A woman says her husband gave her HIV on the night of their wedding when they had sex for the first time.
The woman, whose name was not released, said she lived for eight years not realizing she had HIV, the Daily Mail reported. She accused her husband of playing “Russian Roulette” with her and their child.
The victim said she was a single mother in her 30s when she met her husband. She said she fell in love with him and married him soon after.
“I met my ex-husband through my social circle,” she told Mamamia. “He was younger than me and I was flattered when he pursued me. He didn’t drink or smoke; he was a quiet sort of man. I thought I could trust him.”
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The couple held off on having sex until their wedding night. Things changed after that night.
“As soon as I signed the marriage papers he turned into a different man,” the woman explained. “He was domineering, controlling and not my Prince Charming at all.”
She threw her husband out after a “violent episode,” but took him back after she learned she was pregnant. When his behavior did not improve, she separated from him and focused on being a mother.
“Eight years ticked by; then I started getting sick,” the woman said. “For eight months I kept going back to the doctor and being sent home with antibiotics. I was misdiagnosed with whooping cough but my health deteriorated.
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“I had fungal nail infection, my skin turned sallow, my hair was falling out and I was rapidly losing weight.”
The woman thought she had cancer, but doctors said it was unlikely.
“One week later, I had a seizure at work,” the woman recalled. “I was wheeled around from test to test in [the] hospital.
“A CT scan showed I had five lesions and swelling on my brain. The doctors told me I had second-degree brain cancer.
“MRI scans revealed I had toxoplasmosis. As I wasn’t pregnant, they said I must have a compromised immune system so I signed permission for an HIV test.”
"Two days later, two doctors came and closed the curtain around my bed. They told me my test had returned positive. I took a deep breath in, sighed out, and said, ‘At least I’m not going to die.’ I knew HIV medication enabled people to live good lives.
"I didn’t [realize] just how sick I was. I’d been living with HIV for nine years. If the CD4 count in your blood is below 250 you’re prone to opportunistic infections. Under 50, a cough can kill you. Mine was 40.
"My first thought was for my son; I breastfed him. Thank God his test came back negative.
"I tracked my ex down and phoned him. Furious, I said, ‘Do you [realize] what you’ve done? You played Russian Roulette; you put me at risk and our child. You fired two bullets, you got one hit.’
"He hung up. I never heard from him again.”
The woman said she put her focus on being a mother.
“I was in [the] hospital for a couple of months,” she said. “At my worst, I was taking 72 pills a day to treat infections the HIV had caused. I went blind in one eye where the infection had got in.
“Nine months later, my health finally improved; lesions on my brain cleared and my sight returned. It was a hard slog. The biggest celebration at my nine month mark was being able to pick up a pile of washing!”
Despite her illness, the woman said she looks forward to watching her grandchildren grow up.
“No one knows how long they're going to live for,” the woman said. “I live each day with purpose. I'm grateful for every day I'm well and with my children.”