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Husband HIV positive/me HIVnegative

Oct 16, 2004

Dr. Bob,

I received your response today and I really would like to add a few words to your comments. My hushand does have AIDS and was diagnosed last year. I have been very supportative of him and have been with him through every hospital stay, every ER vist and EVERY doctor visit. I have been by his side and he is the one that has treated my cruel. He is very bitter which is understandable but I didn't give it to him and he takes it out on me. I mentioned that our marriage isn't very good and that is to say the least. I have wanted a divorce for years but never had the guts to do it. I do not love him but I do care about him and I would never wish any bad to him. He mentally and physically abused me for years. The physical abuse stopped 2 years ago but the mental abuse still continues to a degree. I know that HIV is spread through blood and if he has nicks, cuts, and scratches that is bloody then why can't it be spread that way?? I bug him to wash his hands to keep the germs from spreading. Regarding the swimming pool.. We know that there are chemicals in the pool but those chemcicals don't even kill bees or the birds so how can they kill the HIV virus? In support of my husband I do not go in my sisters pool either. I would never do anything to purposely hurt him and I felt that that did hurt his feelings and I stood by him and I have not been in the pool since. I have severe arthritis in my knees and so the only form of exercise that I am supposed to get is in a pool but out of respect for him I do not do it and you call me "insensitive"? I do not throw it in his face either. My sisters mother-on-law is trying to be helpful and she thinks that she has the right information but I tell my sister that the information is outdated according to my husbands specialist.. I know that he is is going through pure hell and I have been here for him and will continue to be here. I just feel like my life is over because we do not share any closeness at all and haven't for years. I feel all alone and no where to turn. SO I thought I could turn to you for a little support but unfortunately that didn't work out either. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know a little more of the facts. I have stood by him, he even left me for 2 months but when he came back I accepted him back becuase I know that he needs the medical insurance. I guess I was just looking for a little support and all I got was name calling.... Typical for my life. Thanks for your time and response.

Have a great day! Alone in San Diego....

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Alone in San Diego,

I'm sorry if I got the wrong impression form your first post, but I can only respond to the limited amount of information that is provided in the question. The additional facts do shed a different light on the situation! I hope you'll accept my apology. I certainly never condone physical or mental abuse! Your relationship sounds rather dysfunctional, to say the least.

Your family's misinformation isn't helping matters, and my opinion about them and their swimming pool rules hasn't changed.

Regarding "hand washing" and "germ spreading," I would encourage you to discuss your fears in detail with your husband and his HIV specialist at the time of his next visit. HIV is not spread by casual contact. Since you attend every doctor visit with him, bring a list of your specific concerns to his next appointment, so that the three of you can agree on what precautions would be reasonable.

Next, for your support, I would suggest you try some of the local AIDS service organizations in your area. I remember doing a weekend retreat a few years back with a group in San Diego called Being Alive. That might be a good place to try. Check them out at

Thank you for supporting your husband. I hope you both can find a way to peace and happiness.

Dr. Bob

Worried I may have ruined my life

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