Main Forums > Living With HIV

How do you deal with ignorance?

(1/3) > >>

So we were talking at work about the recent case with the baby.  One of my colleagues (female) said 'I can't believe any woman would ever have a baby knowing they were hiv positive, it's the most selfish thing I could ever imagine from a woman.'

I went into full on education mode, giving statistics.  Adding that in 18 years our city has never had a positive baby from women getting treatment.

She continued on that if that were her she would remain child-less all her life as she couldn't take that small risk. 

She was horrible about it.

First I wanted to punch her in the face and afterwards came away feeling pretty rubbish about myself.  I know it's just ignorance and people who haven't been there will never understand.

I had my baby in the full knowledge that there was a very tiny, but possible, risk of infection.  So I guess she's right, that is selfish?

The problem with the people who smear this sort of thing as selfish is that they are more often than not also the people who object to contraception and abortion. To my mind, given the state of science, it is no more selfish for an HIV-positive woman to want a child than it is for a mother who, knowing that the result will make no difference to her choices about the pregnancy, decides against an amniocentesis diagnostic test to assess whether the foetus could develop, or has developed, an abnormality or serious health condition .. or, for that matter, any more selfish than me having my sperm washed in order to father a child.

It is a personal choice and it is no-one else's business. End of story as far as I am concerned.

I'd venture to suggest that the overwhelming majority of people who are living with a congenital disorder / disease would, if asked, rather be alive and facing adversity, than have been aborted (and that isn't a comment on the rights or wrongs of abortion, which, as we all know, is equally about the rights of the mother). I'm pretty sure the same would go for children born with HIV.

On a slightly pedantic note, the mother didn't actually know that she was HIV-positive. She wasn't diagnosed until she was in hospital and in premature labour. This is more the story of a broken healthcare system than it is selfishness - real or imagined - on the part of one individual.

Ask this woman how she feels about people who unwittingly pass along Huntington's or mental disorders. Too bad you can t ask her how she feels about passing along stupidity. Oh why not bait her and ask about the 60 year old who had twins? Ultimately you get to walk  away smirkin' that you have a neg kid and an open mind.

She doesn't know my status - I always find it interesting to hear people bang on and not even realise they're offending you to your face.

I'm frustrated about it though.  I'm sure less than 50% of women actually PLAN to get pregnant, sometimes it's reckless, mental health issues, substance misuse, alcohol (as in my own case) and as you say some women don't find out until they're pregnant that they're positive.

I think I speak for most of the women here that one of the biggest fears when diagnosed is that they'll never be able to have children.  Every woman should have the chance to have a child in my opinion.  I don't think I was complete as a person until I had my son.


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version