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Husband just diagnosed positive wife negative need help for children

Sep 16, 2004


Last week my husband was diagnosed positive. I was tested and are negative with anitbody and viral load tests. I am completely devestated as is he. I am am also angry with hatred as he cheated on me. We live in a rural surburban area in the northeast in one of the best places for his healthcare. I have wanted to leave him in the past week. The only thing holding me back is that he is is a complete loss and is about to lose his family too. I am consumed with fear every minute of the day that an accident might happen and he will infect our three year old and myself. I have read about unusual cases of tranmsission. When he shaves he has nicks in his face everyday that are uncovered, tiny and small. Does this present a risk to our daughter? She is very loving and always hugging, kissing and touching him. What about her chapped lips? What about the tiny nicks and cuts that are always on a little kids hands and legs. There are so many they are impossible to cover up. How can I stay with him for his life span and worry about this every day. I would never forgive myself to the point of suicide if I let my daughter become infected. How can I protect her? If I leave him, can he still get joint custody? Then I won't see what is going on when I am not there. I don't know how to go on and are consumed I am putting my life and my daughter's at risk. Please help.

Response from Dr. Horwath

If you are full of hatred and anger, maybe a brief time away with a trusted friend or close relative would help you to calm down and make important decisions in a more rational state of mind. This is a time to be grateful that you tested negative, and to regroup.

As for protecting you and your daughter, several studies have shown that casual household contact does not transmit the virus. But it is reasonable to be cautious with any open cuts or abrasions and avoid direct contact with blood. Your daughter will not be endangered by hugging, touching and kissing her father. Preventing her from showing her affection is much more likely to be damaging to her.

Once you are less angry, you will need to sit and talk with him to decide on your longer term plans. Fear of infection should not be the decisive factor because you can protect yourself and your daughter with a reasonable degree of caution. You can seek counseling on this subject if you have local medical groups that provide HIV education and counseling services.

Why live on....
freaked out young man

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