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Apr 2, 2005

I'm 30yo male and was diagnosed with HIV in May 2004. Before my diagnosis I had applied to adopt a child, which I didn't think was going to happen since I was single. Now the adoption agency is telling me everything has been approved and have a baby on the way. When I found out about my status, I was in such shock that I kind forgot about that I was on the waiting list. I am undetectable and cell cout of 565. I never been to the hosiptal or had to take any meds. until now, but I'm concerned about life expectancy. I don't know if I will be alive long enough to raise a child, of course no one does but you get the picture. My Dr says he has patients who have been HIV positive for 25 years and still going strong. I guess my questions is should I adopt this baby. I think I need at least a good healthy 20yrs. I've always wanted kids but I don't know if it was meant to be for me to have them.

Response from Dr. Remien

This is a very difficult question for me to respond to. This is certainly not my area of expertise, but I will share some of my thoughts. In the end, the decision will have to be yours. If you have not done so, I think you should consult your physician on this specific issue. And if there are other trusted and intimate people in your life (as I hope that there are), I suggest you speak with them as well. This is a tough undertaking for anyone to do on their own.

Assuming responsibility for a child as a parent is a serious matter. While some may feel that a person should not enter this situation when living with a life-threatening illness, many would say that having HIV should not be a deterrent from living life "normally." As your doctor has said to you, many people live very long lives without illness when infected with HIV (some with treatment and some without treatment). And more and more people will be living longer and healthier with HIV, with ever improving therapies.

Speak with others in your life and search your heart. I trust you will be able to make a decision with some degree of confidence even if always with some level of uncertainty. As they say, life is full of uncertainties. Good luck with your decision.

Magnetic Relationship
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