Dear Counselor


Earvin "Magic" Johnson Jr. (born August 14, 1959) is a retired American professional basketball player who played point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). His wife at the time when he discovered that he was HIV+ did not contract the disease, his current wife is also HIV-

Dear Counselor,

My Boyfriend is HIV+, but I am not….

I know he cheated on me that is how he got it…but we have been together for a year and I really love him, but I am afraid of getting IT…

Should I leave him, should i stay with him…What should I Do?

Confused Madman

Dear Confused Madman,

I am sorry to hear about your state of confusion and madness over your boyfriend’s status. Your concerns in this situation are understandable. However, they reinforce some of the already existing stigmas against persons living with HIV/AIDS and homosexual relationships. You do know that there are many things a homosexual couple can enjoy together without engaging in penetrative sex. And, even in the case of penetrative sex, lots of [water-based] lubricant and latex condom, properly placed on the erect penis can almost make contraction impossible [providing there is no breakage]. For now, however, while you both may be uncomfortable with penetrative sex; mutual masturbation, caressing and watching each other masturbate may be some things you will want to try to keep sexual intimacy in your relationship. Please consult your health care provider for more information on safe sexual practices.

Of more concern to me, however, are the concerns you glossed over. You claim that your partner contracted HIV while cheating on you. Yet, your concern is posited as fear of contracting the virus. Have you two dealt with the infidelity itself? How did it make you feel? Are you willing and able to forgive him and move past those feelings of anger and betrayal? Are you comfortable being with someone who is HIV positive? What if other people find out? What happens when his health begins to fail, can you take on the responsibility ensuring that he gets the care he deserves? If you have not engaged your partner around these as much as you love him, the relation is bound to fail. You are going to inadvertently treat him badly for his betrayal and he, in turn is going to live in that state of guilt and self-pity which is neither helpful nor healthy for any of you.

Whether or not you should leave him is your decision to make based on what I have highlighted and your answers to the questions that I have raised. One thing is certain, though. People who are living with HIV need much support. Are you prepared to give that whether or not you remain in a relationship with this person?

Your Counselor


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