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Huge Change in Lifestyle

Nov 2, 2003

Dr. Bob, I was married for 24 years to my husband. Then he told me he is gay. Now he has HIV infection. (We have been divorced for 7 years so I am at no risk). How can a great person go from a good marriage and family and good ethical behavior to "sleeping around" without adequate protection? Is sex so imortant to gay men that they will risk their lives for it? I do not mean to sound judgemental, but I still am involved with him and want to understand. I am so sad. Thanks.

Response from Dr. Frascino


You may not mean to sound judgmental, but that's exactly how it's coming across. Your husband is still a "great person," even though your "good marriage" may not have been right for him. Chances are he has always been gay. Try to imagine denying your own basic sexual identity for all those years. I'm sure his coming out was not easy for you or him, but I do think it was the right thing to do. Contracting HIV is really not linked to "ethical behavior." We are all only human. That means we all make mistakes.

"Is sex so important to gay men that they will risk their lives for it?" As it turns out, 58% of new HIV infections are from heterosexual contact or IV drug use. So your rhetorical question is not based on fact. Women now make up 30% of new HIV infections.

I realize you are sad and probably angry as well. However, your anger is misdirected and certainly not what your ex-husband needs at this moment (or ever for that matter!). If this is sad, frustrating, and frightening for you, please try to imagine what it's like for him. I'm glad you are still involved with your ex-husband's life. He needs you, but not your anger.

Dr. Bob

Dr.Robert-Please Post
G.I. Just back from Iraq and I'm begging you to answer

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