Man getting treatment for HIV, but hasn't told his wife of 20 ye - CBS46 News

Man getting treatment for HIV, but hasn't told his wife of 20 years

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(Source: WGCL) (Source: WGCL)
ATLANTA (CBS46) -

A once deadly disease is making a frightening comeback in Atlanta. HIV Aids is on the rise in a very specific, vulnerable community of gay and bisexual black men.

CBS46 talked with a man who is getting treatment, but who hasn't told his wife.

The urgency of HIV Aids seemed to drop when medicine improved and rates of new diagnoses dropped. But now, for a particular few, the urgency never went away.

A bus stop ad campaign features good looking people with a positive message -- living with HIV and being treated leads to an undetectable viral load. Doctors confirm if medicine drops the viral load to a very low level, a person with HIV is no longer contagious and can no longer infect anyone.

We did not look farther than the bus stop to find a potent example. Years ago, Rico did not listen when a family member pushed him to get tested.

"One of my relatives saw the partner I was messing with at the time and told me, 'Man, you better get yourself tested because that person, they might have something,'" he said. "The partner that gave me HIV, every time his girlfriend goes to work, he and I were in the bed."

But two July's ago, something changed.

"I all-of-a-sudden got nauseated, diarrhea, ended up going to Grady Hospital," he says.

A test confirmed HIV. He's been on medicine ever since, and today the virus load he carries is undetectable.

Doctors say as long as he stays on his medicine, he is no longer infectious to any partner, including his wife of 20 years.

"She's the best thing that happened to my life, as far as marriage," he said. "She doesn't know as of yet. My plan is to tell her this Sunday," he said. "Within herself, she knows. She knows."

With this epidemic in Atlanta caused in part by people not talking about their own HIV Aids status, his story is a great one to share.

CBS46 went searching for Rico the Monday after he told us he'd tell his wife, but couldn't find him. 

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