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Author Topic: Found out my dad has Hiv but he doesnt know that I know...  (Read 6293 times)

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Offline confused.scared

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  • Posts: 1
Found out my dad has Hiv but he doesnt know that I know...
« on: April 06, 2011, 12:49:01 AM »
Hi there, I'm all new to this. i found this website while researching and thought maybe someone could help me out.

I found out that my dad has HIV but he doesn't know I know yet, hes been keeping it from me for years but I'm old enough now that I thought he would have already told me... I'm not sure what to say to him. I'm confused and worried. I know he takes medication for it, he has been for years. So I started doing research on it to find out some more. Anyone out there know what I should do?? I want him to be able to talk to me.. I'm worried as hes been sick recently and in & out of hospital.

Many thanks to anyone who can help me out.

Offline mecch

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  • Posts: 11,211
  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Found out my dad has Hiv but he doesnt know that I know...
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2011, 02:40:15 AM »
What awful news to discover.  And of course you are worried that he has been sick lately.  
And of course you want him to explain a bit whats happening.

You can tell him you are really worried about his health and want to talk about his health. This expresses YOUR concern and love for him and also your own fears and needs.  This conversation does not need to be about the HIV until he's ready to say that part of it, or you are ready to ask him about the HIV part of it.

It sounds like he was HIV+ when you were young.  He clearly decided at that time it was something you didn't need to know, for your own benefit, and maybe also something he didn't need you to know.

Your needs have changed, as you have expressed here. Also now you know so there's no going back.

Personally I would like to know how old you are how old your father is so I can understand the situation better to give advice about the confrontation.  How did you discover that he is HIV+?
« Last Edit: April 06, 2011, 02:49:12 AM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline littleprince

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  • Posts: 201
Re: Found out my dad has Hiv but he doesnt know that I know...
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2011, 02:52:03 AM »
I think it's normal for a parent to keep things from a child when they don't think they'll understand. But I guess you have shown that you are old enough now since you have worked it out yourself.

He's just trying to protect you (like any good father) but I'm sure it hirts him to have to keep such a secret. Just let him know. It will be a releif for him. Although this is a little different, I told my mother when I found out I was HIV+. Since then we have only become closer. Actually much closer than ever before.

Offline komnaes

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Re: Found out my dad has Hiv but he doesnt know that I know...
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2011, 02:54:35 AM »
Hi CS

The bottom line, IMHO, is - your dad's own medication records/history are entirely his own business, whether he's HIV+ or not.

HIV is a lot more sensitive because people still have a lot of prejudice against it. And if you read more posts in these forums you'd find that many members here still have not disclosed their status to their family members. There are many reasons why one chooses not to disclose; and while many of us think our status should be shared with trusted and loved family members, we also do understand why they decide not to do so.

There may be a lot of reasons why your dad hasn't told you yet, as pointed out by Mecch and Littleprince - maybe he doesn't want you to worry, maybe he doesn't want to burden you, maybe he doesn't want to explain how he got it, or maybe he still feels ashamed by his status, etc. Now that you've found out your dad's status without him knowing, and before you decide to let him know that you know, perhaps you should ask yourself - are you sure you know how to deal with all those prejudices that are unjustly associated with HIV? Are you able to deal with whatever new "facts" you may find out about his past, things that are more often shared between friends or peers but can somehow become awkward between a father and a son/daughter?

There's so little we know from your email (say, for all we know, you could be a teenager), so perhaps we can start with, firstly, how you feel about knowing this?

Best of my luck my friend, Shaun
Aug 07 Diagnosed
Oct 07 CD4=446(19%) Feb 08 CD4=421(19%)
Jun 08 CD4=325(22%) Jul 08 CD4=301(18%)
Sep 08 CD4=257/VL=75,000 Oct 08 CD4=347(16%)
Dec 08 CD4=270(16%)
Jan 09 CD4=246(13%)/VL=10,000
Feb 09 CD4=233(15%)/VL=13,000
Started meds Sustiva/Epzicom
May 09 CD4=333(24%)/VL=650
Aug 09 CD4=346(24%)/VL=UD
Nov 09 CD4=437(26%)/VL=UD
Feb 10 CD4=471(31%)/VL=UD
June 10 CD4=517 (28%)/VL=UD
Sept 10 CD4=687 (31%)/VL=UD
Jan 11 CD4=557 (30%)/VL=UD
April 11 CD4=569 (32%)/VL=UD
Switched to Epizcom, Reyataz and Norvir
(Interrupted for 2 months with only Epizcom & Reyataz)
July 11 CD=520 (28%)/VL=UD
Oct 11 CD=771 (31%)/VL=UD(<30)
April 12 CD=609 (28%)/VL=UD(<20)
Aug 12 CD=657 (29%)/VL=UD(<20)
Dec 12 CD=532 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
May 13 CD=567 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
Jan 14 CD=521 (21%)/VL=UD(<50)

Offline carousel

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  • Posts: 821
Re: Found out my dad has Hiv but he doesnt know that I know...
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2011, 03:29:52 AM »
A lot of people don't tell their relations, because they are scared of the reaction, trying to protect them from hearing that they have HIV and then there are the worries about stigma.  I don't want to have the conversation with my parents that I have a virus that may limit my life expectancy.

If it was me in your circumstances, I would have to ask.  I think as his child, you have a right to ask him questions.  Isn't that part of him being a parent?

You can't unknow that you have found out about his diagnosis.  He may well be relieved that he can be open with you.


Offline Joe K

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  • Posts: 3,492
Re: Found out my dad has Hiv but he doesnt know that I know...
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2011, 01:28:54 PM »
Hello CS,

Before I offer any suggestions, I want to commend you on your sensitivity and compassion in finding a way to tell your dad, that you know he is poz. I am poz and a parent and we told Kate at a very early age, because we decided she needed to know the truth. I do not know your age, but if you are old enough to figure out your father is poz, then you are old enough to know the truth. I assume you have a good relationship with him, so my advice is to find a quiet time and tell him that you know about his illness.

A funny thing about parents, is that sometimes we think we know what is best for our kids, but being only human, we often forget that they grow and mature. We tend to become overly protective about issues we think will hurt our children and sometimes we are simply wrong. I am not saying that your dad did anything wrong in not telling you, because I know he always has your best interests at heart. There are reasons he has not told you, however, now you know and you have the right to tell him.

To me, the idea that my own daughter could not come to me, no matter what the subject, would break my heart. I am her father and she is my flesh and blood and the thought of my not sharing with her, something so important, is beyond my comprehension. You now know the truth and you cannot put the genie back in the bottle. My guess is your dad will be relieved that you know, because hiding something like this must be very difficult. I'm pretty sure that he knew this day would come, when you would learn the truth and I think it is sad, that he has been unable to tell you on his own.

In the end, what really matters, is for you both to talk, to share what you know and to deepen your bond. I know this will not be easy and please remember that you have done nothing wrong. This is one of those difficult times in life, but I know you both will come through it and together you will find your way. What you must never forget, is that unconditional love is just that, unconditional. It does not judge or seek to wound the ones we love, rather it seeks to bring them closer and for them to know, that no matter what, we will never stop loving them. I think, if you tell you dad, what you said in your post and then tell him how much you love and cherish him and see where it goes.

He may not be pleased that you know, however, you remain his daughter and trust me, in his own way, he will know what has to be done. It may not be easy, but shared love is a powerful thing and when added with time, you both will grow and adjust and with that, you will grow closer. Follow your heart and you will rarely go wrong. You need him to know, so you need to tell him, in your own way and in your own time. He will not stop loving you because you know he's poz, just as you have not stopped loving him because he's poz and never forget that fact. In the end, that is all that matters, that you love each other unconditionally and all the rest is just stuff to deal with and you will do fine.

Offline zach

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  • Posts: 1,218
Re: Found out my dad has Hiv but he doesnt know that I know...
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2011, 02:11:07 PM »
I can only speak to my own experience with my sons. I told them, but now regret it. Both my sons have been in situations at school where kids made jokes about PWAs (kids are cruel, nothing new there) and they both felt that stigma in a way that hurt me more than it did them I'm sure. As for other people I've told, it's the same story. Disclosure is an extremely sensitive and personal thing, and reactions to the news vary so widely, many just choose to keep it private. Everyone you tell, will tell someone, and so forth. Its is a harsh reality that disclosure can lead to lost friends and family. And not telling, is a burden that is hard to carry as well.

Offline Ann

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  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: Found out my dad has Hiv but he doesnt know that I know...
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2011, 09:09:42 AM »
Hi Confused, welcome to the forums.

I told my daughter when she was thirteen (about two months before she turned fourteen and around two weeks after I was diagnosed). She will now be 24 at the end of this month. A couple years ago I asked her if she wished I had waited or never told her and her answer was a resounding NO. She was glad I told her because she thought that such a big secret between us would have affected our relationship in a bad way. She said my honesty with her encouraged her to always be honest with me.

It sounds to me like you love your father very much and I think he could benefit from your support. As others have said, there will be many reasons why your father never told you and I would think the reason at the top of his list is probably that he simply wanted to protect you. I would imagine shame is on the list somewhere too - some people find it extremely difficult to discuss anything of even a remotely sexual nature with their children.

If you do decide to let your father know you know (and personally, I think you should), preface it with telling him you love him and do not judge him. I take it you probably found out by accident, so let him know that too. If he thinks you were snooping or spying this may put him on the defensive, so make sure he knows it was an accident. Let him know you want to be there for him.

Once he gets over the inevitable shock of knowing you know, he'll probably be quite relieved. Keeping hiv a secret is a heavy burden. Keeping secrets like this, especially from loved ones, can be toxic to the soul. Once he sees that you are not judging him and you still love him, I would imagine that you'll grow even closer than you may be now.

Good luck, and please let us know what you decide to do and if you decide to tell him, let us know how it goes.

Hugs,
Ann
xxx
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