Woman’s HIV status casts shadow on budding romance
DEAR ABBY: I’m a 32-year-old woman who is HIV-positive. My colleague – who is unaware of my status – recently introduced me to a relative of hers who is also lonely and looking for someone to settle down with. We “clicked” and seem to complement each other in every way, although we haven’t had any sexual encounter.
My fear is, how do I disclose my status without being rejected? He seems to have big plans for us, which include settling down and having kids in the future. I am also worried that he might be angry with my colleague and not believe that she is unaware of my status. Please help me get out of this dilemma. – IN A SPOT IN SOUTH AFRICA
DEAR IN A SPOT: I’ll try, but there are no guarantees. Much depends upon the strength of this man’s feelings for you. It is very important that you have a frank discussion with him before the relationship goes any further.
The fact that you are HIV-positive may be problematic, but it does not mean you cannot have a family together if you wish in the future. Medications and other medical interventions can help keep the virus from being transmitted to your children, and condoms can protect your partner.
If you are upfront about your status, the chances are better that he will believe you when you tell him his relative was not aware that you have HIV when you were introduced. In a case like this, honesty is the best policy.
DEAR ABBY: I have three grown sons, all educated, married and successful. Their wives are the daughters I never had, and I treasure them and their children. I’m blessed with three perfect grandchildren under the age of 5.
The problem is my sons. Although I raised them carefully with love, they are like teenagers. They constantly denigrate and fight with each other, and measure my time with them on a competitive scale. I no longer want to be involved with their bickering. Their dad, from whom I am separated, is not involved.
This has created a sad cloud in my otherwise sunny life. I need some advice. – TIED IN KNOTS IN INDIANAPOLIS
DEAR TIED IN KNOTS: Have you told your sons how uncomfortable their sibling quibbling makes you? If you haven’t, you should. And if that doesn’t improve the situation, I suggest you see them separately. And if that causes problems, please don’t make it YOUR problem.
DEAR ABBY: Over the past 10 years or so, I have noticed a vast increase in people who talk while they are yawning. These “yawn-talkers” are not only rude, but also almost impossible to understand. I wouldn’t normally care, except that a lot of people do it where I work.
Is it OK to tell them to stop yawn-talking? Or would I be the rude one in the scenario? – WIDE AWAKE IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR WIDE AWAKE: It wouldn’t be rude to ask someone to repeat the statement because you were unable to understand what the person was trying to say. And, by the way, polite folks cover their mouths when they yawn to avoid spraying saliva on the person in front of them.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.