According to Australian researchers, what many doctors are not aware of is the fact that married men too, are active risk carriers of HIV/AIDS.
The research based on around 250 sample studies of married men, in suburbs of western Australia showed that many men; 'straight and happily married', do in fact have homosexual affairs. These men unwittingly or not, end up as transmitters of HIV/AIDS to their unsuspecting wives, and non-infected sex partners.
Says lead researcher Jeff Hudson from the University of Sydney: "Health professionals should know it occurs. If someone comes in to get a test at the doctor because they're sick, just because they're married the doctor would not say you should have an STI check, or HIV check. That's where often the disease spread happens, because these men don't see themselves as at risk or at risk for their wives because they don't identify with the usual gay man or bisexual man and so the health professionals don't ask about sexual history."
According to the study, many of these men would rather die than let their wives know about their sexual preferences or affairs. Hudson says that it is this fear that leads to infections being spread.
Hudson adds:"A lot of men will commit suicide because they don't see any other way out. Instead of hurting their wives or damaging their marriage or ending up with nothing, they would rather kill themselves."
The study comes in the wake of comments perceived as controversial by Australian Prime Minister John Howard. He had spoken up against allowing HIV infected African refugees into the nation.
"My initial reaction is no, they should not be allowed in Australia. There may be some humanitarian considerations that could temper that in certain cases but prima facie, no. I think we should have the most stringent possible conditions in relation to that nationwide and I know the health minister (Tony Abbott) is concerned about that and is examining ways of tightening things up and I think people are entitled to be concerned", he was quoted.
This research shows that sometimes, the enemy lies within.