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Author Topic: Advice on telling my daughter her dad is HIV  (Read 3587 times)

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Offline Momthatneedshelp

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Advice on telling my daughter her dad is HIV
« on: February 29, 2016, 12:54:27 pm »
    First I want to say "Thank you" to this wonderful community of people sharing and helping to educate people like me!

    It's been many years since I have been face to face with this virus on such a personal level. All that I once knew has changed. Twenty years ago I had the eye opening and heartbreaking experience of watching HIV then AIDS ravage my 29 year old uncle. It was a time of great fear and much stigma.

    I am amazed and in awe of the medical advances and drug therapy that is out today, the education and compassion that I've read through many hours of reading this forum.

    I need advice. My daughters father told me last Wednesday he has been diagnosed with HIV and syphilis. He is currently being treated for the syphilis quite aggressively with a picc line and 24 hr pcn for the duration of 11 days. He has lost vision in one eye from the syphilis. He has an appointment on March 3 for the syphilis and March 7 for the HIV. His cd4 is in the 350 range. He allowed me access to his online medical record and I did not see a viral load test. He did have a sensitivity test for the many medications.

    He has asked me not to tell our daughter until he can get to Texas and we tell her together. Our daughter is 19 years old just started her first semester of college and is working full time. He has been in and out of her life her entire life however she loves her father very much and worries about him. I have always encouraged and supported a relationship between them. The last few years he has been using heavy drugs on and off, gone away to rehab, relapsed and as of now is clean. (I saw the results to his recent drug screening)

    Question- how the hell do we tell her? I have no idea what she knows about HIV.

     I've been so removed from the disease for so many years that I feel poorly educated although i know being a part of this group will be a powerful resource for me.

    Thank you in advance to any guidance you guys offer.


Offline zach

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Re: Advice on telling my daughter her dad is HIV
« Reply #1 on: February 29, 2016, 01:59:55 pm »
hi, welcome to the forum

wait until he's in town, then break the news... if he wants to be there, he may need to be there. let him have that, it's a huge thing to disclose. it'll be good for him to face that.

all that you know about the virus, she doesn't know, and that is her advantage over you on this. your challenge is catching up to where medical care is at now, and letting go of 1980s fear. it's a teachable moment for both of you, help each other learn, and along the way i'm sure that you'll both be comforted.

Offline harleymc

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Re: Advice on telling my daughter her dad is HIV
« Reply #2 on: February 29, 2016, 05:44:29 pm »
"Advice on telling my daughter her dad is HIV"
firstly your daughter's dad isn't HIV

Offline CaveyUK

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Re: Advice on telling my daughter her dad is HIV
« Reply #3 on: February 29, 2016, 05:49:02 pm »
Simple answer to the OP is to read up on the latest status of the condition before working yourself up into a lather about it.

Once you understand the current situation, you will be able to frame it to her (with her dad) in a more positive, optimistic way, rather than transferring your fears and anxieties to her inadvertently by rushing to disclose.
HIV - Basics
HIV 101
You can read more about Transmission and Risks here:
HIV Transmission and Risks
You can read more about Testing here:
HIV Testing
You can read more about Treatment-as-Prevention (TasP) here:
You can read more about HIV prevention here:
HIV prevention
You can read more about PEP and PrEP here:
PEP and PrEP

Offline harleymc

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Re: Advice on telling my daughter her dad is HIV
« Reply #4 on: February 29, 2016, 06:02:03 pm »
oops didn't mean to post just that.

Your daughters dad has HIV it's quite a big difference. He is not defined by the virus nor by any co-morbidities.

I'll speak plainly, but I don't know any of you so this is hypothetical...

As for your daughter's well being versus that of her dad.

Your daughter is under a huge stress load with first year of college and work as well. I'd hate to see her derailed from achieving her best.

I can only see one pressing circumstance where your daughter would need to know immediately, and that is if her dad is in imminent risk of dying. If that's not the case then the time for the big reveal is when her dad is stable on medications and has cleaned up his act.

If your daughter gets told, have a couple of counseling options lined up.

Good luck to you and all your family

Offline Momthatneedshelp

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Re: Advice on telling my daughter her dad is HIV
« Reply #5 on: February 29, 2016, 06:45:09 pm »
   Thanks to all of you for taking your time and giving your advice.

@zach appreciate the welcome.  :) This is an amazing teaching moment. I must say my initial feelings were less than desirable.

@harleymc You are completely correct about my choice of words. He has HIV, he is not HIV. At first I felt like I was keeping a secret from her however now I realize I just want to give her accurate information not fraught with emotion. I'm trying to respect the amount of stress she is under with school and work while not adding to it.

@caveyuk You gave me a laugh with the lather comment all I could picture was bubbles everywhere  ;D

    The more I learn, the more evident it becomes that his fight to stay sober could perhaps be the biggest challenge. I want to be supportive and keep the lines of communication open for our daughters sake. I also believe his ability to accept his sexuality will be the difference between life and death (drugs). Thank you so much for being a calming breeze in this whirlwind.

Offline harleymc

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Re: Advice on telling my daughter her dad is HIV
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2016, 01:37:06 am »
Big hugs

Offline ImisstheOldTimes

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  • Posts: 178
Re: Advice on telling my daughter her dad is HIV
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2016, 09:06:42 am »
Hi Mina,

Let me start off by saying welcome.  My father had HIV/AIDS, he chose not to get treated for it, and by the time he was diagnosed he passed a month later. March 27 will make 4 years.

I remember my mom saying over dinner (it seemed like my dad had an auto immune issue - but none of us ever guessed it would be HIV), "you're father even tested positive for HIV, but that has to be a mistake." Deep in my gut, I knew it wasn't, and it wasn't surprising when the doctor came into his hospital room a few days later with the WB confirmation. It was a very difficult time, but I tried to remain optimistic. 

My thoughts, it's your daughter's father's infection, it's best that he take the reigns when telling your daughter.  The fact that his C4s are still pretty good, is encouraging, and hopefully he'll get on a right drug regiment to bring him to an UD level.  There is hope in this age that there wasn't in 80's and 90's.  My dad had no C4s, and he was riddled with opportunistic infections.  I came to these forums when I first found out about my father, and have been so blessed knowing the members here.  It's taught me so much about the TRUTH of HIV verses the stigma most people want to associate it with.

One little caveat, I was 35, not 19 when I found out...

All my best to all of you,
« Last Edit: March 08, 2016, 09:11:13 am by ImisstheOldTimes »
Life is a BANQUET, and most poor suckers are starving to death!

                             ~Auntie Mame


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