Nov 18, 2004
At what point in time do you tell children that you have acquired the hiv virus.
Response from Dr. Horwath
This is a complex question, and requires a personalized, individualized plan based on your circumstances. First, you should educate yourself about HIV infection, and make sure you understand your own condition as well as you possibly can. Second, you should make sure you are prepared to answer questions that will come up, such as how did you get the infection, are you going to die, what will happen to us, who will take care of us, etc. You should be clear about these issues and make sure you have some reasonable and realistic answers before you open the subject with the kids.
You should also take into account the age of the kids, what they may have learned about sex, drugs and HIV, and any other special family circumstances (illness experiences, etc). If you are unsure of how to proceed, seek help from a family center, psychologist, pediatrician, or other professional who may have experience with children, and might be able to help you to decide if, when and how to speak to the children about this topic.
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