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Sexolve 282: “I Hid My HIV Status”

Updated
Sexolve
5 min read
Sexolve 282: “I Hid My HIV Status”

(Trigger Warning: Some questions could make you feel agitated. Reader discretion is advised.)


Sexolve is equal rights activist Harish Iyer’s Q&A space on FIT.

If you have any queries regarding sex, sexuality, or your relationship, and need some advice, answers, or just someone to hear you out – write to Harish Iyer, and he’ll try and ‘sexolve’ it for you. Drop-in a mail to sexolve@thequint.com.

This week’s Q&As are below:

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"I HID MY HIV STATUS"

Dear RainbowMan,

I am a 23-year-old gay man from Mumbai. I have been diagnosed with HIV since the past 4 years. I was devastated the first time when I discovered, however after I had a word with you through this space, I started the ART treatment with a good doctor and am doing good.

However, there has been a lot of challenges. I didn’t disclose my status to the only love that I had. I fell in love and didn’t want to risk losing him because of my HIV status. After 3 months of our relationship, I told him. He was angry with me.

He slapped me and told me that he is angry because I assumed that he will leave me. He also quickly went and got tested for HIV. He stopped talking to me after that.

When I cried to him – he told me that he thought that I wanted to give him the virus. I feel fed up. Did I do anything wrong? I am safe. My viral load is less. I did tell him. I took time. I was scared. And what did he do when he got to know I am positive.

He left me. He proved that my fear is true. I am scared. Really scared that he will leave me and never talk to me again. I fear that I will meet him after a few years and he will not recognise me.

I feel I should have died already because of the virus. I survived for his love and now his love has gone. What wrong did I do. I only fell in love.

Positive Love

Dear Positive Love,


Thank you so much for writing in. I am so glad that you listened to my advice and spoke to a qualified doctor for Anti-retroviral therapy (ART).

Yes, it is absolutely possible to live long fulfilling lives by keeping your HIV concentration (viral load) in your body to the lowest, undetectable range through ART medication. HIV needn’t be the end of life. Science has advanced and things will get better with more and more advancement.

I wish advancement in science also led to a proportionate reduction in stigma, but that isn’t the case. There is still rampant discrimination and hate that people living with HIV face.

Stigma is a vicious cycle and it sometimes stands in the way of voluntary disclosures.

I wish that we could have a world where all human beings could live true, honest and authentic lives with each other. However, I also understand when you tell me about your fears and apprehensions.

Maybe, just maybe, your partner was angry because he took a chance with unprotected sex with you?

It is always good to use a condom every time, especially when you haven’t disclosed that you are a person living with HIV. Because whether your partner perceives it as a risk or wishes to go off the condom because your viral load is undetectable will be his or her informed choice.

That said, if he loves you and is able to see reason he may decide to come back. Please give him time. Please give him space. After a few days maybe ask him again. Meet him in a public place and ask him politely if he cares to listen to you. Be vulnerable with him. Tell him your fears and apprehensions. Tell him the stigma that people living with HIV face everyday. He may be able to empathise.

If he doesn’t listen to you, please give yourself space too. Please visit a mental health professional and put yourself in a regime to take care of your mental health.

Love

RainbowMan

P.S. Truth is difficult sometimes, but truth is love too.

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"NO SEX WITH HUBBY SINCE 3 YEARS"

People are in a constant state of metamorphosis, so are relationships.

(Photo: Altered by FIT)

Dear RainbowMan,

I am a 39 year old woman. My husband and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary. Been 3 years since my husband and I had sex. My husband sometimes keeps the door of the bathroom open and masturbates. However, when I try touching him he retracts himself. What is happening with him. I feel angry. Is this because I don’t want to have a child and he wanted to? Is there something else that is bothering him? Is it possible that he is gay? I am worried and I want some answers. Please help me please.

Patni

Dear Patni,

Thank you so much for trusting me with your intimate details. Happy 10th marriage anniversary.

Ten years may seem like a long time for some. But for some couples that live together, it may seem like a lifetime already.

People are in a constant state of metamorphosis. Relationships too. It is important that, in regular intervals of 2-3 years, we reassess what our needs and expectations from the relationship are.

This is that moment, Patni, where you sit next to your husband and speak candidly. Don’t assume. Just share.

Tell him that you saw him masturbating and that you both haven’t had sex for 3 years. Ask him if there is a concern that you need to address together.

Tell him what your expectations from the relationship are too. You both are in a relationship and you both should have expectations from each other.

Give this time and give this space. And more importantly, give this the dignity of a conversation, sans all assumptions. You don’t know what the issue is till you know what the issue is. Don’t assume.

Much love.

RainbowMan

P.S. Please do have that conversation soon. Very soon.

"WILL MASTURBATION KILL ME"

"Show your penis some tender loving care. Don’t stress it much.", writes Harish.

(Photo: Altered by FIT)

Dear RainbowMan,

I have been told that doing too much masturbation is like suicide. Will masturbation kill me?


Curious Furious

Dear Curious Furious,

Healthy testicles produce hundreds of sperms each day. If you don’t masturbate, the sperms will find a way out anyway through nocturnal emissions (Night falls).

Masturbation is healthy, but do it only when excited. Any kind of obsession or over stress on any part of your body is not a good thing.

Show your penis some tender loving care. Don’t stress it much.

Smiles

RainbowMan

P.S. Make your penis your friend.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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