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"It has basically ruined my life' // ON THE LIST

Since the news got out earlier this week that a confidential list of Pinellas residents with AIDS had been copied and leaked, area agencies have fielded countless calls from people whose names might be on the list.

They're shocked.

They're angry.

Most of all, they're scared. What would it mean if their employer, their insurance company, their friends or even their family members learned that they have AIDS?

He's a 39-year-old married business owner who thinks he contracted HIV more than 10 years ago through heterosexual sex before he was married.

In January, a doctor told him his case would have to be reported to the state. But the businessman had no idea the report would include his address and phone number, which is unlisted.

Besides his doctor, only two other people know he has AIDS: his wife and his pastor.

When he opened his newspaper Thursday morning to learn about the leak of a confidential AIDS list containing his name, he said he felt as if his life had ended.

"This is more devastating to me than the day I received the news that I tested positive for HIV," he said. "It has basically ruined my life."

For four hours after reading the newspaper, he called state and federal legislators urging changes in the law that would prevent this from happening again. But he knows it's too late for him.

"I personally feel like someone has tattooed a bull's-eye on me and I am now a walking target for the rest of my life," he said. "I will never be able to rest easy.

"There's nothing that can be done about it. There's no recourse. I am just completely devastated."

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