My Wife is HIV Positive

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Profile of man leaning on bathroom sink

I decided to share this story because many people believe only women are at the receiving end of unfaithfulness in marriage. Though unusual, I believe with the increasing desire for independence among women, feminism, and women liberation, men need to know that they are also at risk. Some men grew up watching their fathers treat their mothers like rubbish. Perhaps she was illiterate, or had no career, or just soft-spoken. They are not as mean as their fathers were, but unconsciously, they believe they are doing their partners a favor by providing or being good fathers. This of course is not in anyway to say that there are no good men out there, there are several. However, every man must know his own wife. As the bible says, “Dwell with your wife according to knowledge”. I interpret that as, take time to study her and so prevent surprises.

Years ago, a lady was diagnosed with HIV- AIDS in a hospital where I worked. We assumed she had been infected by her husband who was out of town. More so, when she told us he worked on an oil rig and was home for only 2 weeks every month. She pleaded with us not to inform him, but the hospital made the decision to do so. We could not risk him infecting others in the guise of not knowing. If he knew and went ahead to do so, at least, he could be charged(where are my lawyer muses?).

I was the one on duty the day he showed up. His wife was admitted for complications of her condition. I remember he was a tall, slim, and handsome man. He had no clue what was going on. We first gave him a vague diagnosis, while appealing to his wife to let the cat out of the bag. She would not. One day, he came into my office and asked me point blank what was wrong with his wife.

“I hoped I would not be the one on call the day you would ask this question”, I evaded.

“What is it? Cancer? What could be so serious? She’s losing weight, and there’s this air of mystery in the ward whenever I go there. Even the nurses look at me funny”

“Your wife has a very serious disease. It’s sexually transmitted, and we are concerned you maybe affected”

“What could it be? HIV?”

I nodded.

“Whaaaaaaaat!” he screamed. “No! It’s not possible! How can she be HIV positive? ”

“That is the reason for all her symptoms. I heard she’s been sick for a while, and you’ve tried other ‘healers'”

“Yeah, she keeps going for herbal treatment. I had to call from work to insist she comes to hospital this time or I would not pay” “But doc, are you sure? Was the test repeated?”

I assured him we had done a confirmatory and that he could repeat it externally to be sure. After a while, he calmed down and asked if his 2 year old daughter had been tested. I informed him we wanted to test him first, then his daughter.

“Take my blood right now! I am sure of my status. I have never cheated on her and I have provided her with everything she needs. There is no way I will be affected. It’s my child I’m worried about” he insisted.

I was surprised. Never have I met anyone so confident. “Well, I am required to still counsel you. Even if you did not infect her, she could have infected you and ….”

“I know the God I serve. My hands are clean. I am absolutely sure I do not have the virus.”

As I write this, the chills I felt that day, have seized me. I have never seen such confidence. Honestly, I was nervous to take the sample. What if he was positive? Would he try to kill the woman? Were we going to need security? So many thoughts ran through my head.

Hours later, the man tested negative. So did his daughter. We went ahead to do a confirmatory test and it was negative. I tell you, a roar went up in the hospital. He was nice enough to pay her bills and even promised to stand by her, through her life. Though the marriage was definitely over, according to him.

I sympathize with all those whose partners have caused them heart ache of some sort. This is in no way to make light of it. I just wanted to draw attention to the fact that men don’t have to believe they have the right to cheat while their wives stay faithful. Most times, women are counselled to be prayerful, to be patient, loving, and so on. Men also need to play their role. You have no guarantee. This man was saved by his strong faith, I daresay your drinking, smoking, and hanging out will not save you in the day of reckoning. That lady you met in a bar, or who you pried away from 3 men, you expect her to stay home and play trophy wife? It may not work. Please, stay faithful, and stay in faith. God bless

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14 thoughts on “My Wife is HIV Positive

    Fola Daniel Adelesi said:
    January 30, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    OK, I wasn’t too sure whose side you were on. You gave the credit, lighted some burden and turned on the red light almost immediately! It’s all good. Both parties should stay faithful! Well done Doc.

      drnsmusings responded:
      January 30, 2014 at 1:25 pm

      I know. Couldn’t afford to take sides now could I? Thanks, Fola

    tenderonii said:
    January 30, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    wow,..Dr. N, You’ve seen a lot ooh! I gbadun the man’s confidence ooh. He said he had never cheated on his wife, but what if she had infected him?, he was still strong in faith. Wow, and the woman, I hope she’s ok and not dead, I wonder how his daughter would cope, considering you said the marriage was over. Cheating, its really wrong in so many ways.
    Thanks for this one, I’m sure the men also would learn from this.

    drnsmusings responded:
    January 30, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    Yes I have o! I hope ppl think twice b4 cheating, male or female. It never ends well

    niki said:
    January 30, 2014 at 9:48 pm

    Thanks Doc. the older i get, the more i come to the realisation that women also cheat. I just pray for God’s mercy because that seems like the only guarantee for a peaceful life.

      drnsmusings responded:
      January 31, 2014 at 8:34 am

      I always claim the protection of the covenant. It has to be personal I.e. between u and God. Thanks for your thoughts

    imperfectlyperfect92 said:
    February 2, 2014 at 12:07 am

    always nice to talk from the other side of the table and not only on the ladies side as we normally do (including me),thanks for sharing…..
    and thanks for the love on bella naija dr N, chop knuckle indeed! 8smiles

    tundealliomolade said:
    February 10, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    Great blog you have here Dr N, I have enjoyed reading the posts so far. It’s my first day here, but I want to respectfully disagree with the decision the hospital took in telling the woman’s husband about the condition, the first essential component of medical ethics is patient’s autonomy- patient has the final say and as a doctor one is expected to uphold and respect the wish of the patient. If that woman had decided to sue that hospital, mehn! She could have made a fortune, then I think her confidentiality was violated too (that’s the “doctor-to-be-in-a-month’s-time” in me thinking). Even though the human part of me totally agrees with what the hospital did, but in these days of litigation, one has to be extremely careful

      drnsmusings responded:
      February 10, 2014 at 6:17 pm

      I agree with u actually. We had a board meeting and I had my MD’S backing. Rem that the man is her caregiver. He is expected to care for her so he had to know the diagnosis in order to give the right quality of care. That was our premise. It is not in every situation we let the cat out if the bag. Of course some “staff” may hint that the guy shd test himself n leave him to figure it out. She was really ill n needed special care. Trust me, we were very careful

        tundealliomolade said:
        February 10, 2014 at 6:23 pm

        Ooh ok. Great blog still. Rookies like me get to learn 😀

        drnsmusings responded:
        February 10, 2014 at 6:34 pm

        Bowing, thanks. I hope u’ll be back. And on the subject of litigation, we were sued 2x n had to pay millions. I’ll do a post on those cases on day. Doctors r very careful these days. As for your exams, all d best. Rem, cofidence is sexy

    manalive said:
    July 22, 2016 at 10:50 pm

    as I read this story in shock I actually thought it was my story except for the dates and actual circumstance. I had exactly the same experience at the hospital in October 2014. my wife for whom I have suffered so much betrayed me and contracted hiv and just like the man in the story I tested negative.

    However nearly two years after am still married to her. why? we have four most adorable young children. she remains healthy because she’s on medication but I daily hurt and even though I try to forgive her her behaviour sometimes really makes me resent her.

    I love my children so much I would give anything to see them happy till they grow up.

    Is anything wrong with me?

      drnsmusings responded:
      July 23, 2016 at 7:03 pm

      Wow! I am dumbfounded.
      Nothing is wrong with you sir. May God reward u for sticking by her. I believe you have protection in place.
      1. God is the one who said “Vengeance is mine. I will repay” You can see she did not get away with it
      2. Your forgiveness is a seed that God will reward u for; materially, health-wise, e.t.c. Hold him to that
      3. Bad things happen to good people e.g. Job. Don’t beat yourself up
      May those children justify your decision to stay by growing up to become a source of pride to u.
      Bless u

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