This week our founder Carolyn Tweitmeyer and her daughter Selah were on The Doctors. The show was taped a few weeks ago but aired all over the country on Monday. The segment can be watched in full at The Doctors site and we encourage you to watch it.
The title of the segment was “should a child’s HIV status be a secret?” and we believe that decision is a very personal one made by the family. There are both pros and cons to disclosure. Jenn M. another guest during the segment and author of, “My HIV Child is Playing With Your Child” has chosen not to disclose. She is afraid of the impact it will have in the way that others treat their family, specifically her daughter who is positive. Paige Rawl author of Positive a memoir talked about finding out and sharing her status causing others to bully her through school. Selah and Carolyn talked about being open about the status with family and friends because of the shame secrecy might bring. Selah said it was a relief that she could be open about it growing up.
Although the segment featured the question “should HIV be a secret?” we all have common ground raising children with HIV, both parents that disclose and those that don’t. We all love our children and we want the same thing for them and others living with HIV; we want a stigma free environment. We all want to be able to say HIV and not have others flinch. We all want to be able to openly talk about living with a chronic condition like talking about cancer or diabetes, because in truth living with HIV is easier than those except for the stigma […]