Barbados Family Planning Association Head: If The Husband Has HIV/Aids, Don’t Tell The Wife !

“It is going to take a longer time, I think, and you must allow the counselling process to work, but not entertain any thought of third party notification until your client is ready to divulge that information either with or without your assistance,”…

… George Griffith, Barbados Family Planning Association head and typical “women are playthings” Bajan male, explains why he would knowingly let an HIV-positive husband continue to keep the disease secret from his wife in the Nation newspaper article Let Patient Reveal HIV Status.

Shona of Barbados Free Press Comments…

I cannot tell you how angry I am at George Griffith at this moment. I think he casually plays with the lives of women. I don’t care how he justifies it: if he or any medical professional knew that my husband had HIV and didn’t tell me, no one could contain my fury.

George Griffith is a menace to the health of every woman on this island.

Shona with Cliverton


Filed under Barbados, Ethics, Health

20 responses to “Barbados Family Planning Association Head: If The Husband Has HIV/Aids, Don’t Tell The Wife !

  1. J

    Shona wrote “George Griffith is a menace to the health of every woman on this island.”

    Sadly Shona the REAL MENANCE may well be the man that you happily embrace most nights.

    The REAL MENANCES are the HIV-positive husbands and boyfriends who have sex with their wives and girlfriends.

    Each of us have to behave in a sexually responsible way.

    Each of us have to call on our sexual partners to behave responsibly.

    We cannot expect George to monitor the BAD BEHAVIOUR of our husbands or boyfriends.

    For too long in this community and other communities women have lived the lie “what I don’t know won’t hurt me” For too long women have felt that once “I have the ring and the Mrs.” I am protected and I don’t need to care about his “nasty outside women”

    The time has long past where we have to stop living the LIE.

    If our husbands and boyfriends are no good (promiscous) we have to WALK away.

    We WILL have to accept a lower standard of living, we WILL have to work harder. We WILL have to endure the disrespect that the church, the state, the society routinely dishes out to never married parents.

    No neither marriage, the ring, nor the Mrs. is a guarantee of the good life.

    The the female acceptance of male promiscuity that did not kill or mothers, and grandmothers IS KILLING US.

  2. Sargeant


    How did it get from “Partners” not disclosing to “Husbands”? From my reading of the article it didn’t specify any gender. Shouldn’t all parties in a relationship whether married or not disclose their HIV status? It appears that you are so ready to bash Mr. Griffith that you rush to publish without examining the issue from all sides. After all both men and women who are HIV positive have withheld that information from potential partners with deadly consequences..

    The spread of this disease is a two way street and focusing on males will not alleviate the problem

  3. Equity

    How is this playing with the lives of WOMEN specifically? Can’t Shona or Cliverton read?

  4. Tourism Monkey

    Well said.

  5. West Side Davie

    Shona looks at it from a wifey womany perspective. I see where she’s coming from. Any gender can get HIV but the truth is mostly I think the man bring it home to the faithful wife. Mostly.

    Should the doctors be telling the partners/husbands/wives of the HIV patients? If they don’t, they might be killing them so YES. Big YES. Griffith is an idiot.

  6. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Barbados: HIV secrets

  7. Equity

    WSD, is Cliverton seeing it from that wifey, womany perspective too?

  8. Bajan Bullets

    While I agree that any party involved in a sexual relationship is entitled to full disclosure of any sexually transmitted diseases of the other party, it is impractical and illogical to think that anyone outside of the individuals involved should be responsible for that disclosure.

    In fact, this issue should be approached from a legislative stand point whereby the definition of assault can be expanded to include individuals who do not disclose such dangers to their partners. Assault is simply touching an individual without their consent, or the threat of such.

    If partner A knew that partner B had HIV, partner A would not have consented to sex. Therefore, by withholding that information, party B defrauded party A in order to engage in sex thereby classifying such an act as assault.

    All of this is to say that the real way to address this issue is to develop legislation that will allow individuals who do not disclose this information to be prosecuted and held accountable.

    This issue of assault by non disclosure in a sexual encounter has been debated at the Supreme Court level in Canada which (based on a similar legal system) could be used as a platform for developing Barbados legislation.

  9. Fool me once

    In other countries they say sex by HIV carrier without disclosure is assault and battery maybe even attempted murder.

    In BIM lady was asking for it.

  10. J

    I wonder if ANYONE at Barbados Free Press has ever heard about doctor/patient confidentiality.

  11. reality check


    There are some exceptions to this rule.

    You are free to provide relevant information to another treating practitioner.

    In some cases, such as suspected child abuse and notifiable diseases, disclosure is required by legislation.

    If a patient becomes unfit to drive and the practitioner is aware that patient continues to drive, there is a discretion to report to the RTA and the practitioner can claim immunity from liability.

    There is also the difficult area of disclosing information ‘in the public interest’. Such cases are fraught with danger for the practitioner, and it is inadvisable to do so without appropriate legal advice.

    There are circumstances where the health of others is put at risk or a court order requires disclosure. In 1996 the AMA changed from its previous position on patient confidentiality to one where exceptions should be considered if the life of another is at risk. This was in recognition of the decision in Lowns v Woods and acknowledged that in the course of a trial the courts may and can impose legal duties that had not previously existed. It would be prudent to obtain advice on such issues.

    In some cases, the confidentiality of a child under the age of 16 must be maintained in the face of parental enquiry and conflict.

  12. Pat


    Well said. However, in some countries, the Doctors are mandated to counsel their patients and to elicit the names of all partners. The names are submitted to the Ministry of Health who contacts the person and ask them to take an HIV test as they may have been exposed.

    If the person refuses to give the names of their partners they are reported to the authorities. I have seen where the press had printed the names of infected and asked that partners contact their doctors. I guess those are the ones who did not willingly give the names.

  13. J

    Thanks Pat and Reality Check

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  15. The Scout

    Why do men almost always get the bashing? Women are just as wufless/wutless as men just that a lot of them decreet about it. If the man discover that he was infected with HIV, then he goes and tell his wife, then it is realised that she has it too, the man is then blamed for infecting her. Couldn’t it be posible that she gave him but he discovered his first or disclosed his first? Both parties need to be honest with each other. This is too serious to be considered a man thing or a woman thing. This is a life threatening matter.

  16. Avatar Girl

    I agree with the Scout.

    It is quote possible that either party could have had it and not know, or known & decided not to tell.

    I think both partners should go have an AIDS test TOGETHER every year, practise monogamy and be VERY careful with each other, since they care so much for each other. That is LOVE!

    If not, there’s always the self-love route…no AIDS, no STDs, plus you STILL get your pleasure!

  17. Hants

    The Scout says

    “Women are just as wufless/wutless as men just that a lot of them decreet about it”.

    I prefer to use the term sexually opportunistic in place of wufless.

    As a mature person I believe in equality of opportunity and responsibility.

    Both parties are responsible for their own health and protection. Women and Men should have condoms in their wallets and purses.

  18. Anonymous

    Does West Side Davie ever think for his/her self.

    I have seen suck ups in my time but God man,
    BFP can say the moon is made of green cheese and WSD would ask for a cheese cutter.

    Get some original thoughts please !!


    BFP says,

    Just because people agree with us doesn’t mean that they haven’t thought about the issue!

  19. SjP

    Today, February 7, 2009 is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. This is an annual event designed for community mobilization HIV testing and treatment initiative. Sojourner’s Place is pleased to be a part of this awareness effort and I invite you to read my post which can be found here.

    Much obliged, SjP

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