I have never been unfaithful to my husband- How do I tell him I tested positive for HIV? - Evewoman

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Confessions: How do I tell him I tested positive for HIV?

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I have been married for six years. We have a 4-year-old son and I am five months pregnant. A month ago on my regular clinical sessions, I turned out to be HIV positive. The doctor talked to me at length and encouraged me to tell my husband.

Up until today, I have not had the strength or courage to tell him about this. I have never been unfaithful to him and we went for a test about three years ago but it was negative. The biggest problem remains telling him about this. How do I do this? Knowing him, he will claim I am the one who infected him, especially because I travel a lot for work and he does not like this. He has even influenced his family to talk me into resigning so I can focus on my family.

Please help me deal with this. I am sure he will put all the blame on me and chase me away.


What the readers say:

Leah, your situation is delicate and especially because he has always complained about the nature of your work. Yes, he will have a lot of resentment at first but he will come to terms with it. Remain focused and follow the doctor’s advice and do not skip taking the drugs as prescribed. Lastly, HIV/AIDS is not death penalty so if you live positively you will have a reason to see tomorrow.

{Ouma Ragumo – Sifuyo}

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The most important thing for now is to deal with the situation you are in and not to start thinking about how you got there. If you are sure you are not the source, the accusations he may leves on you shouldn't bother you. Get him to also take the test for his own sake and, once this is done, it will be upon him to choose what he wants to do from then henceforth. Also, remember that although unprotected sex is the most common form of transmission for HIV, it is not the only way.

{Tasma Saka}

You will need a lot of counselling to get through this. Contact a family counsellor to work with you and prepare both of you psychologically. Otherwise, if your husband decides to chase you away, that will not be the end of the world. He will still get to support his children so that all will not be lost. The most important thing for now is to safeguard your health and that of the unborn baby. Anybody else can take care of themselves. For now, try and live as positively as you can. People are living even for more than 20 years being HIV positive.

{Onyango Outha}

This must be extremely hard on you and more so that you are facing this problem alone without the support of your partner. However, remember that the health of your baby must come first in everything you do. The decision about when and how to tell your partner is a difficult one and one that only you can make. It will not be easy but then again the truth will eventually get out. However, if you need your partner’s support, it is better to tell him but this will depend on how strong you are with your condition. I wish you all the best and May the good Lord guide you through this.

{Fred Jausenge}

Simon says:

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Leah, this is an unfortunate turn out of events and a difficult situation to be in. Yet through all this, your options are generally extremely limited. However, there are a few facts we have to get across and they are instructive in informing you and others who may be in a similar predicament on the way forward. One, we may know your HIV status, but this does not necessarily translate to his HIV status due to discordance where one person may be HIV positive and the other HIV negative despite them being sexually active. Two, just because you found out first does not in any way mean you are the one who infected him (if he is indeed infected) and three, HIV is in present day, not a death sentence – people are living normal lives with the virus so you need to take heart in this.

Now, to tell or not to tell? Unfortunately, there is no two ways to this – you just have to find a way of breaking the news to him. You may choose to do this directly or indirectly through a third party. If you choose the latter the medical practitioners that are helping you through this are usually very helpful. As a matter of fact, I encourage you to let them handle it as it an emotive issue. Getting him to be in the know has only advantages to it as it will trigger the need for him to get tested towards ascertaining his status. If he turns out negative then the doctors will enlighten you on how he can remain negative and if it turns otherwise, he will be put on the necessary treatment. For your sake, that of your husband and of the unborn child, it is in your best interest to get him in the know.

About how he or other members of his or your family will take this, I urge you to worry not about this and focus on staying healthy. People will always talk but this should not bother you especially if your conscience is clean. Worrying will not help in any way and will actually only make things worse. This is a bullet you will have to bite but one that is extremely necessary for your own wellbeing.

{Simon is a relationships counsellor}


Boke says:

Dear Leah,

This is a challenging moment for you but it will surely give way and things will be brighter. You seem to be certain about your husband’s reaction. And you could be right, especially with the fact that he is uncomfortable with the nature or your job.

Three years ago, you were negative. That is a long time and so much could have happened that could change the status of either of you. Revealing this truth to him may not be easy, but I encourage you to do it. The best side to be is on the truth side. If both of you are honest people, you can tell how the change of status has come to be. Yours could be a case of discordant couples. However, this discovery is not the most important thing but rather how you both will handle this and forge forward as a family.

HIV Positive has long ceased to be a death sentence. After all the emotions and reactions, you will need to talk to a medical practitioner to give you the requisite guidelines on how to manage this condition.


Whatever direction this news will take, I encourage you to be strong for yourself and for your children. If your husband decides to blame and desert you for this yet you are innocent, do not dwell in self-pity. I hope you have one or two people who will believe you and be part of your support system. If you do not have such, let the joy of raising your children fire you up and rekindle a joy, an excitement and strength to move on. You are not dying yet. Desire to retell this story as a victory story.


Hilda Boke Mahare has a background in Counselling Psychology

The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Evewoman.co.ke

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