I’ve made no secret of the fact I suffer from depression. In fact I’ve been diagnosed with ‘Severe Clinical Depression’ on 3 separate occasions now, for which I was medicated. This tends to happen sporadically, in between I’m mostly sound as a pound – but now and then I get little dips.

The last week or so has been one of these dips. To start with I tried to chalk it up as January Blues but after a few days I realised it was more than that.

I can identify the signs right from the beginning:

  • Lack of energy
  • Inability to get out of bed in the morning
  • No desire to go and do things
  • Becoming withdrawn and quiet
  • Feeling lonely

A few years ago I’d knuckle down, get stuck into some big project at work and then come home and cuddle up with the husband to worm my way out of the depression. I don’t really have that option any more. My job is neither interesting nor involved enough to bury myself in, and my luck in love has been beyond awful for the last few years.

I actually started writing this article 30 minutes ago, with the idea of writing how I’ve been working hard not to show my depression to the guy I’ve been dating, as he’s been so sweet and understanding with regards to the whole HIV issue. But only 10 minutes ago I got a text message saying he was breaking up with me because he couldn’t handle the strain on him of dating someone who was HIV+. So I’m kind of lost now.

I just want someone to cuddle up with on the cold nights, chat to about my worries and how I’m feeling. It’s not easy being HIV+, it’s doubly not easy being HIV+ and suffering from depression. I can’t see this cloud clearing in the next week now. Sigh.

Sorry for the miserable blog but sometimes I just need to vent, and seeing as it’s just me here you lot get the raw end of the deal.

An appropriate clip from Sex & The City…



  1. Really sorry to hear about your depression – I have suffered with this for many years & it can be difficult to talk about it as many people do not understand what depression is or feels like unless they have experienced it.

    It is such a shame that guys cannot see past the HIV thing – it is a small part of who you are, but seems to become so “big & overpowering” to many negative gay men ;-(
    It would be easy to say “he ain’t worth it” & in my experience this doesn’t help much.

    On a practical level, given that you suffer with depression you really do need to get off Atripla as this is very likely not helping you. I know I am always on my hobby horse about Atripla, but for the sake of taking 3 maybe 4 pills once a day rather than one it really isn’t worth putting up with the problems Atripla has on the CNS. Please consider a switch to another combo.

    I gave up on men a very long time ago so I cannot offer any words of wisdom when it comes to men, but there will be someone out there for you & it will happen when you least expect it!

    Chin up fella but please, please consider a meds change – soon!

  2. I know how your feeling Sam,

    I’m going through the same thing right now, and with the added stress of a degree. The need to have someone who understand you and be by your side no matter what is important, and if this guy can’t his loss, we are all better off with out them.

  3. I appreciate what you’re going through. I have depression. I’ve not had a depressive episode for over ten years, but I believe it always stays with you. The impact of a long term health condition makes it worse. I have diabetes, and can never escape it, despite occasionally wanting so much to have a day free of monitoring blood sugars and taking insulin injections. Keep writing honestly, and believe that there is someone out there who can be your companion, friend, support and lover. Once you meet them, being HIV+ won’t make a bit of difference, just like my diabetes doesn’t with my bf.

  4. I get the same thing Sam. You’re not alone in this. There are plenty of HIV+ single guys who also suffer from falling into pits of depression.
    For me, sometimes, forcing myself to call a friend is what works. Just to be able to touch base with someone else, hear a friendly voice, have a bit of a giggle at something stupid.
    Cheer up possum, it certainly gets better. If all else fails, go for a bit of a wander and see if you can find an instance of schadenfreude. I find that always picks me up.

  5. Sorry you’re feeling so down, i was just diagnosed as + at beginning of December so have all this to come. I haven’t told anyone yet and there is no one special in my life at the moment. Your blogs and tweets really have helped me to stay sane and to think things through sensibly. Hope you are soon feeling much better. Xx

  6. Hey Sam, Sorry to hear you are feeling sad and down. Like the other comments, I too have been there (well, I’m still on medication and counselling) and also lost my last boyfriend because of my HIV. All I can say is stay strong and keep talking about it as you are doing here. My previous offer to you to co-write a book with you about your journey is still on the table – it will keep you distracted and give you purpose. I’m on Skype if you want to talk to me. I also wrote about my experiences dealing my depression in my book, Kicking The Dog. It may offer you some insights.
    Hope to chat soon.

  7. 🙂 Hey.
    I can take a pretty calculated guess at how you must be feeling. I’ve been in the same situation, it really is difficult to have someone tell you that they can’t continue a relationship because of HIV.
    I’m also on medication for depression and go to counselling sessions. Though like you, I can feel fine one day and pretty lost the next.
    I don’t blog but I do keep a diary, it does help to get your thoughts out.. It helps even more if you go back and read them over on the days you feel fine. It puts things into a little more perspective. I’ve no doubt that you’ll settle down with someone that will accept every part of you. I can’t imagine you going without cuddles for too long 😉
    Try to keep your chin up. HIV doesn’t define you, you’re still here and there’s still the whole world and the rest of your life to enjoy. X

  8. Sorry the guy you was seeing was not the guy for you but try not to let it get you down. At times i feel really low but i have family and friends that help get me out of it. So i’m hoping that you find your way out of your low and i’m really hoping you have friends to help you like i do.

  9. Hey, Sam!

    So sorry to hear that, and I know the feeling. I’ve been suffering from depression for the past two years now and I’m on medication. Let’s say it hasn’t made dating men any easier! I’ve tried the same approach as you have with you HIV status. Sometimes, I just blurt it out to see the guy’s reaction, and other times, I just wait for the right moment to tell about it. My moods vary too, sometimes daily, so that’s pretty normal, don’t worry about it. Writing is a good way to steady the more uneven days, as is talking to friends and loved ones. And you will find someone who understands you and loves you just the way you are and will comfort you and cuddle with you in moments like these.
    I hope you’ll feel better soon!

  10. Depression is something you’ll battle throughout life, and having suffered it in the past, I know how it can sap you of strength and joy. Focus on the small steps – if you get up, and feel like today is a good day, then let it be a good day. If it’s not feeling right… just muddle through till getting back in bed. One day at a time – it’s how I’ve managed my own heart condition for the last 3 years.
    As for dating – I know a number of people who are HIV+ who are very happily settled, and it’s simply a medical condition that is part of their life. Being “sweet” about HIV is a bit insulting and it really shouldn’t make a difference. Either they are mature enough to accept it is part of who you are, or they’re not. For the latter, it’s their loss kiddo – I’m sure that you will meet and find someone who can share your life and enjoy all the great (and not so great) moments, irrespective of healthcare.
    Keep ya chin up 🙂

  11. Hey Guys,

    Gay man in Canada here. I’m HIV-, but I’m dating an HIV+ guy, so I’m trying to get the lay of the land.

    Last year, I had a needle stick accident from a diabetic friend in full-blown AIDS (neglects his meds), so I’ve done the HAART-PEP (Post-Exposure Prophylaxis) program and remember the side effects of the Truvada/Reyataz cocktail I was taking.

    I spotted the side effects in my man, and I asked him point blank if he was HIV+.

    He told me he was. I held him close for about 15 minutes, then had to get up to use the bathroom.

    When I came out, he was crying, and he had all my clothes laid out so I could make a quick exit.

    Instead of leaving (which was never my intention, I just had to use the can!), I grabbed him, told him about my own time on the antiretrovirals, and held him close while he cried. It was strangely a bonding moment. Then we had pretty amazing sex for the rest of the night.

    Some crappy mutant little freak of protein is not going to get in the way of me being with a guy I like, and might very well even love.

    I’ve been his date to the HIV ward at the hospital while he’s been in for routine blood tests. His dark sense of humor is wonderful: “You probably don’t want to pick up a guy around here!” “Your strain or mine?” etc…

    My education is scientific; I can research and calculate odds, and I know that an HIV+ guy who is properly taking his meds is probably safer for me to date than a random gay guy off the street who may be HIV+ and not know it… and have a through-the-roof viral load.

    I also recognize I take a risk any time I join anybody other than my right hand in bed. If my man infects me deliberately, he’s got legal problems. If he infects me accidentally, it’s bad, but it’s a risk I knowingly take to be with him, and I still won’t run.

    What’s the rejection rate you guys face? How many guys when you tell them just run, or stop calling/texting you back, or are just never “in the mood”? I get the sense my dear, smart, sweet, and oh-so-freakin’-hot guy has been dumped a lot since he was diagnosed in 2007.

    It must be a damned hard thing to tell someone you like that you’re positive. Dating is hard enough before you add that horror to the mix. I hate the HIV, but I love my man’s honesty about it, and that he feels comfortable enough with me that he’ll ask me to go to the hospital with him.

    I’m proud to date an HIV+ man. He’s got a certain strength and stoicism that I attribute to his experiences with HIV.

    He’s not my good deed, I’m way too selfish to be a Boy Scout. I like him very much, and I am not afraid of him.

    Drop me a line, remove the spaces and make the appropriate substitutions below:

    lawrence p wade AT gmail DOT com

  12. I have never had sex without a condom in my life, so a positive guy really doesn’t change things in the bedroom to me at all.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here