April #133 : Couples Therapy - by Victor Benadava Jr.

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Table of Contents

Getting On (and off)

Kramer vs. Kramer

Mature Content

Dazed and Confused

Worth a Shot

Read My Lipids

High Definition-APRIL 2007

You Go!

Gag Reflex

Couples Therapy

Top Secret

Death in Dixie

Iraqi Pullout

And for Our Next Act...

Border Line Prevention

Almost Legal

Turning Heads

Mission Control

The Itch Is Back

Flags of a Father

Mailbox-April 2007

Catch of the Month-April 2007

Editor's Letter-April 2007

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

email print

April 2007

Couples Therapy

by Victor Benadava Jr.

A dreamy first date with New York’s Gay Men’s Health Crisis turns into a lifelong affair

I am from Paris—a crazy, passionate Frenchman in love with love—so of course I am going to tell you a love story. Twelve years ago, a friend invited me to a rather unremarkable office building in New York City. It looked old and plain, but as I entered, a feeling of love and care moved my soul. I was smitten. No, not with my friend—but with the organization housed in the structure. The name of my new love? GMHC. I was HIV negative when we met; I was just joining my friend, who was positive and a GMHC client, for a dinner there. And, thanks to the agency, free opera tickets. Madame Butterfly! Delicious food and the opera … how could I resist? But as in many great affairs, I lost touch with the group … until, five years later, we were fated to meet again. This time, I came in need, addicted to crystal meth. I soon found out that I was positive, too. The agency had grown so much, Twelve stories now. Big and strong, it never let me down. We beat my addiction through tears, screaming, fighting. I hated it sometimes, like a lover hates a partner for saying what is best for him. I didn’t want to listen. But this partner stood by me, despite my dramas. Actually, I had a relationship with every floor: Case Management, for instance, took my hand and sat with me for hours in the city housing office to get me off the streets. And whether I was good or bad, my baby fed me a hot meal every day. But love, I soon realized, is giving and receiving. This wasn’t just about me anymore but about all of us, my brothers and sisters with HIV. So I volunteered in the kitchen, serving them lunch. Next I was elected co-chair of the client advisory board, and now I also offer acupuncture in the building. I don’t make any money. But I am richer than the richest in the world. I have something precious in my life, something called love.

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