We have been a foster and adoptive family for a little over 10 years now. We have six beautiful children. With this decade of experience, I have come to know that I know a little about a little and I’m an expert at nothing. This has become invaluable to me as a parent of children who are HIV positive.
When we adopted our first child who is HIV positive, we made the decision to live a very open lifestyle about HIV and our family. We are what you might call a “disclosure family.” That is, we have chosen to disclose the status of our HIV positive children. Since making that decision, we have received nothing but love and acceptance from our family and close friends.
On a few occasions, however, we have been met with some rejection due to those three little letters. Project Hopeful asked me to write about the instances where we felt some discrimination based on HIV in hopes of providing further education on the disease.
A couple of years ago, I enrolled our children in a private swim school for swimming lessons. Because the owner of the school did not have current information about how HIV is transmitted, she would not allow my children to enroll. Before you get too angry at the owner, she is a very kind woman who was willing to sit with us and discuss HIV. After our discussion, she even held a meeting with all of her instructors at the school in order to provide education to them about HIV. We were asked to and did lead this meeting. We distributed current information about HIV from the Centers for Disease Control website. Some of the swim instructors’ parents […]