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Author Topic: Need tips for disclosing status to kids  (Read 4149 times)

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Offline Trish

  • Member
  • Posts: 332
Need tips for disclosing status to kids
« on: January 16, 2009, 01:30:46 PM »
Hi Ladies,

I haven't been around much, but I do check in from time to time when I'm not so busy.  Hope you are all doing well.

Some of you may know that I work as a peer educator.  I have a client who has been positive for just over a year and she has a few kids all under the age of 18.  Her fiance is also positive... they tested at the same time.  She has not disclosed to her kids, but is feeling a need to do so because she will be starting meds soon.  Since I do not have any children and have never had to discuss this with kids, I was wondering if some of you may know of some ideas I could give my client to best approach the subject with her children.  She's not exactly ready to do so immediately as she has some other issues of her own to take care of first, but I thought perhaps some of you could help me guide her in some way.  And I would be most grateful to any and all advice you may have for me & her. 

I did print out the "Disclosure" topic from this site, but it doesn't seem to give much to go on.  I think that some personal experiences would help tremendously.  I have also searched the internet and there really isn't much on the topic.  So, would you ladies be willing to help me out?  Thanks so very much.

Take care of yourselves and I look forward to any info you may have.

Thanks again.

With love,
"People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is buit."  Eleanor Roosevelt

Offline franfrog

  • Member
  • Posts: 238
Re: Need tips for disclosing status to kids
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2009, 02:17:57 PM »
Hi Trish.
Hope all is well.  Well as you know I have two kids ages 14 and 11.  I was tested positive almost 5 years ago but have only recently told my kids.  The way it came about was actually with thanks to you.  :)
A while ago you had posted the website where you can go on and they have some HIV positive people and some negative people and you were to try to see that you can not just tell by looking at someone to know their status.  Well this was a site that I approached my children with and made them understand that you can not tell just by looking and I was one of those examples. 
As we discussed it further and the kids asked questions and I answered them, I id take a little time separately for each of them alone.  Asked them questions, listened to what they said.

Anyway, they were easier to talk to then I thought.  Kids are more resilient to things then we give them credit for.  So my advice to your client would be just to sit them down and tell them.  As much as I was told that, I did not want to believe it would be that easy.  Well now I see that it is.  Make sure they make time for each individual child once it is told so that they feel a bit more comfortable to ask their own questions. 

My children, as much as I know it is in the back of their mind, actually forget until the medication comes out or it is brought up.  Still ask questions and still get honest answers.
7/05 diagnosis cd4- 52 vl -?
08/05 cd4-299 vl-1900
10/05 cd4-249 vl-349
12/05 cd4-349 vl-52
03/06 cd4-454 vl-<50
06/06 cd4-508 vl-<50

Offline melloyellow

  • Member
  • Posts: 18
Re: Need tips for disclosing status to kids
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2009, 08:06:18 PM »
I have a son he is 28 and I haven't told him. I tested poz in nov 2008. I went to my dr and as
of now i don't have to take meds. So i am not going to tell him unless thing changes. I told my
sisters. i just can't tell him now. We all have to do what we think is the best.

Offline Winiroo

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,082
  • Positive since 1991
Re: Need tips for disclosing status to kids
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2009, 08:20:31 PM »
I've been positive for 16 years or so. I have a 19 year old son. I told him I was HIV positive when he was around 4 or 5 years old. Depending on the kids age the discussion will be different.
With a little kid they would not understand as much as an older one. I cant really recall exactly how it went with my son but I almost always gave him clinical information and simplified the topic leaving out any graphic information. He did tell other people about my status which was not an issue for me.
Fortunately I only had one incident that was unpleasant when a friends parent found out about my status. Most other people tried to act normal around me or where overly curious.

I think if you decide to tell your children Fran's suggestion is a great idea. I think it is always best to be honest. But be prepared that other people may hear of your being positive because kids dont always keep things to themselves.

Personally I would be upset if my mother had a serious illness and did not confide in me.

Offline Trish

  • Member
  • Posts: 332
Re: Need tips for disclosing status to kids
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2009, 07:45:14 PM »
Thanks Fran, Mello & Win.  I truly appreciate your sharing with me.  This helps alot.  And I'm not pushing my client to do anything, just giving her ideas for the time being.  She's feeling the need and I'm trying my best to make this a not so awful task for her.  She'll be okay though.

Thanks again.

All the best to you!!!
"People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is buit."  Eleanor Roosevelt

Offline peregrine

  • Member
  • Posts: 21
  • I live in the fire & I extinguish it!
Re: Need tips for disclosing status to kids
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2009, 10:24:49 PM »
This is strictly my opinion.  Everyone has to handle their life in their own way.
After analysis of the situation, I DO NOT see any reason to tell anyone other than potential sex partners.  My reason for this is based on the fact that HIV is no longer a death sentence as it was in the past.
Newly diagnosed HIV'ers who start treatment before they develop AIDS will problably never get sick if they observe adherence to their meds and do not develop resistance during the course of their infection. 
Everyone takes supplements these days or some other type of once daily meds.  With the current availablility of once-daily meds such as ATripla, which you take at bedtime wiithout food, there really is no need for giving exaplanations concerning your treatment.
As long as the meds keep things under control, I don't see any reason to worry the family.  Again, this is my personal viewpoint.

Offline Winiroo

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,082
  • Positive since 1991
Re: Need tips for disclosing status to kids
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2009, 06:12:18 PM »
I've never been good at hiding things. Making up lies about doctors appointments and pills I take would wear me out.


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