Past Profiles: Living with HIV/AIDS | John Doe #1

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My Wife Doesn’t Know…

15th June 2006

By Susan Noyce

Past Profiles: Living with HIV/AIDS | John Doe #1

My Wife Doesn’t Know…

15th June 2006

By Susan Noyce

The first two profiles were from women on opposite ends of the spectrum living with HIV. Today we meet John Doe, number one, who is deeply submerged in what some commonly call the down-low culture. His wife knows neither his lifestyle nor his status. This is a true story, and we tell it so that people can understand that HIV AIDS is everybody’s business. As we’ve said before on our editorial page, in this community we are either infected or affected.

John Doe #1

I’m married, I’m a father, I’m bisexual, and most of all, I’m HIV positive.

My wife does not know I’m bisexual, and she doesn’t know I’m HIV positive. 

I’ve been bisexual for quite some time now, and I’ve known that I’m HIV positive about a year or so now.

I found out from my male partner that his ex-male partner was diagnosed with the disease.

We both got tested, and both of our results returned positive also.

When I heard the news, the only thing I could say was, oh God, I’m dead now.

Not knowing is one thing, but when you know and you can’t tell that person, it’s double jeopardy. 

My wife, how would she take it if she found out? I would not just have to tell her I’m HIV positive, but also that I had it from a man. She’s such a good person. She stood behind me through bad times and good times. She believes in me. No one would even believe that I’m HIV positive, and me going with a man would be a shocker.

My wife and I don’t use condoms or any kind of other protection. She’s always thought I’m faithful.  After I found out I was HIV positive, the feeling of having sex with my wife wasn’t there.

Neither were there any feelings to be with my male partner.  Whenever my wife and I have sex, since I found out, I feel like I am killing her over and over again.  Each day I see her, I feel so guilty.

There are hardly any words to describe exactly how I feel.  Also, when I play with my youngest child, I wonder if I will live to see him become an adult. When my wife wants to make love, a cold, frightening feeling runs through my body.

All I do is go through the motions, or sometimes I just tell her I am tired.  She understands my tiredness because of the work I do.  I usually have to work long hours.

 I’m living a great big lie.  I don’t know how to let my wife know. I know she will eventually find out one of these days.

I know she’ll kill me if she found out, and if she finds out she’s HIV positive, it will lead right back to me.  My male partner and I don’t have a relationship anymore. We both came to an understanding.

He hasn’t told his wife.  He hasn’t told his wife because he doesn’t know how to do so either.  We are both well-respected persons.

We both thought that because we only were going with our wives and each other, there was nothing to fear. I sometimes feel as if I am on the edge of crossing the line from sane to insane because my guilt is extremely overwhelming. 

We didn’t get tested here, so no one here knows our secret, and I just don’t know what to do.

I sometimes feel as though God has forsaken me because of what I have done. I know I don’t have a choice. It’s either I tell her now, or somehow she will find out.

I believe she’s also HIV positive, and my partner thinks his wife is also.  I’m supposed to be a man of strength and courage, but now I feel like a wimp.  Sometimes I try to think of what the outcome will be.

I try not to think of what the outcome will be. I’m always thinking each day is the day to tell her HIV AIDS does not discriminate. Cheating on your partner, whether she is a man or a woman, has its consequences.

I know if I start to use a condom, my wife will become suspicious. I’m very, very desperate, for I am damned if I do tell her, and I am damned if I don’t.

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