Casmir asks: Hey, hope I will get help and won’t be judged. I am gay and I have been in a discordant relationship with my boyfriend for the last six months. He loved me the way I am, though he came to know my HIV status before I could tell him, but he later was okay with it and loved me unconditionally. Well my viral loads have not been good of late and I was given three months to do the next one (this month was the last month) but lately I came to realize that I was not the problem; I have been taking the wrong medication for one year now and that is why my viral load went high. I was depressed and felt frustrated. On Sunday I called my boyfriend. He was at work. I told him how I felt, and he told me he is coming to see me. In a few minutes time he was at my place, so I shared how I felt, but what he said shocked me. He told that he feels like he is now at risk of getting HIV and he doesn’t want the relationship anymore. I was so emotional that I couldn’t help it. He later went back to work. I was so depressed, hurt and in pain that I texted him, and later at night he called me and told me that he wants us to be friends, that nothing is gonna change apart from the intimacy part. I tried to stop him from making the decision but he said we should try it. I am not comfortable with the friendship thing, since it will hurt me more knowing that he is not my boyfriend but we still hang out together. I just don’t know what do. I am hoping that he will change his mind later on and decide to be together; maybe this was too much for him to take in, or is it because he is undergoing so much pressure at his work place that he just wants to break up (since we were on a relationship break we had finished one week). I am confused and desperate. Please help.
Hi Casmir –
I’m in a very difficult position here. On one hand, you’ve dealt with a lot of unpleasant issues – you were born with a quality that a lot of the world stupidly and unfairly rejects, you got a terrifying medical condition, and you have been “friend-zoned” by someone you love. All of these are just rotten, and you have every reason to feel bad about them.
Then on the other hand, you’ve just been told that the life-threatening disease you were told you had is actually a mis-diagnosis, and you’re fine, just suffering from some wrong medication.
But I don’t hear you jumping for joy over that one. And you should be.
You should, my friend, be out of your mind with ecstasy about this. YOU ARE GOING TO LIVE! You had been told you were dying and you’re NOT!
Now, do you still have a condition that’s hard to live with? You sure do. And you have to be careful. And is your boyfriend reacting to it in a way that he doesn’t need to, as you could have a perfectly great romantic relationship as long as you’re careful? Yep, that’s absolutely the case
BUT YOU ARE GOING TO LIVE!
My friend, I was once supposed to die from an awful cancer. And I came through it, and am alive. Now every day, I go through lousy things, like my human leaving me alone, or my not getting the pizza I want or to catch that cat across the street. And yes, those are frustrating. BUT I AM ALIVE! And my human, who loves me more than life itself, has had all sorts of awful disappointments and frustrations for years. But every now and then, when he gets really upset, he steps back and says, “BUT SHIRELLE IS ALIVE.” And he knows that he’s incredibly lucky.
Casmir, you probably know more of the current science about the HIV virus than I could pretend to. And you can give that education to this guy you love, and maybe get him to calm down. But he’s scared, and probably got more scared because he thought he was going to lose you when you got that wrong diagnosis. So I’d suggest forgiving him for that, and helping him to learn more. And if you do, I hope he comes back to you as the full-on love of your life.
But if he doesn’t, if he runs away out of irrational fear… I still want you to wake up tomorrow morning, look out at the sunrise and the flowers and the birds and the car exhausts and the nagging parents and the beauty and the ugliness and everything else, and tell yourself, “I am a miracle. My health is a miracle. My life is a miracle.”
“And whatever else happens, good or bad, is gravy.”
And gravy is yummy. Always.
As is life.
May you keep living, and appreciating, life, longer than either of us can even imagine!
All my best, my friend,