Couple says wife's HIV cost husband his job

Man claims termination was over wife's health

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A couple has filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against the husband's former employer, claiming he was fired because his wife is HIV-positive.

The couple spoke with Channel 4 Monday, but asked that their identities not be revealed.

The husband and wife said they've experienced financial and emotional hell since the husband lost his job at local auto transport company. According to the couple, the termination happened because his employer learned his wife has HIV, and didn't want to pay for expensive medical care.

"(I'm) Pretty angry about it. It's pretty much ruined us financially. (It took) 16 months before I could find another job," the husband said.

The couple said the company told them they were terminating his employment because of economic downsizing. According to the husband, the employer originally said he would be rehired once the economy settled. The man said the company didn't make good on their promise.

The husband said a story on Channel 4 inspired them to go public with their story.

"We saw something you were doing last week on the morning show with faces of HIV and we decided to come forward," said the man. "We've tried to make this right with people, and nobody wants to admit to anything or make anything right."

The man and his wife have filed a second lawsuit against a local hospital. The couple said they believe the hospital disclosed her personal medical information.

"I feel very guilty," said the woman. "And responsible for my husband losing his job. It was my status that caused him to lose his job, and I hold a lot of responsibility for it."

The man's former employer did not respond to Channel 4's request for a statement.

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