'HE IS SO SELFISH' - Wife sues her husband for infecting her with HIV in landmark legal case
A WIFE is suing her husband for infecting her with HIV in what is believed to be a landmark UK case.
The woman, diagnosed with Aids after getting pneumonia, wants up to £50,000 for personal injury through gross negligence.
She says he picked up HIV by having unprotected sex with a string of men and women behind her back during seven years together.
The 36-year-old, who we are not naming, learned she had HIV after hospital tests to pinpoint a series of debilitating illnesses.
She said: “As soon as they told me I said ‘That b****** has given it me. I’d been faithful so there was no one else it could have been.
“The only way I could have got it is through sex. It could only ever have been him.”
The woman, now separated, does not believe he knew he had HIV but had recklessly had sex with others without protection.
She rang him as soon as she got the diagnosis.
The woman said: “I was scared. I thought he’d sleep with someone and give it to them.
“I said ‘I’ve just been told I have HIV.’ He went quiet. Then he just said ‘OK’.”
But two days later he sent an accusing text that said: “I can’t believe you just told me I’m going to die.”
She said: “He is so selfish. It was all about him even though I was in a wheelchair when I got out of hospital. I was so upset.”
The final straw came when he ludicrously claimed she probably had Aids, the most advanced stage of the HIV virus that attacks the immune system, because she was obsessive about cleanliness.
The woman, who is now responding well to medical treatment, said: “He suggested using too much bleach to clean my house had made my immune system weak.
“That’s when I decided to contact lawyers — I couldn’t let him get away with it.”
The couple had been together for seven years and wed in April 2017 but the relationship was breaking down over suspicions he was cheating on her.
She was trying to build bridges when she started feeling lethargic last October.
Doctors diagnosed a rash under her eye as shingles before a huge red mark erupted all over her body later that month.
After being discharged by medics who thought she had simply suffered an allergic reaction the woman’s sister had to call an ambulance when she was unable to get out of bed.
She was in and out of hospital over fears she had caught a tropical disease and given steroids, antibiotics and oxygen to try and fight it.
After months trying to get to the bottom of it the woman received a call on December 14 asking her to come into hospital.
“I knew at that point it was bad news,” she said. “It was either cancer or HIV. When they told me I was worried I would give it to people around me.
“I was very ignorant, I didn’t realise how much has changed in the treatment of Aids.
“I thought I was going to die. All I could think of was the Aids adverts in the 1980s with the tombstone.”
Modern medicine means it is now possible to progress to a stage where you are “undetectable” – meaning you can sleep with people and not pass the illness on.
But the woman did not know this at the time. “I was telling my family to get away from me,” she said.
“I didn’t know anything about it so I believed all the stigma. I thought it was a death sentence.”
She now wants to talk out to raise awareness of the disease. She said: “I have also just been declared undetectable myself.
“As traumatic as it is people need to know that it is very treatable. I will be able to live out a relatively normal life, so I hope my case helps people realise that Aids is not the end for you.
“I think more needs to be done to educate people, especially the older generation who still believe the stigma.”
She is taking him to court to gain compensation after being advised against trying to gain a criminal conviction.
She said: “Although it can be deemed a criminal offence the process is quite difficult.
“They will try and bring up my sexual history which can be quite gruelling so this is the least intrusive way forward.”
Her solicitors served legal papers in May after advising that a criminal prosecution was unlikely. Her husband has yet to respond.
Lawyers say she could be awarded about £50,000. There have been no similar cases with married couples in the UK but an American known as John B was fined £8.3million by a Californian judge for giving his ex-wife HIV in 2008.