT
    Ducky46 saidTo be honest I have no idea how I would respond. Given this day and age with the all of the information that's out. This is not the 80's. If he has been positive for about 15 or 20 years that's a diffrent animal. I would be there for him and would assist with the notification process. I would be at a loss for words really.

    I was staffing the desk of a gay & lesbian center some months ago. And a mother from South Carolina phoned, because her 20-year-old son had just told her he was HIV+, now living in Miami, Florida. And she was distraught beyond words.

    Was he going to die soon, she asked. Was his life over? I gave her the names of local organizations that deal with HIV, and their phone numbers, including the one I fund, that she would hopefully share with her son. And then I told her this:

    The treatment of HIV has advanced greatly in the last few years. It is still a serious and potentially fatal illness for some. But many are now living upwards of 20 years with it.

    Think of it like a "class" in college. The class of 1985 who had HIV didn't do so well. The class of 2000 is doing better, because the medicine has improved. Your son in in the class of 2009. He's got the best chance yet, of living past 20 years, by which time a full cure may be discovered.

    No, he's not dead yet, I told her, he has hope. And she cried and she thanked me. A clumsy analogy, but what worked at that moment.

    And quite frankly, after that, I'd had enough of answering phones there as a volunteer. I'd continue to give them my money, but someone else could deal with things like this. It was more than I could handle, beyond my poor abilities.

    I am not a sympathetic person. Never was, never will be. That roll falls to others. I will underwrite those who are, but not something I can ever be myself. And so, like you, I will always be at a loss for the right words, never able to express the right thoughts. I can throw money at the problem, but not myself. I wonder why that is? icon_confused.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 10, 2010 10:26 PM GMT
    when some-one finds out their hiv+ their world comes crashing down
    and it feels like life has stopped
    it takes time to sink in and it def helps having friends around who keep that someone on track
    u are doing just that accept him for who he is and was
    he hasn,t changed even if it feels that way for him

    when i found out i thought i was broken goods
    it took a while for me to realize i was not diffrent to the way i was before
    but its a mind set

    so get him his help and be there for him as u have been
    right now its not the hiv utwo need to batlle ( leave that to the medics)
    its his mind set so he can go on living his life to the max

    my 2 cents
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    Mar 11, 2010 1:44 AM GMT
    Not much I can say in response to the original post that hasn't been written already. I think what you do now is be the best friend to him that you can be as he deals with this new challenge.
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    Mar 11, 2010 11:05 AM GMT
    I had an ex a few years back; turn out his ex had HIV.

    He did the decent thing and told me about it all even though we'd broken up a few months before.

    When he told me I was more concerned for him than for me, I told him that although we'd moved one from the relationship we once had I still felt things for him and that if he needed me then I'd be there for him. I hoped for the same in return so maybe it was a subconsciously selfish but as it turned out we were both HIV-

    I guess the main things to tell him are not to panic, it’s not the end of the world anymore and not to make any rash judgements about his life, he can still be who he wants to be and do what he wants to do.

    If he hasn’t already he should speak to a professional about this maybe there he can say things he’s been keeping locked up inside and not even realizing it.
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    Mar 11, 2010 2:04 PM GMT
    Be there for him
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    Mar 11, 2010 2:33 PM GMT
    ASGCville said When my friend told me he was HIV positive he was embarrassed, devastated and was so upset I didn't know what to say. I told him I loved him and would be there for him as long as he needed.


    I think you did great. You don't have to know the perfect thing to say. Just letting him know that you're there for him is going to make a world of difference in his life. Telling people, especially right after I find out myself, was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life. Your small act of acceptance and support is bigger than you realize for him right now. If you want to take it further, offer to learn about it with him. It might be nice for him to have someone to talk to about his initial assessment and treatment plan that can understand the discussion.

    Ya done good.

    -robby
  • Mikeylikesit

    Posts: 1021

    Mar 11, 2010 2:53 PM GMT
    Just about everyone summed it up!!!...Support and be there for him. My best friend has been poz since 1986...and is still very healthy. My ex was poz also. It is very treatable today, no longer a death sentence. icon_biggrin.gificon_lol.gif
  • myklet1

    Posts: 345

    Mar 14, 2010 9:25 PM GMT
    ASGCville said When my friend told me he was HIV positive he was embarrassed, devastated and was so upset I didn't know what to say. I told him I loved him and would be there for him as long as he needed.


    The words that you would be there for him as long as he needed was just what he needed to hear. Since I found out I have pretty much isolated myself and I work in the field. It is terrifying to have to tell someone you are HIV+. People can be so cruel that one depends on a friend like you. Wish I had one.

    Michael - Get up, Get out.....Get tested
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    Mar 31, 2014 2:55 AM GMT
    One of my best friends just told me last Friday that he's positive.

    I did not freak out (making him feel potentially worse) and told him that it's no big deal and that HIV is no longer a death sentence. Yes, he'll have to take a pill a day and monitor his health, but so what! We are all going to have health problems at some point. If I told him I had cancer (which I don't), should he treat me any differently?

    I am not going to treat him any differently at all, nor drag up the topic. HIV is very manageable these days. Although I'm not happy about his diagnosis, it is pointless to be a downer about it. Shit, he'll probably out-live me!
  • bischero

    Posts: 847

    Mar 31, 2014 2:59 AM GMT
    Tell him that you are still his friend, that you still love and support him, and that the disease does not define who he is. He's a person who is worthy of all dignity and respect. icon_wink.gif
  • spankingdad

    Posts: 2

    Oct 13, 2014 6:07 PM GMT
    You are a true friend to be so supportive of your positive friend. The main thing to remember that your friend is not define by a disease but the man himself and as long as you support him and let him know that it was better to become positive now instead of the 80's when they were shied away from and cast out by friends and family out of fear and embarrassment, today the treatments are less invasive and people can live a long and healthy life as long as they take their medication and play safe. I have friends where one is positive and the other negative and they play safe together and very happy including a few nephews of mine that live back east, so it is not the end of the world and as long as you do not treat them as anything other than your friend, it will be appreciated and that person will have a greater love for you knowing you are truly his friend.. I get guys who come to me that I have spanked that gave up sex because of being positive but to look at them you would never know for they are in great shape and have some pretty good looking butts on them especially when they are laying naked across my lap with my spanking them and massaging their butts, for it is the only thing some of them have to feel that someone is interested enough in them to make them feel special
  • MichaelAdam

    Posts: 9

    Nov 12, 2015 8:48 AM GMT
    As someone who became poz in my fall semester of college in 1980 dating a wonderful 49 year old man I kinda have a unique perspective on this.

    When I finally decided to get tested in 1988 I already knew the answer. A dear friend tested positive but the stigma was fierce at that time but my community of West Hollywood was being devastated.

    Over these many I have had several hundred men disclose to me and truly the only thing I could say was that I was sorry and listen to them and invite them into my heart. Really the best thing was just to move back to our daily lives...