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“I was like, ‘Oh yeah, I was in a coma.’”The classic coma excuse.
In Miller’s case, it turned out okay, even with the misunderstanding—the couple eventually married.
And while it's unlikely he would spread the disease through protected sex, he’s had a decent number of people turn him down.
He usually tells the person about his HIV after he sees that it’s going to be more than a platonic relationship.
Disclosure becomes even more nerve-wracking if the chronic illness is contagious, like Nate Butler’s HIV.
The 51-year-old Denver native has had the disease for nearly 25 years and has dated both HIV-positive and negative men and women since then.
“Don’t even tempt me.”That was Ashley Pierce’s response when her friend Tammi tried to set her up with Walter.
Having spent a good portion of the last 10 years in a Las Vegas hospital bed, Pierce didn’t even want to entertain the thought of dating. He never backed out.“I never thought someone would marry me with my conditions,” 26-year-old Pierce recently wrote in a Facebook status. Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis—chronic inflammatory conditions that affect the gastrointestinal and digestive tracts and include complications ranging from abdominal cramps to malnutrition.
Butler has been dating an HIV-negative woman for three months now, though he thinks dating someone with HIV would be simpler. Good.’”Butler’s on a combination of medications that produce side effects no worse than occasional gas, though they cost him around ,000 a month.
According to a report published by the National Health Council, nearly half of Americans have at least one chronic illness, with that number expected to grow in coming years.
If this number sounds high, it’s worth noting that the category of “chronic illness” can include minor cases of asthma or oral herpes or major conditions like Crohn’s.
Karen Swindells, 27, who has epilepsy, says a guy once dumped her right after she had a major brain surgery intended to reduce her seizures.“He felt like nothing positive was going on in my life at that time,” said Swindells, who works at a college bookstore and is now married. A few have been major, but most are small and stop her functioning for no longer than a few minutes.
After she has one, she’s often too tired to do much else, which has ended dates and prevented sexual activity.
It makes the words ‘til death do us part’ have even more meaning.”Even if someone is interested in them, the chronically ill may not want to subject anyone else to their disease—the potentially debilitating symptoms and depression that follows.