I smiled encouragingly at Mma as she sat facing me. She had come back as planned and I was glad to see she was still looking well-groomed.
Her braided hair was lovely and held off her face with a lemon green hairpin. She even had some lipstick on.

“How have you been since last time?”

“It’s been a nightmare, doctor! I keep hearing this voice whispering to me ‘You are HIV positive…’ I keep hoping it’s a dream I can wake up from.”

We were both silent for a while.

“Have you told your husband?” I asked at last.

“No! I couldn’t possibly do that. He will chase me away from the house. He will disown me!”

I was surprised.

“Why on earth would he do that?”

“He will say I have been cheating on him!” She looked as though she might burst into tears and ruin her lovely make-up. “…and I haven’t, honestly.”

“You are going to need support and understanding as you go through this,” I said gently. “If he knew, then he could support you.”

sickness and health 1

“But how on earth am I going to tell him… How?”

What do you think might be the reason for Mma’s reluctance about telling her husband?

How best can she broach the subject?

Does she really need to tell him?

8 Responses

  1. Mma needs to tell her husband about her HIV status cause think about it, how long can she keep the secret and what if keeping it secret leads to her infecting others in some way – her husband or children? If her husband loves her enough, he’ll stand by her after the initial shock. But honestly this is a very difficult situation one never hopes to be in but she needs her husband solidly by her to pull through. HIV discovered early enough can be properly handled using all the latest medical discoveries so she should not give up.

    1. Thanks Asanwa for your encouraging words to all who may be in this situation – many are indeed pulling through HIV with good support and modern anti-retroviral treatments.

  2. Its just unfortunate really. Discovering such a terrible disease compounded by the potential breakdown of a marriage relationship due to infidelity is not a good place to be at all. However the subject must be discussed with Mma’s husband. He also needs to take the test as that will make the conversation easier to begin. Fidelity in marriage is so important. Temptations may occur but they must be discussed with one’s spouse to allow for fortification of any lose ends by prayer and increased efforts to meet eac others needs. This also allows for accountability.

    1. I agree with you, Kay. This is a discussion that must be had, I would say, no matter the outcome.
      Fidelity is so important. An innocent partner getting caught up in an infection that their spouse contracted through infidelity is unpleasant indeed.
      Like you pointed out, increased effort to meet each others’ needs may help to avoid some, if not all of these kinds of scenarios.

  3. Hmmm….. tricky one really but marriage should involve openness and freedom to broach even the most difficult subjects. She needs to tell him. No one should bear this alone!
    She may be reluctant because this would bring up the almighty ‘infidelity’ which could lead to accusations and counter accusations or disintegration of the marriage.
    Nevertheless, knowing the truth sets you free so she needs to broach the subject in a non confrontational manner. If the husband is guilty, he may break down and confess !
    When we reach that bridge, we can cross it!

    1. Hi Nkirum, as you rightly put it ‘no one should bear this alone.’
      We would all hope that in these sort of situations, our loved ones will rally round and support us, rather than throwing accusations about.
      Thanks for writing in 🙂

  4. Well, I guess she herself can’t find an explanation to her answer. Never the less she needs to tell her husband. When we think of support her husband comes to mind first. From all indication she need a shoulder to lean on, her husband.

    1. Yes, Kemi, her husband should be her first port of support in an ideal world. Obviously the concern about what he might do when he finds out is a major factor.
      Many still experience a lot of stigma due to their HIV status and a lot of the stigma comes from their own families unfortunately.
      This can cause people to hide away and suffer in silence rather than coming out to benefit from what help is available.
      Raising awareness that HIV cannot be transmitted by everyday contact such as shaking hands, embracing a person or sharing plates and so on can enable families support their loved ones who have HIV better.
      Thanks for commenting.

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