Scroll To Top

Ask & Tell

Ask & Tell


His life story has the makings of a TV melodrama: Richard Brodsky is a successful Long Island, N.Y., architect with a home and family'who hides a deep secret. He's bisexual and has contracted HIV through affairs with other men. 'It sounds crazy, but it's true. It was the lowest point in my life,' he says of telling it all to his wife, Jodi, in the summer of 1997. But with the support of her and their three daughters, 56-year-old Brodsky is prevailing against HIV and raising money and awareness through his Richard M. Brodsky Foundation, which held its fifth World AIDS Marathon in December. What was it like telling your family that you not only had been having sex with other men outside your marriage but were HIV-positive? I honestly felt like I wanted to die. Basically, I told Jodi we have three choices: She could divorce me, I could kill myself, or we could try to work through things and remain married. She told me that we were going to get through it, and we're still together today. Why did you decide to reveal all of these family secrets in your 2002 book, Jodi: The Greatest Love Story Ever Told? The book was a gift to my wife for keeping our family loving and whole. But I also wanted people to realize that [even after] you're diagnosed with HIV, as I had been, you can still lead a productive life if you have access to anti-HIV medicines. Not long after the book came out, you faced another health crisis. I was diagnosed with brain cancer in November 2002 and my doctors told me I had two to four years to live. I got through the surgery and the follow-up treatment, and one year later I completed my 11th New York City Marathon. So far, the cancer hasn't spread further. How did the idea come about for your own foundation and for the World AIDS Marathon? I desperately wanted to raise awareness of the impact of AIDS in Africa and raise money for programs there. So I drew on my passion for running to organize the first World AIDS Marathon in 2004, and it grew from there. What's next for your foundation? We'll be holding our sixth marathon in Africa on World AIDS Day, 2009. We're also hosting the 5K AIDS+Cancer Run Walks in the United States and in Kenya. I'm also hoping to start up a local running club for people living with HIV or cancer. It's a very exciting time for us!

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

HIV Plus Editors