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What if Roberto Alomar does have HIV?

Oct 12, 2010, 5:34 PM EDT

Paul Sax is a big baseball fan and a longtime reader of mine. He’s also a doctor who writes a blog about HIV, infectious diseases and the medical and ethical issues that surround them.  He has several sharp observations today in light of the Roberto Almoar HIV allegations. Among them:

For another stark example of how HIV differs from other serious
diseases (even those related to unhealthy choices), Hall of Famer Tony
Gwynn has just been diagnosed with salivary gland cancer, likely due to chewing tobacco.  The response?  Mostly sympathy, very little blame or snark.

If the allegations of his wife are true and Alomar lied about or withheld information about his HIV status, he has certainly done something terribly wrong. But what if they’re not true? What if he does have HIV but he did not lie or mislead anyone about his status?  What if, as seemed to be the case with last year’s lawsuit, someone is merely gunning for the guy?

If that’s the case, I’ll be curious to see how he is treated by the general public. Will he get the Gwynn treatment and be supported despite contracting what is typically an avoidable disease through — at worst — irresponsible behavior? Or will he be stigmatized?

I’d like to think we’ve come a long way regarding HIV and AIDS in the past 25 years.  I fear we have not, however, and that if Alomar does have HIV, he’ll be treated like an outcast.

  1. Mr. Heyward - Oct 12, 2010 at 5:44 PM

    If she is lying about him lying to her in the first place, then she is (as Jonny5 put it) a horrible gold digger. He’d certainly have my sympathy if that is the case and she can go straight to Hades b/c that is one terrible accusation. If he DID lie to her and had unprotected sex with her while knowing he was HIV+, well then, different story. This story is unbelievably crazy to me…wow.

  2. Steve Flack - Oct 12, 2010 at 5:47 PM

    To me the big difference is in the way we found out: if he does have HIV, and we found out from former lovers who he never told, then, yes, he deserves to be treated like an outcast for endangering other people’s lives.
    Gwynn, on the other hand, only hurt himself. Yes, it’s still a stupid way to contract a life threatening disease, at lease he only hurt himself. Alomar acted stupidly with no remorse for others. That’s low.

  3. Kiwicricket - Oct 12, 2010 at 6:06 PM

    I believe there are two separate issues here which are being mistaken for one large one. Alomar possibly contracting HIV, and the moral/ethical/legal/criminal debate involving his wife. The whole mess involving his wife is just crazy, when you think about it in real terms.

  4. jrjas1 - Oct 12, 2010 at 7:01 PM

    What if he got HIV from sharing needles that were passed around the club house from shooting up roids. hmmm……..

  5. Paul S - Oct 12, 2010 at 8:01 PM

    >>I believe there are two separate issues here which are being mistaken for one large one. Alomar possibly contracting HIV, and the moral/ethical/legal/criminal debate involving his wife.
    This is an excellent point. However, I maintain that should it be revealed that he does in fact have HIV, that the response from the baseball world will be quite different from what Gwynn, Mantle, Strawberry, etc experienced.

  6. tiger prez - Oct 12, 2010 at 8:38 PM

    If Alomar has HIV I’m sure he’ll be a complete and utter outcast for the rest of his life. Just like Magic Johnson has been for the last 20 years. Oh wait…

  7. adam - Oct 12, 2010 at 10:46 PM

    I agree with Kiwicricket. The fact that Roberto Alomar has HIV is sad and I wish him the best with his treatment.
    That being said, if he did what the document alleges he’s scum. Maybe lower than scum. To know you have an STD and lie about it to a woman who you plan to sleep with (or currently are sleeping with) is unforgivable. I hope she gets all she’s entitled to under the law.

    Here’s to his good health and her never contracting HIV.

  8. Benny Blanco - Oct 13, 2010 at 2:12 PM

    I thought Magic was cured???

  9. stdslove - Oct 13, 2010 at 11:35 PM

    Omg! Even celebrity can get HIV. No wonder why more and more sexy girls join the largest
    HIV dating site positivefish .com to look for sex partner. Hey, Alomar, the people on positivefish.com are looking
    forward to your joining them.

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