Confessions: I am living with HIV, how do I confront my husband? - Evewoman

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Confessions: I am living with HIV, how do I confront my husband?

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I have a 4-year-old son and I am 5 months pregnant. A month ago on my regular clinical visits, I discovered that I am living with HIV. The doctor talked to me at length and encouraged me to tell my husband. Up until today I have not had the courage to tell him about this. I have never been unfaithful to him and we tested negative several years ago. I am depressed and worried about who is going to take care of my children when we are dead. The biggest problem is telling him about 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 because of his insecurities. Please help me deal with this. I know he will put all the blame on me and chase me away.


What the readers say:

Miriam, I encourage you to tell him the truth about your status. Since he might be the one who infected you, he may find it in his heart to accept it and start planning how to live positively. Being HIV positive is not the end of life. You still have a bright future.

{Julie Wangari}

Engaging in the blame game is useless at this time and you ought to focus on managing the problem. Tell him immediately rather than wait for him to discover it on his own. Let him blame you but be safe.

{Nelson Ochieng}

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 This is not the end of the road for you. HIV positive people can and are still living good lives. However, you sound guilty about this whole thing as if you have a feeling that you may have actually brought it to him. Be brave and tell him the naked truth. It is highly unlikely that he will chase you away.

{John Weru}

Have confidence in this life and know that being infected is not the end of life. Have hope and do not let anyone look down upon you. Put God first in everything and do the right thing.

{Annette Andika}

Your health service provider will counsel you on how to manage your HIV status and ensure that the child is born HIV free. Either one or both of you could have strayed so it is not beneficial to keep blaming each other at this stage. He should get tested. There are also many cases of discordant couples so it is best to accept and salvage the situation with the help of a counsellor.

{Pst Mark Thoya}

Boke says:

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Bearing in mind that he has been uncomfortable with your job, you could be right about how you feel of your husband’s reaction, but that is not the focus for now.

Though you both tested negative a few years ago, so much could have happened that could change the status of any of you. Revealing this truth to him may not be easy, but I encourage you to do it.

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If both of you can be honest on this, you will get to the root of the problem. There is also a possibility that your case could be that of discordant couples. However, this discovery is not the most important. What is urgent now is how both of you will handle this matter and forge forward as a family.

HIV positive has long ceased to be a death sentence. You will need to talk to a medical practitioner to give you necessary information and guidance on how to manage this condition.

Whatever direction this takes, I encourage you to be strong for yourself and your children. If your husband decides to desert you for this, I pray that you will recollect yourself and not dwell on self-pity. Let the joy of raising and seeing your children succeed fire you up and reenergise you. See yourself retelling this story from a point of victory.

{Hilda Boke Mahare has a background in Counselling Psychology}

Simon says:

Miriam, the greatest defence one can ever have is their conscience. If your conscience is clear there is no need to worry about the repercussions of disclosing this to him. If anything, should he discover later that you knew and kept it hidden this will only give him more ammunition to blame this on you. It is impossible to know who infected the other and trying to ascertain this is indeed a futile undertaking because it will not change anything. This ought to be discussed at the earliest opportunity and as expected he with any extra-marital issues he may accuse you of everything under the sun. However through this remember to focus on moving forward rather than on allocating blame.

He should also get tested asap and the doctors will advice you accordingly based on the outcome of the results. There is no other approach to this regardless of the possible outcomes. It would be stupid and self-defeatist for him to blame you and your job on all this. The bottom line is that either one or both of you may be HIV positive and more efforts should be committed to charting a way forward rather than apportioning blame. As a matter of fact things may take a totally different turn from what you expect. He may become very supportive and even take a lead in managing the situation.

About being HIV positive, there is really also no need to worry too much about this. In the present day, HIV/Aids is no longer a death sentence. With positive living and prudently following doctors’ advice, people are living long, healthy, fruitful lives. This is if you do not fall into the quick death trap where people who are found to be HIV positive vow to spread it in revenge.

If you focus on your wellness and health you will live a normal life. Your perception to this situation will determine how you live. Lastly, who said you are going to die? You have a long fulfilling life ahead of you so stop planning you death and focus on living positively.

{Simon Anyona is a relationship counsellor}

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

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