DEAR ABBY: I have just been informed of a very delicate situation, and I am not sure how to handle it. My husband and I separated for a short time in September 1988. While separated, I started seeing another man. It was a very brief encounter, needless to say. Since then, my husband and I are together again -- and I have given birth to a son.
I recently ran into some friends who knew of this other man and also live near him. My friend told me some very disturbing news about this man. He has been diagnosed HIV-positive. Needless to say, I was floored hearing this. I plan to be tested very soon.
The problem is: Should I discuss this with my husband? If I tell him, it could destroy what is left of our marriage, especially if the test is negative. On the other hand, he has a right to know that the risk is there.
I cannot even comprehend the fact of AIDS. The thing that gets to me more than anything is my son. I had him after the fact. Is he infected? I could not live with myself knowing that my lack of self-control could possibly kill both of us. Please help me any way you can. -- DEVASTATED
DEAR DEVASTATED: You must be tested immediately to determine whether you have been infected, and have your questions answered first-hand. Call the government AIDS hotline: 1 (800) 342-AIDS to find the location of a center near you for anonymous testing. If you are positive, then you must discuss this with your husband, and both your husband and your child should be tested.
If you are negative -- it's "our" secret.