‘Auntyji says, Arre beta, this is not an easy situation to be in. Balki, it has too many ‘touchy topics.’
Are you sure?
So sabse pehle, let’s begin with what you know. Are you sure she was dating an HIV positive guy? Was she aware he was HIV+? Is your source reliable? Are you sure? So now here is the deal. Ideally speaking, if she knew she was in a relationship with an HIV+ person, she ought to have told you herself. Or there could be another possibility. She knew about it and she has tested negative but didn't want to reveal about her ex-boyfriend’s situation to everyone. Both situations are fine betaji, but you ought to find out which one is it?
Communication is the key
So now, let’s come to you! Puttar ji, it’s your body, your health and your relationship at stake. You can pretty much come out straight and tell her, ‘look darling, I’ve heard something and it’s coming between us’. Something on these lines? She may then either be shocked and devastated or even afraid. Or, she may disarm you and tell you she knew it and she has got herself tested and all is well. Yeh bhi to possible hai na. So talk to her, now.
Breach of trust?
Beta Samarth – the issue with HIV is actually also an issue of trust. It can make or shake any relationship. Either of the partners feels cheated if any information on this issue was kept away from them. One feels let down – as if your partner didn’t have faith in you. On the other hand, people who have had relationships with other HIV + people or are positive themselves are so afraid to lose a relationship that they avoid telling their partners and the cycle continues. It is so tough to pinpoint kaun galat and who is right, hai na beta?
A step at a time
Let’s not jump to conclusion and let’s address each of these issues one by one. First – yes it’s tough but you do have a right to ask her questions like did she knew? Has she tested? Is she negative? Pretty much in that order. Or it can go the other way too. If she did not know that the man she was dating was HIV+, can both of you get tested? Yes, both, to affirm that she is not alone in this.
Now the big question, what if either of you shows up positive? That’s when you will both need to sit down and have a long in-depth discussion. A person’s HIV+ status should not impinge on their relationship as long as both partners are aware and have a clear understanding of what they want. So you can continue in the relationship, just as you are now.
And both parties willing, you could also have a perfectly normal sexual relationship, practicing very safe sex - always using condoms during penetrative sex or just exploring non-penetrative sex (though there are many precautions that you would still need to take). But if you are unsure, it would be best to talk it out and be very honest in your communication without letting any prejudices guide your decision.
That apart betaji, you have to make the shift from thinking that penetrative sex is the only 'real sex' for a couple, because hey we know that's not so – don't we? HIV + people can also have very sexy sex lives you know – once they and their partners get over the fear and stigma that is.
Now a janhit mein jaari request from Auntyji to all you sexually and socially active people out there. Know your status and situation and swear to use a condom and protect yourself as much as you possibly can. Betajis, HIV will impact you much later on in life but before that stigma and lack of trust will get the worse of you and your relationship, so why risk that? Keep yourself free of the infection and the guilt of hiding this from your existing or potential partner. Let’s hope only good comes out of this conversation. So, go get started. All the best from your Auntyji.