Barbera discovered her HIV status after feeling ill in the winter of 2011. At first, she thought the cold she came down with would blow over but she only got worse and nearly died. She later learned her husband John Aimes, 55, had been visiting gay saunas as early as three months after their marriage and had contracted HIV from an unknown man which he infected with.
Barbera admitted the whole mess was partly her fault.She Said:
“It’s not uncommon for straight men to go to a gay bathhouse. He loved the attention. He was not getting anything from me,”
She said they had sex during this period, but it was “perfunctory” and “as a good looking man” he wanted approval from elsewhere.
“I want people to look at their own relationships and see how they are reacting to problems unconsciously,” she continued.
“He said he would go to the bath-house and come back and feel icky and awful. Like an alcoholic. You go to get your happy on but afterwards you get an awful hangover.”Barbara said John confessed that he had been seeing other men and his first illicit encounter was just six months after they wed. In spite of this, Barbara and John are still together and happier than ever.
Barbara has learnt a great lesson from the incidence. She said:
“I don’t take responsibility for what he did, but I do take responsibly for my part in the dysfunction of the relationship.”
Barbara decided to stay with John and after intensive therapy, they are happy. Barbara is telling her story with John’s permission.
“My purpose in going public with this story is to help people move their circumstances, and see it as a gift,” she said.
“We all have these circumstances. I see it as a gift. I’ve even coined a turn for it. I call it a supernova moment. When we shift the way we look at things, we really come into our own power.”
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