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HIV and Children?
Oct 9, 2006

Hey Docs, well, I have a sort of personal question, but I hope you may be able to give some advice. After making one poor decision (and, yes, it was a really dumb, irresponsible, bad choice) I was infected with HIV. The past few months have been a blur...I've been very angry with myself as well as incredibly sad. It's just been a really bad time but, luckily, I've had the support of my best friends along with some of my family members. So, I feel like I've been getting better (at least mentally). I've been visiting with a really compassionate HIV doc who has been nothing but understanding (how he can be this way when it was my own fault for getting infected is beyond me) and he's told me that I won't need medication for probably another year or so. Anyway, well...here's my question. I've always wanted children and, more specifically, in my case, that has meant I would adopt bc I amd gay. I am 32 and...well, before I became infected I had decided it was about time that I start considering adopting. Although I understand the challenges of raising a child being a single, gay male, I had always thought it would be possible to work through all of this. With the HIV diagnosis, however, I feel a bit lost...mainly bc I feel like my chances of even getting a child has sort of gone down the tubes. On paper, I know that my stats don't put me in the category of "ideal" parent. Do you docs have any patients in your clinic that have successfully adopted despite their positive status? My doc does not have any in his clinic so...well, I guess I'm wondering if it ever happens. Also, I'd be remiss if I didn't bring this up. IF it is possible for me to have children, I don't want to take on this great responsibility if I can't fulfill my role as a parent. I guess what I mean is, if there's a pretty significant chance that I won't be here in 10 years,I don't want to put a child through that. If I can believe that I'll be around till my child graduates from college or is able to live on his or her own without me, then that would be enough. I'm just wondering if it would be irresponsible of me to try for a child considering my circumstances...maybe my head is in the clouds or something. I've asked my doc and he's never really answered me directly...I get the feeling he thinks it's not the greatest idea, but he's never flat out said no...but he seems somewhat hesitant. What do you guys think? Please, an honest response would be much appreciated, even if it's not what I'm hoping for. Thanks so so so much for spending your precious time on a complete stranger.

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your post.

Suffice to say that I do have a number of patients in my clinic (HIV+) who have adopted children.

Perhaps this might be a good topic for our readers to share their experiences.

BY



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