Dec 20, 2007
My boyfriends nephew, who stays with him is hiv positive and has been on medication for a month. He is nine years old and he doesn't know why he is taking the medicine. He doesn't know that he is HIV positive. How do we go about informing a nine year old boy that he is HIV positive?
Response from Dr. Horwath
First, who is responsible for the boy? Is your boyfriend his guardian? Are his parents alive and well? The person or people who are responsible for the boy should make this decision.
Second, whoever tells him should consider whether he is old enough for this information and what is the purpose for informing him. The only reason to tell him is if he has some questions about the medications, treatment or his own health. Otherwise, the risk is that he is being burdened with information that he isn't quite prepared to understand. His pediatrician or treatment team should be involved with this discussion as well.
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