Q: I’m writing regarding the letter from “She’s Killing Them in Indiana” and your response to the writer, whose friend is HIV-positive and doesn’t tell her partners her diagnosis. I am a disease intervention specialist in Indiana and work specifically with STDs like HIV.
In Indiana there is a duty-to-warn law that requires anyone who is HIV-positive to inform any past or present sexual or needle-sharing partners of her/his HIV status. At the time of diagnosis, all providers inform the patient of this, and specialists like me are required to get a signed copy of this law from HIV-positive individuals.
This year there was a large outbreak of HIV in a rural southern area of Indiana. More than 100 new infections occurred within just three short months. If individuals like this woman do not inform partners, then the risk is high for another outbreak.
The person who wrote you should contact the Indiana State Department of Health’s Recalcitrant Program and inform them of this situation. All information is kept confidential. Counseling could be provided, and then if she continues not informing, legal action could be taken against her. — Melissa Murawski
A: Readers were upset about the gravity of that letter. They felt it was not only a health issue but also one of morality, and the legal issues could land the writer’s friend in serious trouble, including jail. You are right that the person who wrote that letter should contact the appropriate authorities and report her friend’s dangerous and risky behavior.
Q: My wife and I have been together for 10 years. Like all couples do, we’ve had our ups and downs, but we love each other very much. Two months ago, we welcomed our first son into our family; we are overjoyed.
Raising a newborn has its challenges because babies don’t come with an owner’s manual. Our communication has always been good, and we work hard in our relationship to keep it that way. When we disagree, we try not to fight in front of the baby or raise our voices.
But something my wife does bothers me. She talks about me to the baby. An example: “Apparently you’re too stressful for Daddy right now, but not for me.” I have asked her to please not do it. I understand that he’s only 2 months old and can’t understand her, but I don’t feel disparaging me in front of him is right. Am I wrong? Or am I being overly sensitive? — Needs Help in New York
A: I don’t think you’re being overly sensitive. It is important for an infant’s development that the parents talk to him or her. While your baby may be too young to understand what’s being said right now, your wife is forming a habit that both of you may regret later. It implies that she is the “good mommy” and you are the “bad daddy” who can’t deal with his son. If this continues, at some point the boy WILL get the message, and it won’t be good for the relationship you have with her or the one you have with your son.
Write Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.