DEAR ABBY: I have been dating a woman for two months. "Sally" seems like a great match for me in a lot of ways. She has all of the qualities that I look for, and I can see a future with her. We're taking things slow because she's in the middle of a divorce and also for the reason I am about to relate.
For the past three years I have been spending time with several children with HIV/AIDS. I take them out weekly to parks, movies, etc., and visit them in the hospital when they're sick. Some of their parents passed away or are sick, so it is important that they have a "big brother" to make them feel special and expose them to different things.
Sally is a very caring person and respects what I do, but she's scared to death to be intimate with me because she thinks I am at risk of getting the virus myself and then she would get it. She read that you can get HIV through saliva. I take precautions when I'm with the children, and if they get cut, I have gloves and bandages with me at all times.
I am going to ask Sally to consult with some experts on the disease, and then I thought I'd write to you to see what you think. If she can't get over this fear, we may both miss out on what could be something special. -- "BILLYBOB" IN N.J.
DEAR "BILLYBOB": One cannot get AIDS from spending time with children with AIDS. Insist that Sally talk to a doctor with you so that she can put this fear to rest.
DEAR ABBY: I hope it's not too late to offer a suggestion to "Looking for Privacy," whose in-laws copied their house key and used it as they saw fit. DO NOT key the locks on all your doors alike. With an attached garage, I changed the lock on only the garage side door and gave that key to my in-laws to keep. However, they do not have the key to get into my home from the garage; I leave that door unlocked only if I EXPECT them.
Sound controlling? Perhaps, but I realized that if my mother-in-law had no qualms about barging into our bedroom and jumping into our bed (so we could all snuggle and watch TV), there were no measures too extreme to ensure our privacy from some people. The intrusions into our privacy forced me to face the fact that this type of situation only gets worse with time. I love my in-laws, but any attempt to gently discuss this type of subject resulted only in wounded feelings. Some people just don't "get it," so do what you have to do. -- MRS. JONES, ANYWHERE, U.S.A.
DEAR MRS. JONES: No need to apologize or to discuss it. Your thinking is A-OK.
DEAR ABBY: What do you say to people when they are nosy enough to ask, "Isn't it about time you had kids?" if you aren't planning on having any? -- ON THE SPOT, SAUK RAPIDS, MINN.
DEAR ON THE SPOT: You don't have to answer every question that is asked. Just tune them out. If it was any of their business, they would KNOW!
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