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For being annoyed at BIL for catching HIV?

(116 Posts)
ragz134 Fri 31-Mar-17 18:45:36

Or is it "victim blaming"?
BIL got into a relationship last year, he knew the guy was HIV+ before they started a sexual relationship. We said at the time it shouldn't put him off the guy, as long as they stay "safe" then it would be very difficult to catch. He gets regular STI checks and so has found out last week that he's caught HIV. He's admitted they weren't being careful... DH (his twin) and I had a feeling this would happen as BIL doesn't seem to take anything seriously!
AIBU to be really annoyed at his irresponsible behaviour? He already had HepC from sharing needles years ago just got the all clear on that last year. He lives with in-laws (he's nearly 40) and doesn't work (gets disability benefit for addiction and HepC?!) apart from running a business from home but rarely does any work for it so has months of work built up.
MIL (who is already pissed off with him for ignoring his customers and not working) has just been diagnosed with aggressive BC so we can't tell her, it will have to be kept secret for a while.
I know it's not actually any of my business, I shouldn't spend my energy being pissed off at him and it won't affect my life at all I don't suppose... But I am still annoyed. IABU and judgemental aren't I?

NoArmaniNoPunani Fri 31-Mar-17 18:48:46

To be honest hep C is probably
worse and he already has that.
With the right drugs HIV is not the life sentence it once was.

surferjet Fri 31-Mar-17 18:51:08

He needs your understanding & support.

BubbleBed Fri 31-Mar-17 18:51:20

He was foolish and unlucky, but with his past history it can't have been entirely unexpected.

I'd be more concerned that his boyfriend isn't taking steps to protect others whilst knowing he is a risk though. :-(

KindDogsTail Fri 31-Mar-17 18:51:24

He sounds a bit of s mess. There is no point being annoyed with him even though he sounds altogether annoying. Nothing will change as he's already 40.

Does being annoyed with him take your mind off other worries, for example MIL? I don't mean to be rude.

chinam Fri 31-Mar-17 18:52:40

I don't think YABU nor do I think it's victim blaming. Your BIL knew what he was potentially getting himself into unless he took the necessary precautions.

ragz134 Fri 31-Mar-17 18:53:59

NoArmani no we know that, he doesn't seem that concerned about it!
Surferjet yes I know, and I will be supportive.
TBH I am sure many people were just as exasperated at me for many of my questionable life choices, however I was 20 /21 and BIL is nearly 40.
I kind of feel like he did it on purpose?!

Screwinthetuna Fri 31-Mar-17 18:55:27

I don't think YABU for being annoyed at him, he knew his boyfriend had it and yet didn't protect himself. He does need your support though and it gains nothing staying angry at him, what's done is done. Sad sad

Meekonsandwich Fri 31-Mar-17 18:55:49

I mean you can be annoyed but I'm guessing he's probably more annoyed and upset at himself than any body else can be at him.

Doesnt sound like he takes great care of himself.

What are you annoyed with exactly?
The fact he was careless because you love him and want him to be safe?
Because he did something irresponsible and has to face the consequences?
Because he doesn't work and live with his in laws?
I think you should find out why exactly you're upset and address it.
But it's not the end of the world. He's an adult and knew what he was doing and drugs are very good now.

HeyRoly Fri 31-Mar-17 18:56:27

He hadn't unprotected sex with a person he knew had HIV, so yeah, it's his fault. I would be annoyed too - especially within the context of him being a generally irresponsible kind of person.

Having said that, he's an adult and he made a choice. I bet you feel like you'll have to "parent" him when the ILs are no longer around, mind.

HeyRoly Fri 31-Mar-17 18:56:37


ragz134 Fri 31-Mar-17 18:57:45

KindDogstail yes you are probably right. MIL is generally healthy, makes sensible choices and at 64 has been handed a nasty type of cancer with a harsh prognosis that will require years of treatment. BIL has been a huge source of stress for her for many years and it seems totally unfair... I guess learning the two diagnoses in as many days has probably affected my perception.

ShowMePotatoSalad Fri 31-Mar-17 18:57:46

He sounds quite reckless. Is he happy? It doesn't sound like he takes his health or even his life very seriously.

I understand why you're angry and upset with him. I would be too. But I don't think he did this to hurt anyone. He sounds like he's hurting himself. There is something psychological going on here.

I would approach it from a position of support and understanding that all may not be right with him psychologically.

Stilllookingforthestars Fri 31-Mar-17 18:58:11

Doesn't sound like a well man to be honest.

MatildaTheCat Fri 31-Mar-17 18:59:09

If he's so casual with his health I wonder if he will take his treatment seriously. I'm afraid that at his age and stage he simply must take responsibility for himself and you and dh must leave him to it and concentrate on MIL.

It's up to him if he shares the news with her, though, not you. Let's hope he doesn't.

Cindersfurslippers Fri 31-Mar-17 19:01:16

How did he get hep c?

If his partner has a low viral load, he may well have caught HIV from a different source. If the partner has undetectable viral load, it's unlikely to be that.

Would you feel like this about any other illness? Or are you giving HIV some stigma you wouldn't give, say, melanoma in someone who doesn't use enough sun cream?

Cindersfurslippers Fri 31-Mar-17 19:06:08

Sorry, you said how he got the hep c.

Having even unprotected sex with someone with well managed HIV is low risk.

Many diseases have lifestyle factors. Is BC breast cancer? Because that has lifestyle factors. Don't stigmatise HIV due to fear or ignorance. With modern treatments, it's just another chronic disease to manage, like type 2 diabetes.

ragz134 Fri 31-Mar-17 19:09:06

Meekonsandwich yes that's a good question, I do need to work out why it is bothering me. I was very supportive with the HepC, probably more than anyone else, and yet that was also totally self inflicted (knowingly sharing needles with his older brother who he knew was infected).
I do feel quite protective of him in a way, he was single for a decade before this and lived with us for a short while about 8 years ago. While DH got off heroin partly because he had me and kids to think of, BIL is still not fully over his addition and I feel like if only he'd had something else in his life it would have gone better for him.
I'm sure it is actually upsetting him more than he let's on and DH and I will be here for him should he need any help. No one else in the family will know, due to MIL's situation. But I do feel we should be focussing on her... Just bad timing I suppose.

Owllady Fri 31-Mar-17 19:10:04

I would be cross too tbh. It has nothing to do with the stigma of hiv. It's knowingly putting himself at risk.

Lingotria Fri 31-Mar-17 19:12:26

I know a woman who's had HIV since she was seven or eight. She is nearly forty now. Healthy. Has a full and active life. By itself it's not really a death sentence any more

WyfOfBathe Fri 31-Mar-17 19:14:02

YANBU to think that what he did was irresponsible, if he was having unprotected sex with someone he knew was HIV+.

But I wouldn't be annoyed at him. He didn't do it on purpose, or to spite you or make your lives difficult. In fact, it probably has made his life more difficult (not only any medical problems as a result but also living with the stigma).

ragz134 Fri 31-Mar-17 19:16:54

Cinderfurslippers no not at all, like I said in my OP I told BIL not to let the fact that his partner had HIV put him off having a relationship, I know it isn't as contagious as people think. However, that is definitely where he got is as he's been tested regularly and no other partners for a decade. Hasn't used IV drugs for several years.
I do get your point about the lifestyle illnesses, I know we all do things we know we shouldn't and take risks with our health. But this one seemed to bloody obvious...
Well. It's done now. His partner is healthy and manages his well so hopefully it won't be too problematic.

Kit30 Fri 31-Mar-17 19:17:44

Feel sorry for your BIL but I suspect your exasperation with him is based on the fear that he will become ill and that you and DH will end up shouldering the responsibility. No judgement; it's hard to have to be responsible because someone else hasnt been and selfish of them not to think about all the otential consequences. Sympathy all round

Wando1986 Fri 31-Mar-17 19:18:12

HIV is bordering on not being a big deal anymore. Within 20 years you will probably be able to be treated for it successfully with the current advancements. And tbh, although it's a permanent illness, it's viewed as no more life threatening now in the west (if managed well) than a dose of the clap.

ChrisYoungFuckingRocks Fri 31-Mar-17 19:20:02

Tbh Ragz, it's his life and it was his decision. Nothing now will change what happened, and you getting annoyed with it won't change it.

He chose to have unprotected sex with someone who is HIV+. Saying that though, my uncle lived for 10 years with HIV before he died of AIDS related pneumonia, and him and his b/friend never used protection, but the b/friend never got infected. He was probably just one of the very very few ones immune to it, or else just very lucky.

Either way, not really your problem is it? Sorry to hear about MIL's diagnosis.

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