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Author Topic: Ex-husband is positive  (Read 3571 times)

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Offline Divorcee

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Ex-husband is positive
« on: September 22, 2009, 09:38:22 AM »
My ex and I were only recently divorced.  I found out he was gay and that in and of itself was not the major reason for the divorce, though a marriage between a gay man and straight woman isn't an ideal situation for either.  My reason was his extremely risky and promiscuous behavior.  After repressing his natural sexual urges for so long, he seemed to go wild.  He picked up men in bars, trolled the internet for sex and managed to do this behind my back for several years before I found him out. 

His profile on an online hook-up site said he always practiced safe sex and was tested regularly, so I was hopeful he would escape any disease.  My hopes were dashed, however, when I learned he tested HIV positive last month.  Because of the timing of his exposure and the date of our divorce, the doctor felt the need to contact me to make sure I had not been exposed too.

Now my problem is that I know he's positive but he hasn't shared the info with me.  He's still trying to live secretly as a gay man, refusing to truly accept who he is, and this just isn't healthy emotionally.  I could be his biggest advocate if he'd only let me.  And I could help him during the bad times with the disease except as far as he knows, I don't know he has it.

I stopped hating him a long time ago.  I truly feel for him as I'd never wish an HIV diagnosis on anyone.  We live in a small area and I see him from time to time just around town plus we have children and grandchildren and have family affairs to attend together.

Any suggestions?  Or should I just do what I can until he tells me himself about the HIV?

Thanks.

Offline bear60

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Re: Ex-husband is positive
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2009, 04:10:35 PM »
The most important thing is for you to take care of yourself.  Go get tested if you havent already and continue to practice safe sex.
Let him tell you when he is ready.  Hopefully he will seek counseling.  But he must seek out counseling, it cannot come from you.  If drugs are involved ( and they often are) it will probably mean a stay in a rehab facility.
Poz Bear Type in Philadelphia

Offline Divorcee

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Re: Ex-husband is positive
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2009, 05:21:17 PM »
I was tested back in the spring and we haven't had sex since then.  Both the family doc and the infectious disease specialist feel there's no need for me to be re-tested since there's been no behavior to put me at risk.

He's seeing a counselor.  Unfortunately he's had two previous ones who screwed him pretty badly.  The first told him not to come out to me but to just keep playing it straight.  That seemed to prompt the beginning of the promiscuous behavior.  The second shrink, who he started seeing after I filed for divorce, charged him a fortune for psychological testing but did nothing to help him address the issue of being gay.  Plus he's commited insurance fraud by billing for visits that never happened.  I'm hoping the third time's the charm.  I did tell him in a very calm manner that he really needed to tell shrink #3 about what the first guy said about playing it straight plus anything #2 told him.

The only drugs ever involved as far as I know were poppers and I think that's stopped because I don't think he's sexually active now.

I found out he's taking Atripla and have been reading up on it and everything else I can find on HIV.  Can you recommend any websites that are particularly good with factual info?  I have no idea what his CD4 and viral load is so I'm not sure just how sick he is.  He started getting sick last month, about 4 weeks after a business trip to a known gay hotspot in Florida.  I suspect that's where he may have been infected but that's purely a guess on my part based on info I've read.

Offline mecch

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Re: Ex-husband is positive
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2009, 07:09:54 PM »
Hmmm, how did he get such unethical shrinks? Maybe he lied to you about what they said.

Sounds to me that, hard as it may seem, there isn't much you can do to help your ex if he is living in denial.

Also, seeing as you were married to this guy and shared a life, I don't see why you can't confront him about his HIV status.  I am not sure what point there is to that, except that you say you care about him and he's the father of your children. So you could just flatly tell him what you know and say that, - that you care and are ready to talk if he wants, or ready to shut up and butt out.

I'm not convinced there isn't still some anger and hurt, so you might check with a your own therapist about what motivations and agendas you have for any future relationship with your ex. and also mention that you wrote to this web site, and yet he doesn't know you know, etc etc.

goodl uck
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Assurbanipal

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Re: Ex-husband is positive
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2009, 07:16:23 PM »
Not to pry or anything, but was your own HIV test at least 6 months after the last time you and your former husband had sex?  If not, you may want to go over the timing with your doctors and make sure you have a definitive negative result.

As far as websites go, the lessons on this site are factual and kept up to date.  You can access them through the treatment tab or just click here http://www.aidsmeds.com/articles/Introduction_4702.shtml
Another thread also discussed introductory sites recently -- you can read it here (but I'd be a little less keen on the Body than the folks in that thread -- mainly because it doesn't do a consistent job of pruning  out of date info) http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=28971.0

Only you know the dynamics of your relationship, but it is not uncommon for recent sexual partners of someone who tested HIV positive to be notified that they have had relations with someone is positive ... so he may well know that you know, as it were.  You might ask the doctor who told you for advice -- but fewer secrets might help to clear the air for both of you, your children and grandchildren.

Sincere best wishes
A
5/06 VL 1M+, CD4 22, 5% , pneumonia, thrush -- O2 support 2 months, 6/06 +Kaletra/Truvada
9/06 VL 3959 CD4 297 13.5% 12/06 VL <400 CD4 350 15.2% +Pravachol
2007 VL<400, 70, 50 CD4 408-729 16.0% -19.7%
2008 VL UD CD4 468 - 538 16.7% - 24.6% Osteoporosis 11/08 doubled Pravachol, +Calcium/D
02/09 VL 100 CD4 616 23.7% 03/09 VL 130 5/09 VL 100 CD4 540 28.4% +Actonel (osteoporosis) 7/09 VL 130
8/09  new regimen Isentress/Epzicom 9/09 VL UD CD4 621 32.7% 11/09 VL UD CD4 607 26.4% swap Isentress for Prezista/Norvir 12/09 (liver and muscle issues) VL 50
2010 VL UD CD4 573-680 26.1% - 30.9% 12/10 VL 20
2011 VL UD-20 CD4 568-673 24.7%-30.6%
2012 VL UD swap Prezista/Norvir for Reyataz drop statin CD4 768-828 26.7%-30.7%

Online Ann

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    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: Ex-husband is positive
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2009, 11:55:20 PM »

Not to pry or anything, but was your own HIV test at least 6 months after the last time you and your former husband had sex?  If not, you may want to go over the timing with your doctors and make sure you have a definitive negative result.



The window period for hiv testing is THREE months and has been three months for YEARS now.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Divorcee

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Re: Ex-husband is positive
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2009, 01:48:05 AM »
Quote
Not to pry or anything, but was your own HIV test at least 6 months after the last time you and your former husband had sex?

My HIV test was almost four YEARS after the last time we had sex.  Our last time was a disaster and I attributed it to E.D.  I didn't want to push him and embarrass him, and I figured he didn't initiate sex because he didn't want to try and fail.

Silly me.  Right after I discovered he was gay, I also found the prescriptions for daily Cialis and saw the photos of him online sporting a raging erection.

Quote
Hmmm, how did he get such unethical shrinks? Maybe he lied to you about what they said.

That wouldn't surprise me in the least considering all the other lies.  I do know that #2 billed the insurance company because I saw the explanation of benefits in the mail.  And at least one of them I know for sure was not a visit because the H was out of town that week.


Quote
I'm not convinced there isn't still some anger and hurt, so you might check with a your own therapist about what motivations and agendas you have for any future relationship with your ex. and also mention that you wrote to this web site, and yet he doesn't know you know, etc etc.

Oh there's still plenty of hurt and anger, but that's to be expected or so my therapist says.  Plus, anger keeps you motivated during a divorce.  My H made a big deal when he told the kids about the divorce that we'd still have family holidays together.  Of course, that was before the HIV diagnosis.  I think there's still a lot of ground for both of us to cover.  Just tonight he tried again to renegotiate the divorce, asking if I didn't feel empty inside over it.  Then he said "Oh well, you probably just feel free."  I'd told him when I confronted him that the only way he could ever be who he truly is was for us to divorce.  He's still in denial, probably still in shock from the HIV diagnosis and he also sees a huge chunk of cash going out to me every month in the form of an alimony check.  I think some of his "remorse" is really anger over getting caught and my getting such a generous settlement.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2009, 01:50:34 AM by Divorcee »

Offline Stone

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Re: Ex-husband is positive
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2009, 08:48:29 AM »
Not sure what your relationship with your ex's doctor is but if you have any type of relationship at all you might want to think twice about confronting your ex with your knowledge of his HIV status.  The fact that he contacted you presumably without your ex's consent regarding his HIV status is a huge HIPPA violation.  Your ex can create quite a bit of expensive trouble for this doctor. 

Offline Divorcee

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Re: Ex-husband is positive
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2009, 10:58:34 AM »
The ex and I share the same family doctor.  According to the Health and Human Services website "The HIPAA Privacy Rule at 45 CFR 164.510(b) specifically permits covered entities to share information that is directly relevant to the involvement of a spouse, family members, friends, or other persons identified by a patient, in the patient’s care or payment for health care."

Since I was at possible risk for HIV exposure, the doctor was within his rights to contact me since I was listed on the H's HIPAA form.  Additionally, I had his durable medical power of attorney and the doctor could release medical info to me under that.

One of my concerns now is that should something happen to him and he's hospitalized and incapacitated, there's no family member who knows of his positive status except me.  I'm going to hope that doesn't happen or that he'll give some other person his medical POA.

I'm not going to confront the ex with my knowledge but I just hope I never get put in an awkward situation.

Offline mecch

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  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Ex-husband is positive
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2009, 11:49:10 AM »
I am curious what you want from this POZ forum.
You got a real bad bum deal and bad experience with a closet case husband.
His HIV+ status seems to be unfortunate icing on a very bad cake. 
It seemed like in your first post you were asking advice about whether to tell him you know, or not.
Then you said you are not going to confront him.
Maybe you should make a list of the positive and negative aspects for yourself, and your children about him knowing that you know.  It may not be such a big deal to him that you know.

When I split up with my LT partner he was HIV+ and I was not. I was the only person who knew. I told him he had better tell some close friends or family because I wasn't implicated anymore. It was a relief to ME that he did tell a few other people. I guess it helped him too. 
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Divorcee

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Re: Ex-husband is positive
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2009, 01:04:11 AM »
Quote
I am curious what you want from this POZ forum.

I guess I'm just looking for information to familiarize myself with the situation.  We may be divorced, but I spent three decades married to this man and he's the father of my children.  Despite the bad icing on the bad cake, I do care about what happens to him.

The list of pros and cons is a good idea, but I think if it wasn't such a big deal to him, he'd have told me by now.  I am going to speak to the family doctor and ask him to encourage my ex to get his advanced health care directive and power of attorney updated so that someone has a say-so should he become incapacitated for whatever reason -- the HIV, a freak accident, an auto collision, whatever.

I've been reading over lots and lots of this site and there's such a wealth of information.  My hat's off to whoever keeps this up.  I've learned a lot and still have lots more to learn.

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Ex-husband is positive
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2009, 03:49:24 PM »
Dear Div,

It's to your credit that you given such careful thought to this situation. And I do appreciate there is an emotional force the remains after your having spent many years together and shared having children together.

But whatever you decide to do, make sure that you are taking care of your own needs emotionally and otherwise. I'm wondering if you might find it useful to talk with a therapist or other professional to get some help with sorting things out in a safe and private setting.

   
Andy Velez

Offline Divorcee

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Re: Ex-husband is positive
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2009, 11:55:47 PM »
I've been seeing a therapist weekly since I found out he was gay.  And I'm attending both a divorce recovery group and a grief therapy group.  Overall my days are good, but every now and then things slip up on me and catch me off guard.  This will be the first Thanksgiving and Christmas since the divorce and I am not fooling myself into thinking it will be all happy and fun. 

But every day gets a little better.  I'm just hoping the ex can find some peace too.

Offline Stone

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Re: Ex-husband is positive
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2009, 03:06:00 AM »
This was taken directly from the federal HIPAA site:

PERMITTED DISCLOSURES TO FAMILY MEMBERS AND FRIENDS

A covered entity may disclose certain information to a family member, relative, close friend, or
other person identified by the individual. Only the protected health information directly relevant to
such person's involvement with the individuals care or payment related to the individuals health
care may be shared.
If the individual is present and has the capacity to make health care
decisions, the covered entity may disclose information to those involved in providing care to the
individual if the covered entity does any one of the following: obtains the individuals agreement;
provides the individual with the opportunity to object and the individual does not express a desire
to object; or reasonably infers from the circumstances, based on the exercise of professional
judgment, that the individual does not object. These agreements can be oral. 45 CFR
§164.510(b)(2).


Since you are not supposed to know your ex's status it stands to reason that you are not caring for him and the doctor did not have the legal right to disclose his status to you based on the HIPAA regulations. Since you are not currently having sexual relations with your ex (and haven't for four years) the doctor is not covered under the duty to warn statute.  As far as your durable medical power of attorney, when does it go into effect? Normally they only go into effect when the person is not able to make decisions for themselves any longer or no longer wants to (ie elderly folks who want their children to make the decisions for them). Also, their needs to be language that states you are authorized to receive all health care information under HIPAA. The fine is $50,000 per violation and the civil awards have been in the millions. California is seeking to enforce fines against individuals as well as facilities and many states are making wrongful disclosure a criminal offence
« Last Edit: September 26, 2009, 03:09:51 AM by Stone »

 


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